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Introduction to the First Amendment (Middle School)

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Students understand the five freedoms of the First Amendment and how they play a role in their lives.

This unit introduces students to the five freedoms of the First Amendment: religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. It includes pre- and post-visit activities designed to bracket the Introduction to the First Amendment EDClass, plus a class-specific gallery guide. (The activities can also be done independent of a visit.) Through these experiences, students will see how the First Amendment plays a role in their daily lives and begin to understand the importance of these freedoms.

OBJECTIVE: Students understand the five freedoms of the First Amendment and how they play a role in their lives.

TARGET AUDIENCE: Middle school

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Overview PDF DOC
Worksheets PDF DOC
Extensions PDF DOC
Full Packet PDF DOC

To request a large print or Braille version, call 202.292.6650.


  • What freedoms does the First Amendment guarantee?
  • How do we use the five freedoms in our daily lives?
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  • The First Amendment
  • The role of the five freedoms in our daily lives
  • Balancing rights and responsibilities
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  1. Before Your Visit
    • My Five Freedoms: Students will be able to define the five freedoms of the First Amendment and provide examples of how they exercise these freedoms in their own lives.
  2. During Your Visit
    • NewseumED Class – Introduction to the First Amendment: This 15-minute lesson introduces students to the five freedoms of the First Amendment. How do they use their freedoms, and how might their lives be different without them?
    • You Can’t Say That in School Gallery Guide: This guide takes students through the Newseum’s First Amendment Gallery (Level 4) to see how their freedoms can be exercised daily and in school.
  3. After Your Visit
    • Would You Fight for All Five?: Students explore the interplay among the five First Amendment freedoms as they play an elimination game to determine the most important freedom.
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