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Friday, March 16, 2012

Day 133- Hello, my name is Bill... of Rights

It's Friday, it's the weekend, and I can scarcely keep my eyes open. I think Mr. Russell and I deserve a medal for surviving this week with our sanity intact. So, Mr. Russell, this award is for us!

Today we finished our Citizens and Bill of Rights lesson. We covered the rights and responsibilities of citizens. We talked about how to become a citizen of this great country, and what is expected of us when we come of age. We also discussed how we are 'practicing' our rights now so we will be ready for adulthood later.

Now I don't ask for much, just for my students to pay attention and placate me on occasion. I'll have you know that no one laughed at my play-on-words with my picture. It's a Citizen- Ship! A ship with citizens! I'm slowly realizing that I'm the only one with my sense of humor.

Oh well, my students can tell you any of the answers to these questions. I would wager that some fifth graders, heck, even adults, who couldn't answer these question! I used  wonderful website called Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for my age appropriate information. Check it out!

After reviewing citizenship, we moved on to my buddy Bill. He teaches us about the Bill of Rights! The main idea I want my students to leave with after this lesson- we all have rights. My rights as a citizen end where another citizen's rights begin. I have to make sure to not infringe on another person's rights!

1. Freedom of Speech- (we drew a mouth) You are allowed to say whatever you want! However, just because you can doesn't mean you should. So watch what you say.
2. Freedom of the Press- (we drew a pencil) I am allowed to write and share what I know to be true. My perspective might be different from another person's, so my truth might not match everyone's truth, but I have the right to write it anyway!
3. Right to a Fair Trial- (we drew a gavel) If I am accused of something, I'm allowed to tell my side of the story- and someone has to listen!
* I told my students that if they ever ended up in Mr. Evans' office, they were to stay calm, and in a rational voice say, "Mr. Evans, as an American citizen, I have the right to a fair trial. I'm ready to tell my side of the story." He would be totally impressed!*
4. Right to Bare Arms- (we drew a muscle on the arm) This means that you have the right to protect what is yours.
5. Freedom of Religion- ( we drew a knee- to symbolize kneeling) This means you are allowed to believe whatever you want to believe, and no one can tell you you're wrong!
*We also discussed how this is a touchy topic with many people, so we need to stay calm and open when entering a discussion on different religions. We should be able to share our beliefs with civility and a willingness to learn.*
6. Freedom of Assembly- (we drew shoes- they take us places!) This means that we have to right to come together on public property and share our ideas and thoughts. We also have to assemble peacefully, otherwise we have infringed on others' rights to stay safe.

I love this lesson! I try to give real-life examples of each right, and tell how they came to be in existence. We went over everything we learned, then I decided it was time we took our knowledge to the masses. We created Talking Tags.

Talking Tags are just index cards with talking points on them. We created Talking Tags about what we just learned, and my students took turns wearing them the rest of the day. Our goal was to find adults in the building and have them ask us what was on our tags. Students who could answer the questions from their tags received 5 tickets for their team! Once a student has answered their question, they have to pass their tag to someone without a tag.

We found adults everywhere! Our friendly lunch ladies asked the questions while we went through the lunch line! We found teachers on the playground! We found teachers in the hallways and in the gym! And everyone we talked to was so proud of my Soldiers! Well done!

*I'm creating another post this weekend of the Strong Men who came today to give a demonstration. I'm not sure of their team's name, I'm going to have to do some research, but the students loved it! Be checking back to see the videos!*

Also- we have a new Celebrity reader tomorrow! Check back in the morning!

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