Lesson Plan


This lesson teaches students about the 2nd Amendment and how it is represented in the media. It also allows them to express their views on the 2nd Amendment through the use of various media sources.


  • Social Studies > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 9
  • Grade 10
  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12
  • Higher Education
  • Graduate
  • Undergraduate-Upper Division
  • Undergraduate-Lower Division


Civics Civic Education Media Literacy



Access Privileges:


License Deed:

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0


This resource has not yet been aligned.
Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 3, as of 2011-06-29.

Component Ratings:

Technical Completeness: 3
Content Accuracy: 3
Appropriate Pedagogy: 2

Reviewer Comments:

This resource gives students the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the views of specific Founding Fathers. Students work cooperatively to research an assigned Founding Father and then create a video project that highlights the views on key issues of the Constitutional Convention. In conclusion, students are asked to make connections to current issues. The lesson plan is well-organized and thorough with detailed procedures, relevant links, and materials. As mentioned at the beginning of the lesson plan, it is important that students have strong background knowledge prior to beginning the activity. Also, Internet access is necessary for the lesson as it is described, but adjustments could be made in its absence.
Amanda DeArmond
October 8, 2014

I think that this lesson plan will really help students learn how to become informed on a topic before having an opinion on it. I love how they hear both sides of the story and then have to defend their own viewpoint via a mock interview. The only part of this lesson plan that I don't like is the website creation and post. I don't want people to blindly pass forward information that others have presented, but rather express their own opinions. The goal of this lesson isn't to support one claim of the 2nd amendment over another, but to have the students think independently. Why force them to share things on the media? I think that the interview is sufficient for the student to showcase and challenge what they believe.

George Atkins
April 13, 2013

I really enjoy this lesson plan, especially during an election year. I also like how you picked an amendment that is a hot topic in today society. The best part about this lesson is having students select an political party. Students will not just know the parties stance on gun control, but by doing research, they will find out the parities other political stances. I believe that lesson plan is also good for building students personal stances on hot topics in government, and finding their voice to defend their political stance.

John E. Fairbanks
June 17, 2011

I absolutely love all of the interaction that this lesson plan has. I am CRAZY about using twitter and social media in the classroom, and I think you guys did an awesome job at incorporating that. The fact that you used individuals and allowed an overall discussion is great for a topic that can be so easily mislead by any student that may have heard their parents or Mr. Beck talk about gun control. I love the amount that you gave the students to take on and I feel like you really drove home the concept of having high expectations of your students, whether they were 7th or 12th graders. Nice job. I will happily "borrow" this for a civics lesson some time down the road.

Amy Erdman
June 17, 2011

This lesson plan is great. I think that it sounds like a fun and authentic way to approach the 2nd Amendment and gun control policy which is a topic most people have a very firm stance on. I think that students would enjoy creating an interview as well as an Internet news source to demonstrate their knowledge of the 2nd Amendment from their chosen/assigned point of view. Its hard to find something to improve upon, but if I had to choose something it might be to make sure students understand and have background knowledge on the different groups they would be representing (Tea Party, ACLU, Republican, Democrat, etc) just to make sure they understand their groups ideology before the project. If my future school has the means, I would love to use this activity and assessment style to teach my students about this topic as well as many other topics. I think by having a variety of points-of-view, the class will begin to understand why, in the real world, we still find such conflict over the meaning of the 2nd Amendment. I think its great to teach students that while the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and it guides us through law daily, it is not unchangeable and it does not hold one specific interpretation.

Steven Johnson
June 17, 2011

First and foremost I must say that I really enjoyed your content selection for the development of your authentic assessment lesson plan. I’m sure that you were both probably expecting a response from me knowing that this is a controversial issue that is near and dear to my heart being both an N.R.A. advocate for concealed weapons and ritual hunter. So naturally I was really excited when I was reading your team’s lesson plan about the 2nd Amendment. I thought that this was a great venue to implement cooperative elements of authentic controversial discussion and civic education. Additionally, I really enjoyed how you guys engaged your students with inquiry based learning techniques in their analyses of the different organizations and their positions on the 2nd Amendment before they chose which organization they were going to represent. I also really like how you guys threw a “monkey wrench” into the initial proposed method of increasing public awareness, through the use of differentiating internet media networks your students were required to adapt to. The only small, respectful suggestion I might make to your lesson plan, is to maybe consider adding a reflection assignment for you students complete at the conclusion of the assessment. Where they would have the opportunity to individually reflect on everything they have just experienced, in addition to having the opportunity to articulate whether or not this experience has altered their perceptions on the 2nd Amendment. All things considered, you guys did a Great Job! I will definitely be adapting this assessment into my personal lesson plan my archives and as Emma expressed in the Elluminate forum the other day, this is totally “Clutch!”

Teddy Kamburov
June 16, 2011

I think this is a really great lesson plan. I personally always like to use either quotes or questions that students see as they walk into the class. It's a really efficient way to use time and start class going and I love your idea of posting the 2nd amendment on the board. I also really like that you use so many different media outlets to address the 2nd amendment. The only thing I would change about this lesson is to make it a little more simple in terms of the worksheet - I think there's a little much for a 7th grader to take in on one page. If you break it up a little bit it makes the lesson seem more manageable in a 12 year-old's eyes. It can be discouraging for a child to look at a ton of writing on a page and it may even be a little intimidating (speaking from experience). Other than that, I would totally use this lesson for Civics next year, which I am actually teaching so I am psyched to have all these great resources from everyone!

Tully Clark
June 16, 2011

Great lesson! I would definitely use this in my class. I agree with Liz that it is great that you have students work individually to develop their own thoughts and opinions on the issue. As a student, I would have appreciated this approach as well. I really like how you have students evaluating the video clips and prepare them to share in the format of an interview-very interesting and alternative assessment there. The video clips you have are excellent at representing diverse viewpoints, your lesson is well laid out and precise, and I love the fact that you started off with a quote/questions...I know that's a small thing but I think it's a great way to get students thinking as an opening activity. One thing that I might do to require students to think a little deeper about this entire lesson is to have them write a paper or create some type of project that has them reflect a little about their opinions/what they learned. All around-great job!

Emily Ann
June 16, 2011

This is a great lesson plan. It's interactive and has parts for each type of learner. It shows each side of the issue while showing the facts. One of the questions given at the beginning of the lesson: "Our nation has not fought a battle on its own land in over a century. Knowing this, does this change your opinion on the 2nd Amendment, why or why not?" was a really good way for students to begin thinking about the topic, even if they do not have a great deal of background knowledge on the topic. The video clips were very interesting and I love how well you incorporated media into the lesson. I also really liked how you threw some curve balls at the students as the worked through the assignment to keep them interested and on their toes. I would absolutely use this lesson in my classroom. Great job guys!

Sara Thompson
June 16, 2011

Dustin & Joe ~
I really like the fact that you catered your topic toward a specific Amendment. What a great and relevant way to bring the Bill of Rights to life by talking about it in context today. I loved the video clips and the way you have students analyzing them prior to creating their own statements for their organizations. Like Liz said, I also really appreciate the use of social media in the assignment. The only thing that I was confused about is if students will have clear-cut ideas about what all of the groups think about the 2nd Amendment. I would assume that you allow time for them to research or have information for them to reference? Anyway, loved this and definitely want to use it if I get the chance! :) Great job!

Liz Raasch
June 15, 2011

I'm going to review your lesson while reading it, so it might sound like train of thought. Bear with me :)

First off, I applaud you for making this an individual assignment. If students were paired or in a group, their opinions could have been stifled by another, more boisterous student. Good job! Good job on the worksheet to accompany the videos. In my internship, I found that if the students were given the opportunity to not do anything, they sure would take it. Worksheets like that will ensure that they all participate. Its great that you chose to make this a discussion. Such a controversial issue is best discussed through, well, discussion. You guys really did a great job with choosing to discuss this issue. This is a topic that cannot be taught without discussion. I really love how you guys also chose to implement twitter and social media. It's true that not everyone has cable (or even watches the news) so making the students use social media is a testament to today's society.

Great job guys! I'll be taking this lesson in case I teach civics :)

Non-profit Tax ID # 203478467