Launchpad: Getting to Know the First Amendment! (K–5)

The First Amendment guarantees several types of freedom of expression and rights to citizens of the United States, including:

  • Freedom to practice the religion of your choice
  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of the press
  • Right of public assembly
  • Right to petition the government

Read through the following situations and choose which of the freedoms or rights described in the First Amendment is being exercised:

1) The Smith family attends church every Sunday, while their neighbors, the Cohens, attend services at a synagogue on Saturdays.

a) Freedom of the press
b) Right of public assembly
c) Freedom to practice the religion of your choice

2) The federal government starts a new road-building project and the designs for the road call for part of the road to cut across Mr. Johnson's property. He responds by writing letters to his senators and congressional representative to complain about this decision and to ask for their help in having the course of the road changed.

a) Freedom of the press
b) Right to petition the government
c) Right of public assembly

3) A newspaper reporter finds out that the mayor of her city has taken a bribe and has a witness who is willing to discuss what he has seen. She writes a story about it and it is printed in the newspaper the next day.

a) Right to petition the government
b) Freedom of speech
c) Freedom of the press

4) Funding for an afterschool program is cut by the state assembly. Citizens from all over the state gather together in front of the state capital, holding up signs and chanting slogans in support of the program in order to let their representatives know that they are unhappy.

a) Freedom to practice the religion of your choice
b) Right of public assembly
c) Freedom of the press

5) In an election year, Mrs. Washington places a sign on her front lawn supporting the Democratic candidate for president. Her neighbor, Mr. Choi, places a sign in his front yard supporting the Republican candidate for president. His neighbors, the O'Malleys, place a sign in their front yard in support of an independent candidate for president.

a) Freedom of speech
b) Freedom of the press
c) Right to petition the government