US Courts Third Annual Bills of Rights Day Student Contest

In eighth grade social studies at Shorewood Intermediate School, students recently participated in the third annual Bills of Rights Day student contest sponsored by the Judicial Learning Center and U.S. Courts. ELA and social studies teacher Jasper Brown, along with four eighth grade students - Abby Cashman, Lillian Adams, Presley Fudala, and McKhale Wesley, attended the Board meeting to present their reflections on their projects.

This was the first year SIS students participated in the competition and it was introduced into the curriculum because of four components - use of authentic learning; support of a socially just and conscious community; alignment to State Standards; and integration of interdisciplinary learning.

The project prompted students to answer three important questions: Why is the Bill of Rights an important part of our democracy? What part of the Bill of Rights is most important to you and why? How do protections provided by the Bill of Rights impact your everyday life?

The students each selected an amendment, did independent research on that amendment–studying past and past and present examples–and were allowed to complete their project through one of three ways (video/multimedia, art project, or essay/creative writing piece). 

  • Abby did a written piece on the First Amendment. Learn more here (at 6:56).
  • Lillian did a clay art project on the First Amendment. She received Honorable Mention recognition for her piece. Learn more here (at 7:26). 
  • Presley did a video on the First Amendment. Learn more here (at 8:27).
  • McKhale did an art project on the Fourth Amendment. Learn more here (at 8:58)

Additionally, student Ira Blackmore (who was not present at the Board meeting) was named a national finalist for her piece and received a $100 award.

To view all of the Bill of Rights Day submissions from our SIS students, click here.