More than two centuries ago, our Founders drafted the Constitution to create an American government that could act with urgency on national issues without compromising individual rights and freedoms. It contained many provisions for rights but not a full listing of rights and protections from the government. Anti-Federalists fought hard to get a Bill of Rights added to the Constitution, and in 1791, the amendment process yielded the addition of the first 10 amendments, now referred to as the Bill of Rights. It spells out 27 provisions that protect a variety of rights and freedoms. As civic educators, we have the chance and the duty to make sure our students have a rich understanding of these rights and our constitutional history! 

December 15 is Bill of Rights Day.  People of the United States observe this day to commemorate the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791. The Center has many resources for you to use as you engage your students in inquiries and dialogues about the Bill of Rights. Whether you are looking for quick bell-ringer activities, sources for open or guided inquiry, or direct connections to We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution or Project Citizen, check out the curated podcasts, videos, readings, and lessons below.

60-Second Civics Podcasts

Use these 60-Second Civics Podcasts at the beginning and/or end of each class or anytime you want students to have a little fun with a specific aspect of the Bill of Rights.

Constitution EXPLAINED Video Series

Use our videos from the Constitution EXPLAINED series to explore the constitutional underpinnings related to the Bill of Rights. Play each 2-4-minute video once, then ask an inquiry question. Play a second time and discuss. 

If you teach, We the People or Project Citizen

If you teach We the People Levels 1, 2, & 3


  • Level 3, Unit 1, Lesson 3: What Historical Developments Influenced Modern Ideas of Individual Rights? 
  • Level 3, Unit 1, Lesson 3: What Basic Ideas about Rights and Constitutional Governments Did Colonial Americans Hold? 
  • Level 3, Unit 3, Lesson 18: How Has the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment Changed the Constitution? 
  • Level 3, Unit 5, Lessons 27-32: Unit 5 answers the inquiry, “How does the Constitution protect our basic rights?” 


  • Level 2, Unit 5, Lessons 23-27: Unit 5 answers the inquiry, “How does the Constitution protect our basic rights?” 


  • Level 1, Unit 3, Lesson 11: What Basic Ideas about Government Are Included in the Preamble to the Constitution? 
  • Level 1, Unit 4, Lessons 17-21: Unit 4 answers the inquiry, “How does the Constitution protect our basic rights?” 


  • Unit 2, Lesson 8: What Is Our Constitution? 
  • Unit 2, Lesson 9: What Purposes of Government Are in the Declaration of Independence? 
  • Unit 2, Lesson 11: What Are Our Rights And Responsibilities in Our Democracy? 

If you teach Project Citizen Level 1


  • Step 2: Learning about Public Policy (p. 6)

We the People: Free Online Open Courses


Type of Course: Safe-paced
Length:  6 weeks (suggested)

Effort:  6 to 8 hours per week 
Price: Free Level:
Introductory Language: English

This course takes you from the philosophical foundations of the U.S. Constitution through the modern interpretation and application of its ideals. You will find videos of noted scholars explaining key aspects of the Constitution and online exercises to check for understanding. The course follows the We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution Level 3 textbook, which has been used throughout the country to further understanding of our government and its fundamental principles.

This is a free, self-paced course. It contains six units of instruction with multiple lessons in each unit. You can complete the course at your own pace and in your own time. 

Correlations to Bill of Rights Day:

  • The creation of the U.S. Constitution 
  • The Bill of Rights and other amendments to the Constitution 

Other excellent resources from our sister organizations!


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