Lesson Title: A 21st Century Constitution
Topic(s): Legal/Human Rights; the U.S. Constitution (and Amendments); the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Article V (the Amendment Process).
Lesson Context: This lesson is meant to serve as either a lead up to Constitution Day, if you plan to host a guest speaker, or as your Constitution Day (or week) lesson. The lesson would also fit nicely into any unit related to the U.S. Constitution (12th Grade, Government), the American Revolution/Founding (11th Grade, U.S. History or American Literature) or the Enlightenment (10th Grade, World History or World Literature). There are two parts to the lesson which can be be done either separately or in tandem.
Lesson Description: In Part One of this lesson, students will explore the concept of “rights.” Where do rights come from? How do I know what rights I have? Students will examine the U.S. Constitution and compare/contrast it with the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights. In Part Two, students examine the process for amending the Constitution and engage in a simulation whereby they have an opportunity to propose and ratify new amendments to the Constitution.