This lesson can be completed in 1 class period)
Students are put into five groups and are to read through the primary document assigned to their group:
- “Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen” http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/declaration.html
- “Declaration of Independence” http://odur.let.rug.nl/%7Eusa/D/1776-1800/independence/doi.htm
- “United States Bill of Rights” http://www.harbornet.com/rights/usbor.txt
- “English Bill of Rights” http://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/england.asp
- “Magna Carta” http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/translation.html
Each group must make a list of the 10 most important rights the document outlines.
When the class comes back together, each group picks a spokesperson for the group. Each group will present their list. When presenting their lists, spokespeople should take on the persona of the document. For example, “Iam the Magna Carta and I guarantee the following…”
After the presentations, the class should brainstorm the common principles of each of the documents. The teacher should keep a list on the board. You may also do differences.
Discussion may follow about why the commonalities exist. Perhaps which principles they think are the most important.
In class or for homework students are to respond to the following in a least one page:
“Rights involve responsibilities. Examine how the primary documents just considered hold the individual responsible for his or her own freedom. Also consider how you, living in today’s world, have to take responsibility for your own freedoms.”