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December 15th is Bill of Rights Day


Did you know that December 15th is officially “Bill of Rights Day?” It’s true. According to Missouri Revised Statutes: Bill of Rights Day, December 15th was established as a day for Missourians to “reflect upon the meaning, importance and uniqueness of this document.”

What Do You Remember About the Bill or Rights?
If you had to summarize the Bill of Rights or tell us why the document was created, could you? Many Americans forget history and civics details when they’ve grown up, and history classes from middle school and high school seem like they happened entirely too long ago.

To sharpen your memory, and to give you something to talk about with your kids after school today, here’s a pop quiz for you about the Bill of Rights. How many of these questions can you answer correctly? Scroll to the bottom of this post to check your answers!

Pop Quiz:
1. Who wrote the Bill of Rights?
2. When was the Bill of Rights written?
3. Which U.S. Constitutional Amendments make up the Bill of Rights?
4. What document influenced the Bill of Rights?
5. At its most basic, what is the Bill of Rights?
6. How many of the Amendments in the Bill of Rights can you name?

Answers are at the bottom of this post.

If you struggled to answer these questions, you’re not alone. According to the American Society of News Editors:

“When asked to name the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment, 68 percent of Americans name the freedom of speech, 29 percent name the freedom of religion, 14 percent name the freedom of the press, 7 percent name the right to assemble and 1 percent name the right to petition,according to the 2014 State of the First Amendment Survey, commissioned by the First Amendment Center and the Newseum. Twenty-nine percent of respondents cannot name any of the five freedoms.” (Source)

Learning about the Bill of Rights in public schools is an important part of learning about United States history, policy, and civics. That’s why public schools statewide will read the Bill of Rights aloud today.

Click the image below to download a PDF of the Bill of Rights

Talking About the Bill of Rights at Home
Today your child’s school will read the Bill of Rights as part of Missouri Bill of Rights Day. If you work for a state or local government office, the Bill of Rights will be read at your job. We encourage you to use this opportunity to reflect on the meaning, importance, and uniqueness of the Bill of Rights, and how the Bill of Rights is relevant today.

Tonight after work, talk with your kids about which of the first ten Constitutional Amendments they think impact their lives the most on a daily basis.

If your kids are old enough to consider career paths, ask them how the Bill of Rights influences their field of interest. For instance, if your son or daughter is interested in becoming a business owner, how does the First Amendment apply to their ability to advertise their company?

If you’d like to take the conversation deeper, you can talk with your kids about how the Fifth Amendment played a role in the recent tragedies in Ferguson.

December 15th, Bill of Rights Day, is a day set aside by law for the reflection on one of the most important documents in America. If you and your kids talked about the Bill of Rights today, leave a comment here or on the Missouri Parent Facebook Page letting us know what Amendments your kids value the most.

Stay in-the-know on Missouri’s public education system and receive more tips like the ones in this post by bookmarking the Missouri Parent Blog or following us on Facebook and Twitter.


Answers to the Bill of Rights Quiz:
1. James Madison
2. 1791
3. The first ten amendments make up the Bill of Rights.
4. The Virginia Declaration of Rights, written by George Mason, strongly influenced James Madison when he wrote the Bill of Rights.
5. The Bill of Rights is, at its most basic, a list of limits on the power of the United States government.
6. 10

Check out The Bill of Rights for the full text for the Bill or Rights, including all 10 U.S. Constitutional Amendments.

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