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Lesson Plan by Mitchell Zuvela B. Sc., B. Ed.

Principles of American Constitutional Government

Pixton Lesson Plan on Principles of American Constitutional Government

Make United States history come to life with comics!

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Pixton Lesson Plan on Principles of American Constitutional Government
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings United States history to life with comics and storyboards.
Pixton Lesson Plan on Principles of American Constitutional Government

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Principles of American Constitutional Government

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Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

Principles of American Constitutional Government

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

The Bill of Rights is one of the most important documents that protects personal freedoms, and limits the government's powers. It is important that your students understand what rights they have as an American citizen. The original Bill of Rights was a collective name for the first 10 amendments. These amendments were statements that provided certain safeguards of democracy—specific guarantees of personal freedoms and rights; clear limitations on the government's power in judicial proceedings; and explicit declarations that all powers not specifically delegated to Congress by the Constitution are reserved for the states or the people.

With input from your students, create a Bill of Rights for your classroom that outlines the rights of students in your school. When complete, your amendments can be displayed in the classroom for your students to follow.

Opening Discussion

The rights and freedoms of Americans have been represented in music, speech, and art for centuries. Explore how popular culture has interpreted the Bill of Rights through the following examples:

  • Music: “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield
  • Art: The Four Freedoms Exhibit by Norman Rockwell
  • Speech: “I Have a Dream” Martin Luther King
Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Comic
    The Bill of Rights

    View Activity
  • Make a Comic
    Branches of the U.S. Government

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Comic (Extension / Modification)

    Using the Flickr Creative Commons, choose a variety of pictures to create a satirical Comic Strip about the Bill of Rights or American Constitution.

  • Extension / Modification
    Poster (Extension / Modification)

    Create an informative Poster outlining the main ten amendments of the Bill of Rights.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

Play a memory game with your class about the Bill of Rights. Provide your class with a sheet that has 20 squares on the page. On the left side, students will list the first 10 amendments. On the right side, students will write a brief summary of the first 10 amendments. Students will cut out the squares and use them in a memory game. The squares will be randomly flipped over and students will need to match the amendment, to the correct definition. Every match counts as a point!

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Principles of American Constitutional Government 1 The Bill of Rights

Instructions

Create a Mind Map listing four to six amendments outlined in the Bill of Rights (e.g. freedom of speech, free assembly etc.).

Each panel should include:

  • A title identifying the amendment
  • A detailed description
  • An appropriate illustration

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: The Bill of Rights

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Understanding of Concepts • explains with extensive detail
• numerous connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions are comprehensive
• explains with detail
• considerable connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions have purpose
• explains with sufficient detail
• several connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions have basic purpose
• explains with limited detail
• limited connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions have little purpose
• explains with no detail
• very few connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions have no purpose
Inquiry/Research Skills • Extensive use of details; support from a wide variety of sources
• Facts are accurate and complete
• Source are accurately listed
• Considerable use of details; support from several sources
• Facts are accurate
• Sources are accurately listed
• Includes several relevant details; basic use of sources
• Facts are consistent
• Sources listed
• Some relevant details included; sources are limited
• Facts contain some inaccuracies
• No sources listed
• Very few relevant use of details
• Facts are inaccurate or false
• No sources listed
Communication • excellent communication of ideas
• statements are dynamic with extensive development
• descriptions are purposeful and well organized
• effective communication of ideas
• statements are powerful with appropriate development
• descriptions are concise and organized
• sufficient communication of ideas
• statements are consistent with increasing development
• descriptions are basic and organized
• poor communication of ideas
• statements are general with some development
• descriptions are limited and unorganized
• inadequate communication of ideas
• statement are general with little development
• descriptions are incomplete and unorganized
Style • correct sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation; may include some errors in complex structures
• panels are highly organized with exceptional use of supporting details
• few errors in basic sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors do not interfere with meaning
• panels have excellent organization with effective use of supporting details
• occasional errors in sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors rarely interfere with meaning
• panels have basic organization and supporting details
• several errors in sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors may make parts hard to follow
• panels have limited organization and supporting details
• repeated errors in basic sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar often make the writing hard to understand
• panels are unorganized and lack supporting details
Total
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Principles of American Constitutional Government 2 Branches of the U.S. Government

Instructions

Create a Storyboard that outlines the purpose, function, and powers of the three branches of government:

  • Legislative
  • Judicial
  • Executive

Each panel should include:

  • A detailed description
  • An appropriate illustration

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Branches of the U.S. Government

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Understanding of Concepts • explains with extensive detail
• numerous connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions are comprehensive
• explains with detail
• considerable connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions have purpose
• explains with sufficient detail
• several connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions have basic purpose
• explains with limited detail
• limited connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions have little purpose
• explains with no detail
• very few connections made between concept and activity
• illustrations and descriptions have no purpose
Inquiry/Research Skills • Extensive use of details; support from a wide variety of sources
• Facts are accurate and complete
• Source are accurately listed
• Considerable use of details; support from several sources
• Facts are accurate
• Sources are accurately listed
• Includes several relevant details; basic use of sources
• Facts are consistent
• Sources listed
• Some relevant details included; sources are limited
• Facts contain some inaccuracies
• No sources listed
• Very few relevant use of details
• Facts are inaccurate or false
• No sources listed
Communication • excellent communication of ideas
• statements are dynamic with extensive development
• descriptions are purposeful and well organized
• effective communication of ideas
• statements are powerful with appropriate development
• descriptions are concise and organized
• sufficient communication of ideas
• statements are consistent with increasing development
• descriptions are basic and organized
• poor communication of ideas
• statements are general with some development
• descriptions are limited and unorganized
• inadequate communication of ideas
• statement are general with little development
• descriptions are incomplete and unorganized
Style • correct sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation; may include some errors in complex structures
• panels are highly organized with exceptional use of supporting details
• few errors in basic sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors do not interfere with meaning
• panels have excellent organization with effective use of supporting details
• occasional errors in sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors rarely interfere with meaning
• panels have basic organization and supporting details
• several errors in sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors may make parts hard to follow
• panels have limited organization and supporting details
• repeated errors in basic sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar often make the writing hard to understand
• panels are unorganized and lack supporting details
Total

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