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The Amendment Process

This leveled reading comprehension contains 3 passages for this topic. There are
10 comprehension questions that accompany it, and the questions are based on
common core literacy standards.

This product includes a more challenging passage, an easier passage, and a LARGE
PRINT version of the easier passage. Research supports that increasing the font
size shows a positive improvement on struggling students ability to read and
comprehend text.

Topic Lexile Flesch Kincaid


Reading Level
Amendment Process 1260 10.5 Regular Level
990 8.5 Modified Level
870 7.4 LARGE PRINT VERSION
Question Types:

There are 8 multiple choice questions and 2 short answer.

This product is included in a bundled 8-pack for $10. Thats a savings


of $6 from purchasing each file separately.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Bundled-Rdg-Passages-for-
Differentiated-Learning-The-US-Government-1383511
Amendment Process
Lexile Level 1260; Flesch Kincaid Reading Level 10.5
1
The constitution is the rock of the American vision that the government should rule by consent of the
people. However, the constitution is truly more fluid than a rock. It changes. It adapts. This paper
signed over 200 years ago contains the wisdom and foresight of our founding fathers that societies do
change, and the governing body must be capable of changing to meet future needs.
2
To accomplish this, the framers of the constitution placed an amendment process for the constitution
that was possible but not a simple thing to do. They knew it must be able to change, but if it were
changed too often, the heart of the constitution--that the government gets its power from the people--
could be compromised.
3
In order to create a change to the U.S. Constitution, either the Senate or the House of Representatives
must propose a change, OR two-thirds of the states must ask for a change. This large number of people
who must agree to a change means only truly important ones can be made to the constitution. Once
the change is proposed, 2/3 of Congress (the House and Senate) must approve the amendment.
Because altering the constitution is so important, it can only become part of this document once three-
fourths of the states ratify it.
4
Do you know what historical events caused major changes to the U.S. Constitution? First, before the
constitution could be formally approved by the colonies, many people wanted American rights
guaranteed. The colonists fought against Great Britain for these rights, and they wanted to protect
them for centuries. The Bill of Rights was the first 10 amendments to the constitution, which were
added on December 15, 1791.
5
Another set of amendments that passed in quick succession to each other followed a horrific period of
American history- the Civil War. This was not only a major change for the enslaved African people; it
was a change of how the states existed together. The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments passed within
5 years of the Civil Wars conclusion. With the end of the war, politics of the reconstruction period
required that southern states accept the new amendments that ended slavery, granted citizenship with
protected rights, and eventually gave voting rights to African American men.
6
The idea of voting rights and how it was provided to and enacted by U.S citizens also led to several
changes to the constitution.

The Twelfth Amendment changed how the Electoral College casts its vote in presidential
elections.
The Seventeenth Amendment allowed people to vote their senators into office instead of state
legislatures.
The Nineteenth Amendment gave women the right to vote.
The Twenty-fourth Amendment said people could not be charged a tax before voting.
The Twenty-sixth Amendment changed the voting age from 21 to 18.
7
In all, 27 changes or amendments have been made to our constitution; the most recent change was
made in 1992. As our country continues to grow, the American peoples voice will be heard through
ballots and free speech to ensure that the constitution empowers a government of the people, by the
people, and for the people (Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address).
Amendment Process
Lexile Level 990; Flesch Kincaid Reading Level 8.5
1
The constitution is the rock of the American vision. The government should rule by consent of the
people. However, the constitution is more fluid than a rock. It changes. It adapts. This paper signed
over 200 years ago contains the wisdom and foresight of our founding fathers. They knew that societies
change. They knew that the governing body must also be capable of changing to meet future needs.
2
To accomplish this, the framers of the constitution placed an amendment process for the constitution.
It was possible but not a simple thing to do. They knew that if it were changed too often, the heart of
the constitution--that the government gets its power from the people--could be broken.
3
To create a change to the U.S. Constitution, either the Senate or the House of Representatives must
first propose a change. Another way is that two-thirds of the states must ask for a change. This large
number of people who must agree to a change means only truly important ones can be made. Once the
change is proposed, 2/3 of Congress (the House and Senate) must approve the amendment. Then, it
can only become part of the constitution after three-fourths of the states ratify it.
4
Do you know what events caused major changes to the U.S. Constitution? First, before the constitution
was ever approved, many people wanted American rights to be guaranteed in writing. The colonists
fought against Great Britain for these rights. They wanted to protect them for centuries. The Bill of
Rights was the first 10 amendments to the constitution. They were added on December 15, 1791.
5
Another set of amendments were passed in quick succession to each other. This followed a horrific
period of American history- the Civil War. This was a major change for the enslaved African people and
how the states existed together. The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments passed within 5 years of the
Civil Wars end. After the war, the politics of the reconstruction period required that southern states
accept the new amendments. These amendments ended slavery, granted citizenship with protected
rights, and eventually gave voting rights to African American men.
6
The idea of voting rights also led to several changes to the constitution.

The Twelfth Amendment changed how the Electoral College casts its vote in presidential
elections.
The Seventeenth Amendment allowed people to vote their senators into office instead of state
legislatures.
The Nineteenth Amendment gave women the right to vote.
The Twenty-fourth Amendment said people could not be charged a tax in order to vote.
The Twenty-sixth Amendment changed the voting age from 21 to 18.
7
In all, 27 changes or amendments have been made to our constitution. The most recent change was
made in 1992. As our country continues to grow, the American peoples voice will be heard through
ballots and free speech to ensure that the constitution gives power to a government of the people, by
the people, and for the people (Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address).
Name __________________________________ Amendment Process
1. Which phrase from paragraph 1 is a metaphor, an example of non-literal language?
a. The constitution is the rock b. more fluid than a rock
c. signed over 200 years ago d. foresight of our founding fathers

2. For which paragraph would the following sentence be an appropriate supporting detail.

While over 10,000 attempts have been made to change the constitution, it has only been done 27 times.

a. paragraph 1 b. paragraph 2 c. paragraph 5 d. paragraph 6

3. Refer to the list of amendments in paragraph 6. For which amendment would Elizabeth Cady
Stanton and Susan B. Anthony have shared the greatest common interest?

4. Which method would give you the most reliable, historical account of the events that led to the first
ten amendments?
a. use Internet search engines for the first few links b. discuss with a grandparent
c. read nonfiction articles from books and encyclopedias d. watch YouTube segments

5. Read over the list of book titles. Which of these would be a good selection to pair with this passage
to learn more about the main idea of the passage?
I) The Amendment Process in 7 Easy Steps IV) Abraham Lincolns Affect on U.S. Politics
II) Leaders of the Revolutionary War V) Historical Documents of the 1860s
III) The U.S. Constitution: Then and Now

a. I and V only b. II and IV only c. I and III only d. IV and V only

6. Explain why the author placed Abraham Lincolns name with the Gettysburg Address in
parentheses in paragraph 7.

7. Explain the purpose of the underlined phrase in the following sentence:

Once the change is proposed, 2/3 of Congress (the House and Senate) must approve the amendment.

a. as a supporting detail b. as a transitional phrase c. as a main idea d. as a concluding sentence

8. The following sentence contains non-literal language. What does the underlined segment mean?

The American peoples voice will be heard through ballots and free speech.

a. Ballots will be how people speak aloud. b. People can say what they want through voting.
c. Voting machines will listen to peoples ideas. d. The only way to speak to Congress is by voting.

9. How is each paragraph in the passage organized?


a. main idea supported by concluding sentences b. main idea supported by facts
c. supporting details backed by opinions d. supporting details backed by facts

10. Based on the time period when the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments were passed, you can infer
that they all MOST LIKELY dealt with which topic?
a. Revolutionary War b. Civil War c. Womens Suffrage d. Bill of Rights
Amendment Process
Lexile Level 870 LARGE PRINT; Flesch Kincaid Reading Level 7.4

1
The constitution is the rock of the American vision. The government should rule
by consent of the people. However, the constitution is more fluid than a rock. It
changes. It adapts. This paper signed over 200 years ago contains the wisdom
and foresight of our founding fathers. They knew that societies change. They
knew that the governing body must also be able to change to meet future needs.
2
The framers of the constitution wrote an amendment process for the
constitution. It was possible but not a simple thing to do. They knew that it
should not be changed too often. If it were, the heart of the constitution--that
the government gets its power from the people--could be broken.
3
To change the U.S. Constitution, either the Senate or the House of
Representatives must first propose a change. Another way is that two-thirds of
the states must ask for a change. This is a large number of people! This means
that only truly important changes can be made. Once the change is proposed, 2/3
of Congress (the House and Senate) must approve the amendment. Then, it can
only become part of the constitution after three-fourths of the states ratify it.
4
Do you know what events caused major changes to the U.S. Constitution? First,
many people wanted American rights to be guaranteed in writing. The colonists
fought against Great Britain for these rights. They wanted to protect them for
centuries. The Bill of Rights was the first 10 amendments to the constitution.
They were added on December 15, 1791.
5
Another set of amendments were passed very close to each other. This followed
the Civil War. This was a major change for the African people. The 13th, 14th,
and 15th amendments passed within 5 years of the Civil Wars end. After the
war, the southern states were required to accept the new amendments. These
amendments ended slavery. They also granted citizenship with protected rights,
and eventually gave voting rights to African American men.
6
The idea of voting rights also led to several changes to the constitution.
The Twelfth Amendment changed how the Electoral College votes in
presidential elections.
The Seventeenth Amendment allowed people to vote their senators into
office instead of state legislatures.
The Nineteenth Amendment gave women the right to vote.
The Twenty-fourth Amendment said people could not be charged a tax in
order to vote.
The Twenty-sixth Amendment changed the voting age from 21 to 18.
7
In all, 27 changes or amendments have been made to our constitution. The most
recent change was made in 1992. As our country grows, the American peoples
voice will be heard through ballots and free speech to ensure that the
constitution gives power to a government of the people, by the people, and for
the people (Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address).
Name ______________________ Amendment Process
1. Which phrase from paragraph 1 is a metaphor, an example of non-literal
language?
a. The constitution is the rock b. more fluid than a rock
c. signed over 200 years ago d. foresight of our founding fathers

2. For which paragraph would the following sentence be an appropriate


supporting detail.
While over 10,000 attempts have been made to change the constitution, it has
only been done 27 times.
a. paragraph 1 b. paragraph 2
c. paragraph 5 d. paragraph 6

3. Refer to the list of amendments in paragraph 6. For which amendment would


Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony have shared the greatest common
interest?

4. Which method would give you the most reliable, historical account of the
events that led to the first ten amendments?
a. use Internet search engines for the first few links
b. discuss with a grandparent
c. read nonfiction articles from books and encyclopedias
d. watch YouTube segments

5. Read over the list of book titles. Which of these would be a good selection to
pair with this passage to learn more about the main idea of the passage?
I) The Amendment Process in 7 Easy Steps
II) Leaders of the Revolutionary War
III) The U.S. Constitution: Then and Now
IV) Abraham Lincolns Affect on U.S. Politics
V) Historical Documents of the 1860s
a. I and V only b. II and IV only c. I and III only d. IV and V only
6. Explain why the author placed Abraham Lincolns name with the Gettysburg
Address in parentheses in paragraph 7.

7. Explain the purpose of the underlined phrase in the following sentence:


Once the change is proposed, 2/3 of Congress (the House and Senate) must
approve the amendment.
a. as a supporting detail b. as a transitional phrase
c. as a main idea d. as a concluding sentence

8. The following sentence contains non-literal language. What does the


underlined segment mean?
The American peoples voice will be heard through ballots and free speech.
a. Ballots will be how people speak aloud.
b. People can say what they want through voting.
c. Voting machines will listen to peoples ideas.
d. The only way to speak to Congress is by voting.

9. How is each paragraph in the passage organized?


a. main idea supported by concluding sentences
b. main idea supported by facts
c. supporting details backed by opinions
d. supporting details backed by facts

10. Based on the time period when the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments were
passed, you can infer that they all MOST LIKELY dealt with which topic?
a. Revolutionary War b. Civil War
c. Womens Suffrage d. Bill of Rights
Name _____Answer Key______________ Amendment Process
1. Which phrase from paragraph 1 is a metaphor, an example of non-literal language?
a. The constitution is the rock

2. For which paragraph would the following sentence be an appropriate supporting detail.

While over 10,000 attempts have been made to change the constitution, it has only been done 27 times.

b. paragraph 2

3. Refer to the list of amendments in paragraph 6. For which amendment would Elizabeth Cady
Stanton and Susan B. Anthony have shared the greatest common interest?

19th Amendment

4. Which method would give you the most reliable, historical account of the events that led to the first
ten amendments?
c. read nonfiction articles from books and encyclopedias

5. Read over the list of book titles. Which of these would be a good selection to pair with this passage
to learn more about the main idea of the passage?
I) The Amendment Process in 7 Easy Steps IV) Abraham Lincolns Affect on U.S. Politics
II) Leaders of the Revolutionary War V) Historical Documents of the 1860s
III) The U.S. Constitution: Then and Now

c. I and III only

6. Explain why the author placed Abraham Lincolns name with the Gettysburg Address in
parentheses in paragraph 7.
To indicated who spoke the quoted material and where was it spoken

7. Explain the purpose of the underlined phrase in the following sentence:

Once the change is proposed, 2/3 of Congress (the House and Senate) must approve the amendment.

b. as a transitional phrase

8. The following sentence contains non-literal language. What does the underlined segment mean?

The American peoples voice will be heard through ballots and free speech.

b. People can say what they want through voting.

9. How is each paragraph in the passage organized?


b. main idea supported by facts

10. Based on the time period when the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments were passed, you can infer
that they all MOST LIKELY dealt with which topic?
b. Civil War
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