9-12 Civics and Economics: 3D Printing The Bill of Rights

9-12 Civics and Economics: 3D Printing The Bill of Rights

Instructor Directions

Engineering Design Process

Project Description

Name of Project3D Printing The Bill of Rights
Subject AreaAmerican History: Founding Principles, Civics and Economics
Targeted StandardsFP.C&G.2.3 - Evaluate the U.S. Constitution as a “living Constitution” in terms of how the words in the Constitution and Bill of Rights have been interpreted and applied throughout their existence (e.g., precedents, rule of law, Stare decisis, judicial review, supremacy, equal protections, “establishment clause,” symbolic speech, due process, right to privacy, etc.).FP.C&G.3.4 - Explain how individual rights are protected by varieties of law (e.g., Bill of Rights, Supreme Court decisions, constitutional law, criminal law, civil law, tort, administrative law, statutory law and international law, etc.).
Driving Question / Problem / ActivatorHow can students activate higher-order thinking skills and creatively engage with the Bill of Rights to create meaningful learning experiences?
Project SummaryStudents will work individually or in pairs to design 3D-printed visual representations of one or more individual rights found in the Bill of Rights.
Estimated Time90 Minutes (Approximately 30 minutes planning, 60 minutes work time)
Materials / Resources (including link to slideshow if available)
  • One internet-connected device per student or student team
  • Access to https://www.tinkercad.com/ Online Design Software (Free Subscription)
  • 3-D printer access
TagsUnited States Constitution, Constitutional Rights, Individual Rights, Freedoms, Amendments, The Bill of Rights, Civics and Economics

Project Outline 

AskHow can students use higher-order thinking skills to visualize and then create symbols representing intangible individual rights found in the Bill of Rights?
ImagineImagine a symbol or icon representing each of the individual rights found in the Bill of Rights.  (For one student-created example, see the Sample Picture below, which uses text and a magnifying glass shape to represent searches.)
PlanStart by asking students to examine the text of the Bill of Rights (available online, at https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript ) and have students list the individual rights they find in the Bill of Rights.Assign each student or student pair one individual right, or allow students to choose.  Feel free to customize, but here are examples of some individual rights you might consider:
  • Right to Freedom of Speech - Amendment 1
  • Right to Freedom of Religion - Amendment 1
  • Right to Freedom of the Press - Amendment 1
  • Right to Freedom to Assemble and Protest - Amendment 1
  • Right to Keep and Bear Arms - Amendment 2
  • Freedom from Mandatory Housing of Soldiers - Amendment 3
  • Freedom for Unreasonable Searches and Seizures - Amendment 4
  • Right to a Grand Jury if Charged with a Serious Crime - Amendment 5
  • Right to Due Process; Life, Liberty, and Property - Amendment 5
  • Freedom from Double Jeopardy - Amendment 5
  • Freedom from Self-Incrimination - Amendment 5
  • Right to an Attorney in Criminal Cases - Amendment 6
  • Right to a Speedy and Public Jury Trial if Charged with a Crime - Amendments 6 and 7
  • Freedom from Cruel and Unusual Punishments - Amendment 8
  • Right to Reasonable Bail and Fines - Amendment 8
If possible, ask your school’s Digital Integration Facilitator (DIF), or a trusted volunteer, to assist students during this lesson.You will most likely need the help of your school’s DIF to 3-D print the projects.
CreateShow students how to access the TinkerCad online design software  https://www.tinkercad.com/, and create a free account if needed.  Guidance for using TinkerCad is available online, including on the TinkerCad website and at https://www.tinkercad.com/learn/designs .Provide each student or student pair with at least one internet-connected device.  If student teams have more than one device available, they can share access to a project through TinkerCad.Before beginning work on TinkerCad, ask each student team to use a scrap sheet of paper to draw and agree upon a workable basic design for their 3D printing project.  It is recommended that a teacher approve each plan as workable before students start work.  Make sure the base of each project will be structurally sound.Allow students sufficient time to plan, design, and improve their 3-D printed symbols.
ImproveFeel free to adapt and customize this lesson.
Closure / Student ReflectionsIt may take several days for all 3D printed projects to print.Once all 3D projects are printed, allow each student group to present their work to the class.  Discuss with students the individual rights and freedoms contained in the Bill of Rights, and how each group’s creative project relates to the right(s) it represents.  This might be a good time to administer the Post-Test Evaluation (link below).Display all group projects in the classroom for the remainder of the class, as a visual reminder of the students’ learning.
Possible Modifications / ExtensionsYou might wish to narrow the scope of the lesson to focus on only a few key amendments, or broaden the scope of the lesson to include other rights found in the United States Constitution.

Evaluation (Pre/Post)  

Links to Google Forms


Pretest Link: https://forms.gle/ENp98nKZA3z5CL6n6 

Post-test Link: https://forms.gle/ENp98nKZA3z5CL6n6 



Thank you to Moore County Schools Digital Integration Facilitator Will Herring for sharing this project idea.  Thank you to Digital Integration Facilitator Will Allred for assisting students with this project.


Additional Resources / Help for teaching this lesson

The National Archives, The Text of the Bill of Rights - https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript 

The National Archives, High-Resolution Image of the Original Bill of Rights - catalog.archives.gov/id/1408042 

The National Archives, Modern Language Summary of the Bill of Rights - https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights/what-does-it-say 


Sample Picture




Teacher Comments of what worked / did not work well

Creative Commons

1 of 1