Bill of Rights Hand Gestures

I. 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.

Hold up the index finger and point upwards to signify "religion." State, "freedom of speech," as you place the finger on your mouth. Use it to "press" an imaginary button in front of you. Use it again to motion a person to "assemble." Use it once more to sign your name on an imaginary "petition."

II. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

State, "right to keep," as you form your thumb and index finger into the shape of a gun that is inside your imaginary hip holster. State, "bear arms," as you remove the gun and hold it above your shoulder.

III. No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Form the okay symbol with one hand. Three fingers and a circle are now formed. Imagine that the circular shape is a quarter. The three fingers represent two Soldiers asking the Owner of a house for consent to be quartered there.

IV. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Show all four knuckles on one hand and then hide the thumb inside these fingers. Make a knocking motion on an imaginary door and pretend that the hidden thumb is your private effects or property.

V. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

State "due process of law" as you move your entire hand to cover your mouth and say, "nor be compelled to witness against himself” or “I plead the fifth.” Each finger on the hand represents these five components: 1) Indictment by a Grand Jury 2) Double Jeopardy or “twice put in jeopardy of life or limb” 3) right to remain silent or “compelled to witness against himself” 4) nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law 5) eminent domain.

VI. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Hold your left hand above your waist and look at an imaginary or real wristwatch. Place the index finger from the right hand and point at the wristwatch, while stating, "I want my speedy and public trial, impartial jury, and the Assistance of Counsel."

VII. In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Hold your left hand above your waste and pretend it is a judge’s B-E-N-C-H. Place the index and middle fingers of the right hand together to represent a judge’s gavel. Strike the two finger gavel on the left hand B-E-N-C-H, while stating, "right of trial by jury shall be preserved."

VIII. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Move both arms towards the middle of your waist and then place the palms of both hands together. Imagine that you are wearing handcuffs shaped as the figure eight around both of your wrists. Four fingers on one hand spells the word “J-A-I-L” and the four fingers on the other hand spells the word “B-A-I-L,” which reinforces the number eight. State, “I do not want...Excessive bail, nor excessive fines, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

IX. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Hide one thumb and then point both hands towards your chest, as you say, "rights retained by the people." The hidden thumb represents rights that are not listed or do not yet exist. Each finger represents one letter of the phrase, "N-O-T L-I-S-T-E-D." The word “Mine” also rhymes with “Nine” and reinforces the idea of personal rights.

X. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Clench both fists to represent power. State, "powers are reserved to the States..." as you flex one arm. Then immediately say, "or to the People," as you flex the other arm.

Bill of Rights Hand Gestures