The bill  of rights

Words: 401-500

Skills: Fact and Opinion Summary

Grades: 9th 10th 11th 12th

Topics: History and Political Writings

Genres: Informational Prose

Lexile Range: 1300L +

Lexile Measure: 1390L

CCSS: Reading: Informational Text


The U.S. Bill of Rights

The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution are called the Bill of Rights. These amendments were finally ratified in 1791. Students will read the amendments and answer questions on the meaning of different amendments.

Reading Comprehension Passage

The U.S. Bill of Rights

Amendment I  
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.  

Amendment II  
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.  

 Amendment III  
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.  

Amendment IV  
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.  

Amendment V  
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.  

 Amendment VI  
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.  

Amendment VII  
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.  

Amendment VIII  
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.  

 Amendment IX  
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.  

Amendment X  
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Passage Only

Reading Comprehension Questions

1. In Amendment I, Congress is denied the power to enact laws that restrict, abridge, or prohibit a list of things. Name three of these things.  

2. "Pleading the Fifth Amendment" is a common term that references Amendment V. What does this article say that is interpreted as "pleading the Fifth."  

3. Who gets the powers that are not given to the United States by the Constitution? In what amendment does this appear?  

4. Which amendment references the right to have the assistance of an attorney in a criminal trial?