Documents That Shape Society

This Documents That Shape Society activity & project also includes:

The Bill of Rights is a foundational document of American democracy, much like the Nuremberg Laws were a foundational document of the Reichstag of Nazi Germany. But that's where their similarities end. Engage high schoolers in a discussion about the documents, including the rights both allotted and denied to various citizens, and encourage them to view the primary sources through different historical perspectives.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Incorporate into a lesson on totalitarianism or when working toward a World War II unit
  • Have members of a campus tolerance group review the activity during a meeting
  • Prompt learners to choose a class discussion question to base an argument essay
Classroom Considerations

  • Inform parents before you plan to implement the lesson in class; make the objectives, procedures, and connections to your unit as clear as possible
  • Consider eliminating the role-play part of the lesson if you deem it too controversial for class members to pretend to be Nazi sympathizers
  • Does not include a rubric
  • Based on a visit to the Museum of Tolerance, but applicable to a classroom with an appropriate amount of background information
Pros

  • Thought-provoking twist to a typical lesson on the Bill of Rights
  • Provides multiple options for formative and summative assessment
Cons

  • None