First Amendment Lesson Plans
Here is a selection of lesson plans that cover various topics related to the First Amendment. Our lesson plans range from elementary to high school and were created by educators for educators.
Do you have a favorite First Amendment lesson plan? Please send it to us!
These plans will be a helpful resource to introduce or expand upon your students’ knowledge of the First Amendment. Each lesson plan is linked below as a downloadable PDF.
Free Speech and the First Amendment
Description: Using the landmark Tinker v. Des Moines Supreme Court case to learn about free speech, as well as the First Amendment in general.
Grade Span: Elementary School
Learn Your Five Freedoms Group Activity
Description: Have students work in small groups to learn about one of the five freedoms and consider how they might live that freedom. Then, have students come back together to review each freedom and learn more about the history and limitations of all the freedoms, as well as the way the five freedoms work together to support participatory democracy.
Grade Span: Middle School
Postal Censorship in the World War One Era
Description: Students act as censors after they read letters from the World War One era. Students will have viewed World War One propaganda and learned about censorship. Now they will make an emotional connection
by acting as the censor. Each student will be given a black sharpie and a photocopy of a World War One-era letter.
What (Not?) To Wear: Liberties and Limits of Clothing at School
Description: Students will learn about some liberties of and limits to freedom of speech that the Supreme Court has identified in two cases related to speech in schools, Tinker v. Des Moines and Morse v. Frederick. They will think about the concept of “symbolic speech” and how that might relate to clothing and accessories worn by students at school. They will create posters that can be displayed in classrooms, the library, or hallways of school to share their learning with the school community.
Grade Span: High School
The First Amendment and School
Description: Students read about a high school scenario that attempts to raise questions about all of the areas protected by the First Amendment. They will also be encouraged to explore the pivotal concept of the tension between government control versus private liberty.
Grade Span: High School