The Bill of Rights
Air Date: December 2013
Live Chat: December 9, 2013, 7am-6pm EST
Civic Holiday: Bill of Rights Day
Explore the compelling story of our Constitution’s first ten amendments, from James Madison’s efforts to compile a list of essential freedoms, through the years when the document’s provisions were seldom applied, to present-day court cases that impact all Americans.
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Civic Holiday Resources
Before You Watch
- What, to you, is the most important right for a citizen to have in a free country? What’s the most important right for a student to have?
- How do we know what our rights are? Have we always had the same rights?
- Do you think all citizens should have the same rights? Why or why not?
- Can your rights ever be limited? In what ways or for what reasons?
- Are there any rights that we don’t necessarily have that you believe we should? Why?
After You Watch
- Where did the ideas for changes to the Constitution come from? What kinds of changes were being suggested?
- How did the Bill of Rights become part of the Constitution? Were all of the proposed changes accepted? How long did it take for them to be approved?
- Which freedoms are protected by the Bill of Rights? Which ones do you use regularly or rarely?
- When did the Bill of Rights become a more central part of how the Constitution is interpreted? Why?
- How do citizens-not the government-use the Bill of Rights to define their freedoms?