The Five Freedoms Project

Lesson Plans: Speech

Teaching About the Five Freedoms
Here, you'll find a variety of collections, single lesson plans, and other resources available on the Web to support learning and teaching about the First Amendment's Five Freedoms.

As you explore these resources, please share with us what works well for you, what modifications you make, what student success stories emerge, what surprises you encounter, and what challenges, insights and recommendations the Five Freedoms Network community should know about.

In addition to whatever existing resources you use, consider enlisting a team of students with the job of scouting out the best resources for upcoming class units. You can also charge another team with recording and communicating your class's learning stories on our Network space. Student voice is valuable in curricular planning, too!

Questions to consider
Any teaching resource's ultimate value is measured by its usefulness with real students - your students. As you (or your youth-led classroom curriculum team) review new materials for use, use the following questions to identify the right materials and suggest ways to modify the materials to suit the needs of your students.

  • Does the introduction to this lesson create a personal connection for your students?
  • Does the lesson engage students in meaningful content? How is the content meaningful for your students? How are they engaged?
  • Do your students have opportunities to actively explore and apply the content, concepts and skills involved?
  • Does the lesson encourage your students to make connections to the larger community?
  • Does the lesson change your learners in significant ways? (All learning brings about some sort of change, after all.) After your students have engaged in the lesson, how will their thinking change?
  • How does the lesson tap different ways of knowing - affective, intuitive, visual, kinesthetic, etc.?
  • Are your students asked to process the information using higher order thinking skills, such as analysis, synthesis, and/or evaluation?
  • Are the resources available, up to date, and appropriate?


General Online Lesson Collections

1Voice First Amendment Lesson Plans

ASNE (American Society of Newspaper Editors) High School Journalism

Bill of Rights Institute - First Amendment in History Lesson Plans

Education for Freedom

First Amendment Schools Lesson Plans


Freedom of Speech Lessons

Speech Lesson Plans

All Speech Is Created Equal?

Do Students Have a Right to Read?

Does Free Speech Exist in School? Exploring Students' First Amendment Rights

Does Having Freedom of Speech Mean We Can Burn Our Flag?

Exploring Free Speech and Persuasion with Nothing But the Truth

Freedom of Hate Speech? Investigating Hate Group Propaganda and Free Speech on the Internet

The First Amendment: What's Fair in a Free Country (Elementary)

The Free Speech Rights of Students

Hate Crimes

Introduction to the Free Speech Clause


Is the Internet Igniting Violence? The Internet, the First Amendment, and the Massacre at Columbine High School

Web Censorship


When May Speech Be Limited?

General Curricular Resources

1Voice

The Bill of Rights Institute

Center for Civic Education

Constitutional Rights Foundation

First Amendment Center

The National Constitution Center

Justice Talking : the public radio show about law and American life

RTNDF High School Broadcast Journalism Project

Street Law