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Direct Instruction Lesson Plan Template

Teachers: Erin Beals Subject: The Bill of Rights

Common Core State Standards:

• 8th Grade Social Studies Strand 3: Civics/Government, PO 3: Analyze the struggle (e.g.,
Federalists’ Papers, Bill of Rights) between the federalists and the antifederalists over the
ratification of the Constitution.
• 8th Grade Social Studies Strand 3: Civics/Government, PO 1: Describe how the following
philosophies and documents influenced the creation of the Constitution: a. Magna Carta b.
English Bill of Rights c. Montesquieu’s separation of power d. John Locke’s theories – natural
law, social contract e. Mayflower Compact f. Declaration of Independence g. Articles of

Objective (Explicit):
• Students will analyze the Bill of Rights and write a list rating the 10 Amendments from the ones they value least to the
ones they value most. They will then write a brief explanation (5-7 sentences) that provides a reasoning for why they rated
each Amendment the way they did, simulating the strife the Founders encountered when establishing a new government.
• Students will create a digital Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting the American and English Bill of Rights. Students
will identify the aspects of the British government that the Founders accepted and rejected when shaping the structure of
the United States government. Three aspects must be listed in each category.

Evidence of Mastery (Measurable):

• Students will be assessed on their comprehension of the lesson’s material in a number of ways. The
instructor will informally assess students through their answers to the instructor’s questions and their
contributions to class discussions. The instructor will have a more accurate and concrete understanding of
how well the students grasped the content when grading the students’ Venn Diagrams with three aspects
listed in each category, lists with rationale rating the first ten Amendments and the students’ exit tickets.

Key vocabulary: Materials:

Opening (state objectives, connect to previous learning, and make relevant to real life)

• To introduce the topic of the American Bill of Rights, the instructor will play a short TED-Ed video at the
start of class that briefly establishes basic knowledge on the topic and why the Bill of Rights is important to
American citizens, establishing the purpose of the lesson.
• Once the video is over, the instructor will verbally state the daily objectives, in addition to them being
written on the board.

Teacher Will: Student Will:

-After reviewing what was previously

learned about the Articles of
Confederation and its flaws and eventual
downfall, the class will transition to a • Get out their notes to record information from
PowerPoint about the Bill of Rights: the day’s PowerPoint
• Go over each of the First Ten • Answer questions posited by teacher and ask
Amendments questions as needed
• Explain the struggles Federalists • Contribute to providing examples to create a
and Anti-Federalists had coming collaborative example for the digital Venn
to agreements Diagram activity
• Review the issues the Founders • Write down which Amendment in the Bill of
had with the British government Rights they value most and why
and a.) how they avoided those • Participate in a discussion on what Amendments
issues with the Articles of the class values and prepare to justify/defend
Confederation and b.) how they their positions clearly and respectfully
modified the first acting
Constitution to still avoid those
issues yet also create a stronger
• Model the digital Venn Diagram
activity after discussing this by
providing, with the help of the
students, an example of one
similarity and two differences of
the two governments. The
students are not permitted to use
any of the examples.
• Check for understanding by
asking the following pre-written
questions and any that may
naturally arise during the lesson:
1. How did the Bill of
Rights address the
problems of the Articles
of Confederation?
2. If you were an influential
figure at the
Convention, what would
you include in the Bill of
Rights that is not already
included or already an
Amendment that was
drafted later?
3. Can you come up with an
example of a written or

unwritten set of rights in
your own life similar to
the Bill of Rights?
4. Which of the First Ten
Amendments is most
important/valuable to
you and why? (All
students will be asked to
write down their
response to this question
for a short discussion
before transitioning into
the final activity)
• Moderate a discussion among the
students on their responses
• Give instructions for the Bill of
Rights list assignment and
provide an example using one of
the responses given by a student
during the discussion

Co-Teaching Strategy
¨ A co-teacher, if present, will be tasked with assisting in managing student behavior.

Differentiation Strategy
¨ Any students with IEPs or 504 Plans will be provided with a copy of guided notes to keep them on track
with the main ideas of the lesson.

Teacher Will: Student Will:

Guided • Allow students to work together • Actively participate in the group activity
Practice in groups of no more than four • Respectfully engage in an informed debate on
for the digital Venn Diagram other students’ answers when a unanimous
activity to provide for different agreement is not reached
perspectives, fostering group • Ask questions as needed
work skills, furthering discussion • Successfully create a digital PowerPoint
and avoiding unnecessary • Utilize available resources
• Walk around the room to clarify
any misunderstandings/answer
any questions
• Ask questions to groups to make
sure they are on the right track:
1. Recall from previous
lessons—what actions
from the British
provoked the American
colonists to begin to
2. What about the British
government worked in
the new American
3. Describe how the
creation of the Bill of
Rights can be thought of
as a balancing act when
discussing the
Federalists and the
creation of the
Constitution as a whole.
• Ensure that each group member
is participating
• Make sure that students are
utilizing their resources available
to them (e.g. notes, PowerPoint,
other classmates, teacher,
internet if available, etc…)

Co-Teaching Strategy
¨ A co-teacher will answer questions as needed.

Differentiation Strategy
¨ Those who finish the group activity early will be given the instructions to begin working on the independent practice.

Teacher Will: Student Will:

¨ How will you plan to coach and correct during ¨ How will students independently practice the knowledge and skills
this practice? required by the objective?
¨ How will you provide opportunities for ¨ How will students be engaged?
Independent remediation and extension? ¨ How are students practicing in ways that align to assessment?
Practice ¨ How will you clearly state and model academic ¨ How are students using self-assessment to guide their own
and behavioral expectations? learning?
¨ Did you provide enough detail so that another ¨ How are you supporting students giving feedback to one another?
person could facilitate the practice?

• Transition into independent • Rate each Amendment in the Bill of Rights from
practice activity of rating first 10 most to least valuable in their personal opinions
Amendments according to • Justify their ratings with a brief yet thorough 5-7
personal values sentence explanation (may be completed for
• Answer questions as needed, and homework if not enough time to complete it in
ask fewer questions than in class)
previous instructional sections • Question their previous biases and acknowledge
• Ask individual students to justify that they may or may not come from their
their ratings to make sure they independent conclusions on government (in
are on track for the justification other words, challenge themselves to think for
portion of the assignment themselves and formulate their own opinions as
• However, before allowing free as possible from prior bias
students to work on their own, • Ask questions as needed
challenge them to spend a • Refer back to notes as needed
considerable amount of time
questioning why they are rating
each Amendment accordingly
1. Think in a historical
context—are all
Amendments in the Bill
of Rights applicable and
necessary today?
2. Are you able to argue the
other side for each
Amendment you
like/dislike? Are you
conscious of any personal
bias you may have going
into this exercise?
3. What would the Bill of
Rights look like today if
we could reshape the
government from

Co-Teaching Strategy
¨ A co-teacher will answer questions as needed.

Differentiation Strategy
¨ If appropriate, those with IEPs or 504 Plans will only be required to write 2-3 sentences of
rationale when explaining how they rated each of the first 10 Amendments.

Closing/Student Reflection/Real-life connections:

Students will be asked to write:

a.) One new thing they learned today
b.) One way in which their thinking was challenged today
c.) How talking about the Bill of Rights is necessary and relevant to their own rights in present day

as an exit ticket.