Constitution Day (or Citizenship Day) is an American federal observance that recognizes the ratification of the U.S. Constitution on September 17th, 1787. In 2004, Congress approved September 17th as an official federal holiday (sorry folks, no time off work!).  The act mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on that day.
This year, the Montessori Elementary School in Albuquerque invited ACLU-NM for Constitution Day to make a presentation to their 6th and 7th grade students on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We, or course, were delighted.
ACLU-NM Staff Attorneys Leon Howard and Jennifer Cohen had the pleasure of giving a short presentation on the history, meaning and significance of the U.S. Constitution to a class of bright, interested students--who seemed to know all the answers!
At the end of the presentation we handed out a list of made up scenarios and asked the students to identify which amendment to the Constitution applied to the situation. The students split up into small groups and discussed, then came back together to give their answers a few minutes later. Every group got almost every question right.
So, you think you know the Bill of Rights? Do you think you know it better than a 6th grader? Take the same quiz to find out!:
Bill of Rights
Which Amendment Applies?
  1. In Ohio, on a trip back from vacation in Miami, Florida, LeBron James is arrested for the crime of betrayal (assume that this is a real crime in the State of Ohio).  An attorney represents Mr. James in a trial and he is convicted by a jury of his peers.  While in jail for 6 months, the guards do not allow Mr. James to play basketball or ever go outside.  In addition, the guards in the jail only allow LeBron James to eat 3 Ohio-State-Buckeyes (a type of chestnut) a day, one for breakfast, one for lunch, and one for dinner.
  2. Petey Pablo is arrested by the police for trying to bring illegal things on an airplane. He tells the police officers that he wants an attorney. They refuse to provide him with one.
  3. Justin Bieber is walking down Gold Street when two police officers run up to him. One of the officers holds him down while the other cuts his off a bunch of his hair and puts it in a bag for DNA testing.
  4. The Governor of New Mexico declared Green Chili as officially better and hotter than Red Chili.  The next day a Red Chili lover by the name of Rojo wore a t-shirt around town that said, “Red Chili is HOT, Green Chili is NOT!”  To Rojo’s surprise he was confronted by a police officer that forced him to take his shirt off for disagreeing with the Governor.
  5. Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, Ryan, Chad, and Taylor decide that they are going to all wear red arm bands one Friday to show their protest of the school board’s decision to extend the school year into July. The principal threatens to suspend them if they do not remove the arm bands.
  6. Peter Griffin is arrested at the mall.  He is sent to jail without ever having a trial or being told the crime with which he was accused.
  7. Uma Stella Adams is walking home from school and she is stopped by a Border Patrol Agent.  The Agent asks Uma if he can go through her back pack.  Uma replies, “No.”  The Agent goes through her backpack anyway.
  8. Ned Flanders petitions the City of Springfield to make Christianity its official religion. The City requires every family to put a cross in its front yard and to go to church every Sunday.
Post your answers in the comment section below!

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