Amending the Constitution

Lesson Duration

Author:  Keith A. Pittman

Students will learn about the process for amending the Constitution and consider what standards should be applied when considering an amendment.  They will do historical research into past amendments. They will also research constitutional amendment proposals considered by the 104th and 105th Congresses.  They will present arguments for or against amendments affecting the First Amendment freedoms.  This lesson is found on page 44 of Update on Law Related Education Vol. 22 No.1.


  • Consider historical forces that have shaped the U.S. Constitution via the amendment process
  • Examine the constitutional amending process, focusing upon why the amendment process should be approached with particular deliber- ation and care
  • Discuss the freedoms of expression guaranteed by the First Amendment (speech, religion, press, assembly, petition)
  • Address whether any recently proposed amendment is appropriate for consideration as an amendment
  • Consider whether any recently proposed amendments could impact upon rights guaranteed by the First Amendment


Update on Law-Related Education is published by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Public Education. Update helps secondary teachers of civics, government, history, and law, as well as law-related education program developers, to educate students about the law and legal issues.