Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 5-12, students play a game called Your Bill of Rights, in which they run a law firm specializing in cases pertaining to the Bill of Rights. They challenge is to review a client’s issue and match him or her with an attorney specializing in that Bill of Right amendment. Students grow their firms with each correct match, enabling them to hire more attorneys.  

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Identify rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
  2. Recall the specific amendment that guarantees a particular right.
  3. Recognize complaints not involving constitutional rights.


  • Computers or other devices with Internet access
  • Interactive whiteboard


constitution, constitutional, law, practice, firm, bill of rights, amendments, legal, civics


This lesson plan features a game called Your Bill of Rights developed by our partner,  iCivics. In this game, students run a law firm that specializes in Bill of Rights issues, matching clients with lawyers with expertise in the appropriate amendment.

Review the Game Guide for step by step directions on how to play the game. Then, preview and play Your Bill of Rights to plan how you will adapt it to your students’ needs. If students will be playing in small groups, review tips on Setting Cooperative Gaming Expectations.

For ideas on how to use SnapThought with this game and for specific prompts to provide students with during game play, see Your Bill of Rights: SnapThought Prompts for My BrainPOP.

Build background knowledge or reinforce topics with these BrainPOP movies:

Bill of Rights, U.S. Constitution, Civil Rights, Scopes Monkey Trial, Miranda Rights, and Women’s Suffrage

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Draw a spider map on the whiteboard or chart paper with 10 nodes around the center. Write Bill of Rights in the center. Remind students that the Bill of Rights are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution that outline the basic rights of all American citizens. Ask students to share which of the amendments they can recall, and add them to the spider map. If necessary, you can suggest one, such as freedom of speech (1st Amendment).
  2. Once students recall as many of the Bill of Rights as they can, show the BrainPOP movie, Bill of Rights to the whole class. As each amendment is presented, make sure it’s on the spider map, or pause to add it. After the movie, review the 10 amendments to ensure that everyone understands them.
  3. Now ask students what people can do if they believe their rights have been violated. Guide them to recognize that when a law has been broken, a lawyer specializing in constitutional rights can fight their case in court.
  4. Display the game Your Bill of Rights on the whiteboard. Tell students that in this game, they will run a law firm specializing in cases related to Bill of Rights issues. Explain that the objective is to first determine if a client has a viable case, and if so to match the client with a lawyer who has an expertise in the amendment associated with the issue.  Walk students through the basics of the game.
  5. Then have students play the game individually or in pairs at their own computers for at least 20 minutes. Circulate as students play, listening in to their discussions and decision-making, providing support as needed.
  6. If students have individual logins through My BrainPOP, encourage them to use the SnapThought® tool to take snapshots during gameplay. Review Your Bill of Rights: SnapThought Prompts for My BrainPOP for suggested prompts.
  7. After students have played the game, come back together as a class to discuss their experience. You can use the following questions to prompt discussion:  
    • How did you decide which lawyers to hire?
    • When learning about a case, how did you determine whether the client’s rights had been violated or not?
    • Which case did you find most challenging? Why?
    • Which amendment would you want to specialize in and why?

Extension Activities:

Have students play a version of Your Bill of Rights game offline. Make your classroom the law firm. Assign some students to the roles of lawyers, each specializing in a different Bill of Rights amendment. Have other students play the clients and help them come up with cases in which one of their first ten amendment rights have been violated. Allow time for them to play.