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Whose Rules

 The Bill of Rights - 13th Amendment

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

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Directions to Students:

In a cohesive paper or presentation, you will:
•    Identify a problem and a policy or law that attempts to solve it.
•    Explain one way the policy or law attempts to solve the problem and explain one way the policy or law is enforced.
•    Identify individuals and/or groups who participated in the policy or law-making process.
•    Explain three or more ways in which individuals and/or groups participated in the law-making process.
•    Provide reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with the law or policy by explaining how the law or policy does or does not promote two rights or democratic ideals with one supporting detail for each.
•    List three sources including the title, author, type of source, and date of each source.

    Possible Essential Questions: Choose One

    • Why did early American founders argue that individuals needed a Bill of Rights to protect them from government?
    • How did the Bill of Rights affect the rights of slaves?
    • Why was the thirteenth amendment created?


    Do you need additional information? Use these words and phrases to search Nettrekker, Proquest Magazine Index, E-Library, an online library catalog,  print encyclopedias or the World Wide Web:

    • Constitution   
    • Bill of Rights   
    • Amendments
    • Government    
    • Rule vs. Law   
    • Rights
    • Freedoms   
    • Democratic ideals, Democracy  
    • Citizen, Citizenship
    • Slavery
    • Sojourner Truth
    • Clara Barton
    • Abraham Lincoln
    • Dread Scott
    • Levi Coffin
    • John Brower
    • Harriet Tubman
    • Harriet Beecher Stowe
    • Frederick Douglass
    • Stephen Douglas
    Primary Sources:
    1. National Archives
      This site includes primary and secondary sources including images and documents. The above image comes from this site. Note: The address given is for images. Click here to go to the home page and search for additional documents including the Declaration of Independence.
    2. National Archives: The Charters of Freedom Scroll down to “A Voice of Dissent: George Mason” to learn about his influence on the addition of the amendments to the constitution.
    3. Our Documents Flash movies of primary source documents. Beautiful!
    4. Library of Congress: American Memory Page includes links to several well know African Americans and their stories.
    5. Valley of the Shadow The Valley of the Shadow is a digital archive of primary sources that document the lives of people in Augusta County, Virginia, and Franklin County, Pennsylvania, during the era of the American Civil War. Here you may explore thousands of original documents that allow you to see what life was like during the Civil War for the men and women of Augusta and Franklin.


    Bill of Rights

    1. NARA: The Bill of Rights This site contains a complete transcription of The Bill of Rights, along with zoomable graphics of the original handwritten text. Also includes information about the historical context of the document, links to more constitutional amendments, and much more. Wonderful site!
    2. The American Presidency: Bill of Rights presents an encyclopedia article about the Bill of Rights that includes its history and purpose.
    3. Congress for Kids: Bill of Right this site from Congress for Kids you can read a brief synopsis of the Bill of Rights and then complete the matching quiz by clicking on the link at the bottom. Be sure to visit the other links by visiting the section titled "learn more" at the bottom of the page!
    4. Understanding Primary Sources: Know Your Rights! This site is a detailed lesson to help students gain a better understanding of the Bill of Rights. After reading and analyzing the amendments, students will choose one and write a letter to a friend explaining that particular amendment.
    5. Scholastic Online Constitutional Rights Catchy and kid-friendly overview of the history of the Bill of Rights. Especially useful are the following links: The Bill of Rights: An Overview, Explaining the Bill of Rights, and Bill of Rights
    6. All About American Government Click on Bill of Rights to read a simplified version of this document. This website also speaks to the history of America’s system of government.
    7. America’s Story from America’s Library Interactive website written for kids. Tells who wrote and influenced the bill of rights, what was left out and had to be fought for later (minority and women’s rights)
    8. Archiving Early America Briefly tells why the amendments were proposed and a few key players in promoting the Bill of Rights.National Constitution Center Help restore the Constitution in this online interactive game.
    9. Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids When the Constitution was ratified in 1789, many people were concerned that it did not protect certain freedoms. They thought that the Constitution should be changed or amended to protect these freedoms. On December 15, 1791, ten amendments were added to the Constitution. These amendments guarantee certain freedoms and rights, so they are known as the Bill of Rights.


    1. Slavery and the Making of American First brought to America in 1619 and finally freed in 1865, slaves labored to make America what it is today. 
    2. Library of Congress: American Memory: Born in Slavery
      This site contains first-person narratives of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves that were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration.
    3. Slavery In America - Companion to PBS Documentary This comprehensive companion site for the PBS documentary with the same title offers lessons, pictures, an encyclopedia of people and places, an interactive slavery environment, and other fascinating features.
    4. National Geographic:The Underground Railroad:The Journey A most compelling and interactive site. Here you will take a virtual tour from being a slave to freedom. The tour allows you to make decisions as to what you would do in a given situation.
    5. AAR: Lincoln Orders Freedom for Slaves! President Lincoln was determined to rid America of slavery. Read this brief overview to learn about his brave steps which began with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and ended with the establishment of the 13th Amendment.
    6. Sojourner Truth (Isabella Baumfree) A summary of Sojourner Truth's life, family background, and accomplishments

    Video Streaming:

    Explore the history of democracy and the creation of American government. Students learn about the foundations of democracy and the creation of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
    Curriculum Standards  
    Grade: 5-8         © 2006 Discovery Channel School
    This video contains 5 segments
    Investigate the United States' early history of slavery and the legacy of the battle for equal rights in this country. Examine the major social and economic challenges facing the North and the South after the Civil War. Take an in-depth look at Brown v. Board of Education, and assess the country's progress a half-century later.
    Teacher's Guide  
    Grade: 6-12         © 2005 Discovery Channel School
    This video contains 13 segments
    Harlan and Marie lead us step by step through the document that forms the basis of our governments. Students will learn about the ideals of American Constitutional government, the theory of the "We the People," and the concepts laid out by the Preamble. We'll also discuss how the Constitution empowers the government to fulfill its responsibilities, while at the same time limiting those powers.
    Blackline Masters   Teacher's Guide   Curriculum Standards  
    Grade: 5-8         © 1999 United Learning
    This video contains 10 segments
    Clotee is a young slave on Belmont Plantation. Clotee teaches herself to read and write and begins to keep a diary, in which she records her observations of life on the plantation. When abolitionists working for the Underground Railroad help slaves to escape to freedom, Clotee keeps their identity secret but chooses to stay at Belmont.
    Grade: 6-8    © 2001 Scholastic
    This video contains 5 segments
    The Underground Railroad was not a railroad and was not underground. It was a loose-knit network of people who offered shelter, food, safety, and encouragement to fugitive slaves on their life-threatening journeys to freedom. This video examines the institution of slavery-from capture in Africa to life on plantations in the South. Students will learn how slaves lived, how they were treated, what type of work they did, and why they so desperately wanted to escape from a life of bondage. The program reveals how Northern sympathies against slavery were heightened through such major milestones as the Dred Scott decision and the publication of Harriet Beecher Stowe's book, "Uncle Tom's Cabin." It also addresses the impact that abolitionists, like Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth, had on teaching Americans about the horrors of slavery.
    Blackline Masters   Teacher's Guide   Curriculum Standards  
    Grade: 6-8           © 1998 United Learning
    This video contains 15 segments
    Investigate the United States' early history of slavery and the legacy of the battle for equal rights in this country. Examine the major social and economic challenges facing the North and the South after the Civil War. Take an in-depth look at Brown v. Board of Education, and assess the country's progress a half-century later.
    Teacher's Guide  
    Grade: 6-12         © 2005 Discovery Channel School
    This video contains 13 segments
    This compelling program reveals how the interests of the industrial North and the agricultural South (the Cotton Belt) came to clash over critical issues such as plantation slavery, and how these issues eventually led to the secession of the southern states. It journeys along the Underground Railroad, highlighting the resistance of slavery, and introduces viewers to an American hero, Abraham Lincoln, and his momentous political and social vision.
    Curriculum Standards  
    Grade: 6-8    © 2003 100% Educational Videos
    This video contains 9 segments
    At a time when the North and South differed economically and socially, political compromise could no longer quell the division between the two factions. States' rights versus the constitution, tariffs, division of labor, slavery, abolitionism, and legislative mandates all led to the great war.
    Curriculum Standards  
    Grade: 6-8           © 1996 United Learning
    This video contains 20 segments

    Dewey Numbers 

    If you want to browse the shelves in the library to locate information about the Constitution the Bill of Rights or U.S. Laws, look for these numbers:

    • 306.3, 326 - Slavery
    • 342, 342.73 - Constitution, Bill of Rights, U.S. Law
    • 973 - U.S. History
    • B, 921 - Biography


      13th Amendment: These titles contain significant mention of the 13th Amendment even if that is not the focus of the title.

      342.73 CEF
      Cefrey, Holly. - The United States Constitution and early state constitutions : law and order in the new nation and states. Rosen Central Primary Source, 2004., RL 5.8, 32p
      Explains how the United States Constitution came to be, including events leading up to the Constitutional Convention, and explores how the Constitution changed the way the United States was governed.
      342.73 PEN
      Pendergast, Tom. - Constitutional amendments : from freedom of speech to flag burning. UXL, c2001., RL 8.9
      Contains entries that examine each of the twenty-seven amendments to the Constitution of the United States, examining the background of each amendment, ratification facts, and related court cases; and includes a look at amendments that were not ratified, as well as a general discussion of the amendment process.[Multi-Volume Set] 
      973.7 FRE or B LIN
      Freedman, Russell. - Lincoln : a photobiography.  Clarion Books, c1987., RL 7.4, 150p
      Photographs and text trace the life of the Civil War President.
      RC: 6.5 8 Lexile: 1110 

      973.7  LIN or B LIN

      Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865. - The Gettysburg address : and the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the Unites States of America. Welcome Books, 2007., RL 4.4
      Creatively illustrates Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address line-by-line, and includes quotations from Lincoln and such figures as Walt Whitman, Carl Sandburg, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
      973.7 Lin or B LIN
      Otfinoski, Steven. - Abraham Lincoln : America's 16th president. Children's Press, 2004., RL 6.5, 110p
      A biography of the sixteenth President of the United States.
      RC: 7.4 6 Lexile: 1030 
      973.7 SCH or B Lin
      Schott, Jane A., 1946- - Abraham Lincoln. Lerner, c2002., RL 5.2, 48p
      Photographs and easy-to-follow text introduce young readers to the life of Abraham Lincoln, including information on his strange habits, his presidency, and his personal and professional achievements.
      RC: 4.3 3 Lexile: 770 


      B DOU

      McKissack, Pat, 1944-. Frederick Douglass : leader against slavery. Rev. ed. Berkeley Heights, NJ : Enslow Pub., c2002.
      Simple text and illustrations describe the life and accomplishments of famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

      B FOR

      Yates, Elizabeth. Amos Fortune, free man. New York : Dutton, c1950.
      The life of the eighteenth-century African prince who, after being captured by slave traders, was brought to Massachusetts where he was a slave until he was able to buy his freedom at the age of sixty.

      B TRU

      Ferris, Jeri. Walking the road to freedom : a story about Sojourner Truth. Minneapolis : Carolrhoda, 1988.
      Traces the life of the African-American woman orator who spoke out against slavery throughout New England and the Midwest.

      B TRU

      McKissack, Pat, 1944-. Sojourner Truth : a voice for freedom. Rev. ed. Berkeley Heights, NJ : Enslow, c2002.
      Never lie. Never steal. Trust in God -- A slave no more -- From Belle to Sojourner -- Sojourner tells the truth -- Freedom! -- Words to know. Describes the life of the anti-slavery and women's rights activist, from her beginning in slavery to her tireless campaign for the rights and welfare of the freedmen.

      B TUB

      Schroeder, Alan. Minty : a story of young Harriet Tubman. New York : Puffin Books, 2000, c1996.
      Young Harriet Tubman, whose childhood name was Minty, dreams of escaping slavery on the Brodas plantation in the late 1820s.

      B WAS

      McKissack, Pat, 1944-. Booker T. Washington : leader and educator. Rev. ed. Berkeley Heights, NJ : Enslow, c2001.
      From slavery to freedom -- From Malden to Hampton -- From Hampton to Tuskegee -- The Tuskegee dream -- From poverty to fame. A biography of the former slave who founded Tuskegee University and later became one of the most powerful African-American leaders of the post-Civil War era.

      B WHE

      Gregson, Susan R. Phillis Wheatley. Mankato, Minn. : Bridgestone Books, c2002.
      Examines the life of Phillis Wheatley, the first African-American woman to publish a book, discussing her early life as a slave in Boston in the 1700s, the education and kind treatment she received from her owners, her experiences after being granted her freedom, and her later years.


      306.3 LEM

      Lemke, Donald B. The brave escape of Ellen and William Craft. Mankato, Minn. : Capstone Press, c2006.
      Presents a short history of the brave escape by slaves Ellen and William Craft in 1848, written in graphic novel format, and focuses on how the light-skinned Ellen disguised herself as a white slave owner while William posed as her slave in order to flee bondage in Georgia.

      326 ADL

      Adler, David A. Enemies of slavery. 1st ed. New York : Holiday House, c2004.
      Profiles fourteen American men and women who fought against slavery in the nineteenth century, including Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Elijah Lovejoy, and Lucretia Mott.

      704.03 NIC

      Nichols, Catherine. African American culture. Vero Beach, Fla. : Rourke, c2006.
      Presents works of art from African-American history, discussing what they say about African-American life, culture, and politics during the era of slavery, after emancipation, and throughout the twentieth century.

      973.7 RAP

      Rappaport, Doreen. Freedom river. 1st ed. New York : Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, c2000.
      Describes an incident in the life of John Parker, an ex-slave who became a successful businessman in Ripley, Ohio, and who repeatedly risked his life to help other slaves escape to freedom.

      975.5 BUR

      Burgan, Michael. Nat Turner's slave rebellion. Mankato, Minn. : Capstone Press, c2006.
      Provides an account of the slave rebellion of 1831 led by Virginia slave Nat Turner, and tells how the uprising was quelled by the militia and Turner later tried and hanged. Presented in graphic novel form.


      E HOP

      Hopkinson, Deborah. From slave to soldier : based on a true Civil War story. 1st ed. New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, c2005.
      A boy who hates being a slave joins the Union Army to fight for freedom, and proves himself brave and capable of handling a mule team when the need arises.

      E HOP

      Hopkinson, Deborah. Sweet Clara and the freedom quilt. 1st Dragonfly Books ed. New York : Dragonfly Books :, 1995, c1993.
      A young slave stitches a quilt with a map pattern which guides her to freedom in the North.

      E LEV

      Levine, Ellen. Henry's freedom box. 1st ed. New York : Scholastic Press, 2007.
      A fictionalized account of how in 1849 a Virginia slave, Henry "Box" Brown, escapes to freedom by shipping himself in a wooden crate from Richmond to Philadelphia.

      E STR

      Stroud, Bettye, 1938-. The patchwork path : a quilt map to freedom. 1st ed. Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press, 2005.
      While her father leads her toward Canada and away from the plantation where they have been slaves, a young girl thinks of the quilt her mother used to teach her a code that will help guide them to freedom.

      E WEA

      Weatherford, Carole Boston. Moses : when Harriet Tubman led her people to freedom. 1st ed. New York : Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, c2006.
      A fictionalized account of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery for freedom in Philadelphia, where she turns her talents to leading others along the Underground Railroad.

      E WIN

      Winter, Jeanette. Follow the drinking gourd. 1st Dragonfly Books ed. New York : Knopf :, 1992, c1988.
      Runaway slaves journey north along the Underground Railroad to freedom in Canada, following the directions in a song taught to them by one of the Railroad's conductors, an old sailor named Peg Leg Joe. Based on real events. Includes the song's music and lyrics.

      E WRI

      Wright, Courtni Crump. Journey to freedom : a story of the underground railroad. 1st ed. New York : Holiday House, c1994.
      Joshua and his family, runaway slaves from a tobacco plantation in Kentucky, follow the Underground Railroad to freedom.

      FIC CLA

      Clark, Margaret Goff. Freedom crossing. New York : Scholastic, c1980.
      When Laura returns to her home in New York after living with her aunt and uncle in Virginia for four years, she discovers that her father and brother are helping runaway slaves escape to Canada.

      FIC COL

      Collier, James Lincoln, 1928-. War comes to Willy Freeman. New York : Dell, 1987, c1983.
      A free thirteen-year-old black girl in Connecticut is caught up in the horror of the Revolutionary War and the danger of being returned to slavery when her patriot father is killed by the British and her mother disappears.

      FIC DEU

      Deutsch, Stacia. Lincoln's legacy. 1st Aladdin Paperbacks ed. New York : Aladdin Paperacks, 2005.
      Abigail and her friends travel to the past on an urgent mission when their time-traveling teacher returns from the mid-nineteenth century to report that President Abraham Lincoln is thinking about quitting, leaving the issue of slavery unresolved.

      FIC HAM

      Hamilton, Virginia, 1936-2002. The house of Dies Drear. Aladdin Paperbacks ed. New York : Aladdin Paperbacks, 2006, c1996.
      Thomas Small and his family move into an old house that was once used as part of the Underground Railroad and soon realize that the house, where two fugitive slaves and Dies Drear himself had been killed by bounty hunters, continues to hold many secrets.

      FIC HAN

      Hansen, Joyce. I thought my soul would rise and fly : the diary of Patsy, a freed girl. New York : Scholastic, c1997.
      Twelve-year-old Patsy keeps a diary of the ripe but confusing time following the end of the Civil War and the granting of freedom to former slaves. Twelve-year-old Patsy keeps a diary of the exciting but confusing time following the end of the Civil War and the granting of freedom to former slaves.

      FIC HES

      Hesse, Karen. A light in the storm : the Civil War diary of Amelia Martin. 1st ed. New York : Scholastic, 1999.
      In 1860 and 1861, while working in her father's lighthouse on an island off the coast of Delaware, fifteen-year-old Amelia records in her diary how the Civil War is beginning to devastate her divided state.

      FIC LES

      Lester, Julius. Day of tears : a novel in dialogue. 1st ed. New York : Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, c2005.
      Presents an historical fiction written in first-person format that follows Emma, the slave of Pierce Butler, through a series of events in her life as her master hosts the largest slave auction in American history in Savannah, Georgia in 1859 in order to pay off his mounting gambling debts.

      FIC LEV

      Levitin, Sonia, 1934-. Dream freedom. 1st ed. San Diego : Harcourt, c2000.
      Marcus and his classmates learn about the terrible problem of slavery in present-day Sudan and raise money to help buy the freedom of some of the slaves. Alternate chapters tell the stories of the slaves.

      FIC LYO

      Lyons, Mary E. Dear Ellen Bee : a Civil War scrapbook of two Union spies. 1st ed. New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, c2000.
      A scrapbook kept by a young black girl details her experiences and those of the older white woman, "Miss Bet," who had freed her and her family, sent her north from Richmond to get an education, and then worked to bring an end to slavery. Based on the life of Elizabeth Van Lew.

      FIC MCG

      McGill, Alice. Miles' song. Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
      In 1851 in South Carolina, Miles, a twelve-year-old slave, is sent to a "breaking ground" to have his spirit broken but endures the experience by secretly taking reading lessons from another slave.

      FIC MCK

      McKissack, Pat, 1944-. A picture of freedom : the diary of Clotee, a slave girl. Reinforced library ed. New York : Scholastic, 2003, c1997.
      In 1859, twelve-year-old Clotee, a house slave who must conceal the fact that she can read and write, records in her diary her experiences and her struggle to decide whether to escape to freedom.

      FIC PAU

      Paulsen, Gary. Nightjohn. New York : Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, [1995], c1993.
      Twelve-year-old Sarny's brutal life as a slave becomes even more dangerous when a newly arrived slave offers to teach her how to read.

      FIC PEA

      Pearsall, Shelley. Trouble don't last. New York : Dell Yearling, [2003], c2002.
      Samuel, an eleven-year-old Kentucky slave, and Harrison, the elderly slave who helped raise him, attempt to escape to Canada via the Underground Railroad.

      FIC PIN

      Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Silent thunder : a Civil War story. 1st Hyperion pbk. ed. New York : Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Paperbacks for Children, 2001, c1999.
      In 1862 eleven-year-old Summer and her thirteen-year-old brother Rosco take turns describing how life on the quiet Virginia plantation where they are slaves is affected by the Civil War.

      FIC POR

      Porter, Connie Rose, 1959-. Meet Addy : an American girl. Middleton, WI : Pleasant Co., c1998.
      In 1864, after her father and brother are sold to another owner, nine-year-old Addy Walker and her mother escape from their cruel life as slaves in North Carolina to freedom in Philadelphia.

      FIC RIN

      Rinaldi, Ann. Numbering all the bones. 1st Jump at the Sun pbk. ed. New York : Hyperion Paperbacks for Children, 2005, c2002.
      Thirteen-year-old Eulinda, a house slave on a Georgia plantation in 1864, turns to Clara Barton, the eventual founder of the American Red Cross, for help in finding her brother Neddy who ran away to join the Northern war effort and is rumored to be at Andersonville Prison.

      FIC RUB

      Ruby, Lois. Steal away home. 1st Aladdin Paperbacks ed. New York : Aladdin Paperbacks, 1999, c1994.
      In two parallel stories, a Quaker family in Kansas in the late 1850s operates a station on the Underground Railroad, while almost 150 years later twelve-year-old Dana moves into the same house and finds the skeleton of a black woman who helped the Quakers.

      FIC SCH

      Schmidt, Gary D. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster boy. New York : Yearling Book, [2006], c2004.
      In 1911, Turner Buckminster hates his new home of Phippsburg, Maine, but things improve when he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a girl from a poor, nearby island community founded by former slaves that the town fathers--and Turner's--want to change into a tourist spot.

      FIC STO

      Stolz, Mary, 1920-2006. A ballad of the Civil War. 1st Harper Trophy ed. New York : HarperTrophy, 1998, c1997.
      Weary of the war, a Union lieutenant recalls his life with his twin brother on their family's Virginia plantation and the events that led them to fight on different sides in the Civil War.

      FIC WOO

      Woodruff, Elvira. Dear Austin : letters from the Underground Railroad. 1st Yearling ed. New York : Dell Yearling, 2000, c1998.
      In 1853, in letters to his older brother, eleven-year-old Levi describes his adventures in the Pennsylvania countryside with his African-American friend Jupiter and his experiences with the Underground Railroad.

      FIC WOO

      Woods, Brenda (Brenda A.). My name is Sally Little Song. New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c2006.
      When their owner plans to sell one of them in 1802, twelve-year-old Sally and her family run away from their Georgia plantation to look for both freedom from slavery and a home in Florida with the Seminole Indians.

      FIC WYE

      Wyeth, Sharon Dennis. Freedom's wings. 1st pbk. ed. New York : Scholastic, 2002, c2001.
      A nine-year-old slave keeps a diary of his journey to freedom along the Underground Railroad in 1857.


      Graphic Organizer


      1.1.2. Evaluates the effectiveness of a law or policy by explaining how it promotes ideals.

      1.2.2. Understands how and why state and tribal governments make, interpret, and carry out rules and laws. 

      5.4.2. Prepares a list of resources including the title, author, type of source, date published, and publisher for each source.

      Page prepared by Trish Henry and Kris Dinnison



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