Putting the Bill of Rights to the Test: A Primary Source-Based Workbook

This workbook includes primary sources to help students explore some of the core concepts, or protections, found in the Bill of Rights, and how they’ve been tested throughout American history. 
Each chapter leads you to consider the implications of one core concept and includes:
  • Background Information 
  • A key question or questions to frame your thinking 
  • Questions to help you analyze the document 
  • A primary source document or documents 
  • Discussion questions to help you consider the impact or importance of the concept 


The concepts covered include:
  • No Law Respecting an Establishment of Religion, or Prohibiting the Free Exercise Thereof (First Amendment)
  • Freedom of Speech (First Amendment)
  • Freedom of the Press (First Amendment)
  • Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble (First Amendment)
  • Right to Petition the Government for a Redress of Grievances (First Amendment)
  • Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms (Second Amendment)
  • Unreasonable Searches and Seizures (Fourth Amendment)
  • Deprived of Life, Liberty, or Property, Without Due Process (Fifth Amendment)
  • The Right to Counsel (Sixth Amendment)
  • Cruel and Unusual Punishments (Eighth Amendment)


​         This ​free book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. 

​         (Clicking this link will download the ePub file, 20.5MB.)

         Download and open the ePub file with: an eReader app on your phone or tablet, your eReader device, or with an online ePub reader for your Mac or PC.

          Clicking this link will download the PDF file, 9.5MB



The year 2016 marked the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights. The National Archives commemorated the occasion with exhibits, educational resources, and national conversations examining the amendment process and struggles for rights in the United States. The initiative was presented in part by AT&T, Seedlings Foundation, and the National Archives Foundation.