The most basic liberties
guaranteed to Americans embodied in the 45 words of the First Amendment
to the U.S. Constitution assure Americans a government that is
responsible to its citizens and responsive to their wishes. These 45 words are
as alive and important today as they were over 200 years ago.
for Freedom is offered by the Freedom Forums First
Amendment Center, a nonpartisan center dedicated to the understanding and
appreciation of the values of the First Amendment. These lessons (beginning and
advanced levels) address constitutional principles and contemporary issues
involving the First Amendment. They will draw young people into an exploration
of how their freedoms began and how they operate in today's world. Students
will discuss just how far individual rights extend, examining rights in the
school environment and public places. The lessons may be used in history and
government, language arts and journalism, art and debate classes. They may be
used in sections or in their entirety.
invite you to:
Review the lessons by title and
description, by academic discipline or First Amendment focus.
Select those that will best fit
your students needs and inclinations.
Count on firstamendmentcenter.org to
report news related to First Amendment freedoms daily.
Before you begin.
Before you begin your
first lesson, give your students an informal test.
Ask who can name all five rights
guaranteed by the First Amendment. You might offer a prize to the first person
who is able to do this. At the First Amendment Center we usually offer a $20
bill as a prize. Nine times out of 10 it goes back into our billfolds when no
one succeeds. We hope that you and Education for
Freedom can change that success rate.
key, basic documents that will be referred to (and linked to) throughout most
of these lessons are posted here for introductory reference:
Brief History of the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment
The lessons contain other links
to resource materials, as well. We will post them and link them off this page
as they become available.
Please send any comments on
these lesson plans to Judy Hines, Freedom Forum consultant, at
NOTE: For more First
Amendment lessons, in addition to those below,
see the First Amendment Schools Web site.