One of my favorite parts of teaching in the middle school is the sense of fairness students demand. Learning about our basic rights to help them formulate a rebuttal to unfair rules is a real world lesson. Students all call out, “Freedom of Speech!” when they complain, and discovering there is a responsibility and a process that accompanies that freedom from the Bill of Rights of our Constitution gives them the skills to make change. Right in that first amendment it says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Helping students formulate petitions for their frustration at not being able to chew gum, wear hats, or use electronic devices– and receiving redress in some way for those complaints, which stem from their middle school needs is a powerful experience and lesson. I’ve found it to also raise the level of understanding for students for rules, and the level of their acceptance of leadership and responsibility.
I think we all need to review our Bill of Rights, and participate as citizens more actively by participating in community conversations to bring about understanding, acceptance, and compromise.
Here is the Public Domain copy of First Amendment:
My Sketch50 topic today was ‘megaphone’ or ‘microphone.’ It fits with this topic:
The vote is cast
The order given
In every group
Bad, too, finds a lair.
Bad / good
Found in all
So single none:
Else divided we fall.
Not one, but many.
Morehouse College: We Shall Overcome And here is Pete Seeger in
And Pete Seeger historical civil rights recording :
Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Triangle Concept