Name:write on line Date:write on line

Know Your Rights!

PART 1: Have you ever thought about what it would be like if you were never allowed to say what you think? Or if it was illegal to gather with your friends? In some places around the world, people cannot do things such as these. In the United States, we are allowed to say what we think and meet with groups of our friends. These are a few of our basic rights and freedoms. These basic rights and freedoms are protected in the first ten amendments of the Constitution. These ten amendments are called the Bill of Rights.

Find a copy of the Bill of Rights. Read each of the ten amendments carefully to learn about your basic rights and freedoms. When you are finished, complete the activity below.

PART 2: In each blank, write the amendment in the Bill of Rights that best describes each right or freedom.

1. The write on line Amendment says that people have the right to refuse to let soldiers stay in their homes.

2. The write on line Amendment protects our freedoms of speech and religion.

3. The write on line Amendment allows people who are accused of less serious crimes to have a trial with a jury.

4. The write on line Amendment says that people have the right to keep and carry weapons.

5. The write on line Amendment says that the powers the Constitution does not give to the United States government belong to the states or to the people living in the United States.

6. The write on line Amendment protects people and their property from unfair searches.

7. The write on line Amendment protects people's basic rights and freedoms that are not described in the Constitution.

8. The write on line Amendment protects people from being tried for the same crime more than one time.

9. The write on line Amendment protects people who are accused of serious crimes. They have the right to a speedy and public trial.

10. The write on line Amendment protects people who are being punished for a crime. The punishment must be fair and not too cruel.

PART 3: Now that you know what your basic rights and freedoms are, tell a friend! Pick one of the ten amendments of the Bill of Rights. Write a letter to a friend that helps him or her understand the rights and freedoms protected in that amendment. Make sure to include the following in your letter:

  • today's date
  • a greeting, such as "Dear Jill,"
  • a paragraph that explains why you are writing this letter
  • a paragraph explaining what the amendment you chose means to you
  • a closing, such as "Sincerely,"
  • your name


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