Review by Marc Lesser, Common Sense Education | Updated December 2013

Do I Have A Right?

Law sim lets players practice pairing rights with amendments

Subjects & skills
  • Character & SEL
  • Critical Thinking

  • English Language Arts
  • Social Studies
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (4 Reviews)

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Pros: Time-limited play encourages mastery, and there are lots of interesting choices to make.

Cons: Unfamiliar game mechanics take getting used to, and details of the legal process are largely skipped.

Bottom Line: Standout iCivics title helps learners new to the U.S. Constitution get great practice matching amendments to individuals' rights, and have good fun doing it.

Like other iCivics titles, it's ostensibly for one player, but that doesn't mean it can't be a social experience. Use the printable reports available at the end of each game and have players report back on their successes after assigning it as homework or labwork. Consider creating some "all-star" categories for less obvious strengths like "fewest walk-out clients" (valuing aspects of their play like time management and effective multitasking). As an extension, create two teams and have students create their own scripted short narratives like their clients' in the game. After swapping narratives from one team to the other (best if acted out), each student has to accurately identify the corresponding amendments of their opponent's fictional cases for points. And don't miss browsing the iCivics Impact Competition, where players can apply points earned during several iCivics games to support social impact projects from youth around the world.

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Do I Have A Right? melds sim-like mechanics with turn-based strategy and, for a free web-based game, balances visual design, player motivation, and compelling story extremely well. The player runs a law firm specializing in protecting its clients' rights. As each client walks off of the elevator and into "the firm," players must determine first whether the client's scenario presents an affront to the U.S. Constitution, and then choose the lawyer with the right specialities to defend the case. Players choose from characters like Chuck Freepress, who can help defend the freedom of expression, or Sally Fourth, who specializes in illegal government searches. Narrative elements like these serve as fun mnemonic devices that connect characters with the content.

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Guilty as charged. Do I Have A Right? might not be the perfect, all-in-one tool for introducing key amendments to the U.S. Constitution, but it's the right tool to get learners to work mastering the more rote process of identifying amendments by number and, most importantly, knowing how to apply them in true-to-life circumstances. The game is to the U.S. Constitution what Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? was to geography -- neither is a comprehensive skill-builder that covers everything in their topic, but nor do they try to be.

There are a few drawbacks: Some unique mini-games take some getting used to. When clients approach, players are supposed to click on key aspects of the client's statement (shown in a dialogue bubble) for extra prestige points. But with no feedback, players have no idea what areas of the statement have been clicked and start guessing blindly to move forward. Lower grades and struggling readers might also have a tough time becoming fully immersed, as the game has a heavy reliance on text.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

An active player role, sharp visuals, and time-limited rounds help to balance a few unfamiliar game mechanics. Players who stick around long enough to get the hang of it are likely to get hooked.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

As with almost every iCivics title, players make interesting choices in an authentic setting and role. This helps motivate them and allows them to quickly apply what's being learned.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Supports are text-based and basic, but do the trick. A short walkthrough available in the menu reads like a slideshow and might detract from players' excitement if it's the first thing they do. In-game tips can be turned on and off.

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Stephen Z. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Great interactive game that teaches how our rights with amendments.

The is a great game that enhances the student's knowledge on the amendments. The game engages the students as they get to figure out whether they have the right to do things or not. I loved the fact that the game continually teaches. When you choose a right then you get to match the amendment. Furthermore, the game will explain the why the right and the amendment match. The students love playing this game. Once again, this should not be a main teaching tool but serves as a fun interactive way for the students to learn.

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