Purpose of the Bill of Rights

Purpose of the Bill of Rights

I can explain the contents and the purpose of the Bill of Rights.

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Purpose of the Bill of Rights

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The Bill of Rights is a crucial document in our history. In this lesson, students get an overview of the Bill of Rights and its history. Each of the 10 amendments is explained and students discuss the importance of each of these. Students will determine the purpose for many of the laws or rules that we follow in our school and in our nation. In the end, they will create their own bill of rights for the classroom.

Learning Objective

Students will be able to explain the major purpose of the Bill of Rights and its principles.


Have students discuss their prior knowledge of the Bill of Rights by asking some questions: What do they think the Bill of Rights is? Have they heard of it before? What kind of “rights” might be included in this document? Next, explain that the Bill of Rights, written by James Madison, was added to the constitution to protect the freedoms of individual citizens.


First, explain that the Constitution, which was written first, explained how the American government would work, but did not cover the rights of American citizens. Then introduce the Bill of Rights and examine the ways it applies to Americans as individuals. Explain one Amendment at a time, and then ask students to recall the first four Amendments. After you have finished describing the Bill of Rights, ask students to reflect on a reason why it was written.


Check student understanding with ten multiple-choice and true or false questions.


Students are asked to think of a class or school rule that they would like changed, and then discuss this change with their classmates.

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