The previous lesson left students with the impression that everyone was treated equally, regardless of gender or ethnicity. The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the differences that separated people during that time period and what has happened since the Founding to bring about a more inclusive community. This lesson will discuss the abolishment of slavery and what it meant for the rights of African Americans.
Today we are learning how changes were made to the Constitution in order to understand the fight for equality by using amendments 13, 14, 15, and 19.
3SL1, 3SL6, 3L1
Review the prior lesson regarding the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and their purpose. Call up several white males in the class for the demonstration. Explain to the students there were 55 total delegates who took part in drafting the Constitution, but for the sake of the demonstration, we will only use a few. Have these students begin to make the rules for the classroom. Students may attempt to volunteer to give suggestions, but encourage the chosen students to keep working. After a predetermined amount of time, pose two questions: 1) How did it feel not to have a say in the rules that were made for the class? 2) How did it feel to make the rules without checking with the class? In both cases, did you feel that it was fair? Why or why not? Have students date and respond in their dialogical notebooks. Students will share their responses which will start the discussion on equality.
journals, chart paper, Bill of Rights and Constitution from previous lesson
Ask the students to identify the process they witnessed for establishing rules or laws in the classroom. Write their responses on chart paper for future reference, clarifying any misconceptions during the discussion.
Question the students about whom the process excluded. This question should lead the students to notice that girls and students of color were excluded. Explain this information if your current population does not address it, or borrow students from another class prior to the start of the lesson.
Explain to students that as times changed, changes had to be made to the Constitution in order to ensure everyone had a voice. These changes are called Amendments. Explain the 13, 14, 15, and 19
amendments as they relate to the lesson. To make it more meaningful for the students, use your class agreement and make changes to it. Explain changes are normally needed when something changes in the classroom. It works the same in the communities and world in which we live. Those changes are made possible by the people or citizens who use their 1
Amendment right to speak up for them.
In their own words, have students explain what an amendment is and its importance.
We will know we’ve got it when we can explain what an amendment is and how it helps the citizens of the U.S.
Why is it important for a learner to explain their own understanding and ideas during a discussion?
Possible people to research:
Charles Houston, Thurgood Marshall, Lyndon B. Johnson, Frederick Douglas, Nat Turner