The First Amendment, Your Freedom of Speech: Are We Really Free to Speak?

Split into pairs based on the color of your card.

Today, our goal is to discuss the ongoing controversy surrounding the first amendment and our own freedom of speech. As most of you have probably heard, a controversy has erupted around Chick-fil-a president Dan Cathy's comments regarding same sex marriage. Although Cathy and his supporters believe that he was simply exercising his freedom of speech, others believe that his comments are representative of intolerance within American society.

NOTE: Our goal today is to engage in a discussion that focuses on freedom of speech, not the issue of gay marriage.


Let's take a look at the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment.

The Bill of Rights

The First Amendment

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."


Individual Quick Write: What does the first amendment mean to you within your own life? Think about the connections you have to your family, friends, work, school, beliefs, society, etc.


We will begin by watching these (four) video clips.

ABC News (2:40)

Dan Cathy

ABC News Update of Response

Bria and Chrissy (first 1:00)

Mike Huckabee and Fox News (3:53)

From these video clips, we have selected quotations and created some questions for you to discuss in your group. The goal of this activity is for each of us to engage in an open discussion regarding the freedom of speech.

In your group, open your envelope and pull out #1. Read the quote(s) aloud in your group. Read and discuss questions. (3 minutes) Discuss as a class. Repeat for quotes 2-6.

Return to your quick write and add to your thoughts.