Everyone got a pocket copy of the Constitution/Declaration/Bill of Rights and quiz questions and a flag pin from here. Want to write an essay? Go here to get the information about the Being an American essay contest (Essay may be submitted through Bill of Rights Day – December 15, 2011. Question: How does the Constitution establish and maintain a culture of liberty?) Books that we read:
Declaration of Independence, because you have to start with the very beginning when you are talking about the US government.
Writing the Constitution, how did the Continental Congress come up with and agree on a document like the Constitution?
Bill of Rights, if you don’t know what your rights are, how do you know when they are being infringed upon?
Supreme Court, the law of the land, what does the building look like where the 9 justices sit? How are they appointed? (The President) How long do they hold office? (A lifetime.)
Unite or Die, a cute book showing the progress of the government as a school play.
We the People, we didn’t read this one, but it has wonderful pictures and a more thorough text.
As we read through the books we talked about the branches of government – what they do, what the requirements are to be in them, how they came about. I even went over the way to remember capitol vs. capital (capitol has an ‘o’ in it, just like the dome that is in most capitol buildings. It’s the place where the body of legislature meets. Capital refers to the city that holds the seat of government in the state. We have a lovely Capitol building here in the Denver, the Capital of Colorado.)
We talked about our rights and our duties as citizens. If you don’t want to vote, lets get rid of the 15th, 19th and 26th amendments that give people the right to vote! We went over the first 10 amendments, the Bill of Rights. Do you know them? (We had a book that was a bit more kid friendly than this.)
1st Protects the freedom of religion, speech, and the press, as well as the right to assemble and petition the government (peacefully assemble)
2nd Protects the right to bear arms
3rd Prohibits the forced quartering of soldiers out of war time
4th Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and sets out requirements for search warrants based on probable cause
5th Sets out rules for indictment by grand jury and eminent domain, protects the right to due process, and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy
6th Protects the right to a fair and speedy public trial by jury, including the rights to be notified of the accusations, to confront the accuser, to obtain witnesses and to retain counsel
7th Provides for the right to trial by jury in certain civil cases, according to common law
8th Prohibits excessive fines and excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment
9th Asserts the existence of unenumerated rights retained by the people
10th Limits the powers of the federal government to those delegated to it by the Constitution
We ended by walking through the steps that take a bill into a law.
Here are some links to government items for kids:
And of course, the Schoolhouse rock videos!
How a bill becomes a law
See a Thomas Jefferson reenactor – Belmar Library 555 S. Allison Pkwy. Lakewood CO
2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 (tomorrow!)