The Bill of Rights

Air Date: December 2013

Live Chat: December 9, 2013, 7am-6pm EST

Runtime: 15:00

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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Discussion Questions

Before You Watch
  1. 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?
  2. How do we know what our rights are? Have we always had the same rights?
  3. Do you think all citizens should have the same rights? Why or why not?
  4. Can your rights ever be limited? In what ways or for what reasons?
  5. Are there any rights that we don’t necessarily have that you believe we should? Why?
After You Watch
  1. Where did the ideas for changes to the Constitution come from? What kinds of changes were being suggested?
  2. 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?
  3. Which freedoms are protected by the Bill of Rights? Which ones do you use regularly or rarely?
  4. When did the Bill of Rights become a more central part of how the Constitution is interpreted? Why?
  5. How do citizens-not the government-use the Bill of Rights to define their freedoms?

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