MiniPage Teacher's Guide
MiniPage activities meet many state and national educational standards. This week's standards: Students understand the important values and principles of American democracy. (Civics: Values and Principles of American Democracy) Students understand the U.S. Constitution and why it is important. (Civics: Principles of Democracy)
1. Make a poster for your room that shows three amendments in the Bill of Rights that you think are most important. Then add two new amendments of your own. Share your poster with family members and friends.
2. Have a meeting with your brothers and/or sisters, or with a group of friends. Together, make your own "constitution" - an agreement about how you will treat each other and share resources, like a computer or the television. Include in your constitution how you will settle any arguments that may come up. To whom will you go to help solve disagreements?
3. Divide a piece of paper into three columns. In the first column, list the parts of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that give information about the president, or executive branch of government. In the second column, list the parts of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that give information about Congress. In the third column, list the parts of the Constitution and Bill of Rights that give information about the courts in the United States.
4. Select three amendments from the Bill of Rights. Find newspaper stories that illustrate each of your amendments. Paste each story on a piece of paper. Under the story, write a paragraph that explains how the story relates to the Bill of Rights.
5. Find a news story about a situation that involves at least two branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial). Write a two- to three-sentence summary of the issue. Now write several paragraphs in which you discuss how each party, or branch, is upholding its responsibilities under the Constitution. What constitutional arguments are the parties presenting in their discussions? Does it appear that one branch is trying to gain more power than the other branch? How do you think the issue should be resolved? Why?