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The US Constitution

A unit plan on how our form of government came into being.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Length:  3 weeks

Grade Level:  8th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOALS

 

Students will be able to identify the early roots of the US government.

1.) Students will be to identify the initial roots of government of the United States (PA Standard 5.1.9 a).

Possible Activities

Materials/Resources

Evaluation

Adaptations/Modifications

Direct Instruction (history of US settlers, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, & Continental Congress)

Guided Practice (Students write a summary of what the class discussed)

Read from Text* (Roots of government)

Computer Program

Art Activity (drawing/collage of the national bird)

 

Homework (Review questions at end of lesson)

Video (US Constitution)

Role Play (Act out pros and cons of monarchy)

 

 

 

Paper, pencil

 

Textbook*(p. 82-87),

 History World 2.0,

Magazines, scissors, glue, posters, colored pencils,

Textbook*(p. 87)

VHS 1776 

Costumes, props

Rubric (Teacher made)

Activity – Results

Test* (p. 102-3)

Advanced Organizers

Text on Tape

Assign a study buddy

Allow extended time

Technology (Word processor, spell checker)

 

2.) Students will be able explain the importance of the Articles of Confederation (PA Standard 5.1.9 e). 

Possible Activities

Materials/Resources

Evaluation

Adaptations/Modifications

Direct Instruction (Articles of Confederation, sovereignty, term of office, law, military, foreign affairs)

Power Point-Presentation (summarizes direct instruction-Articles of Confederation)

Read from Text* (The Articles of Confederation) 

Homework (Review questions at the end of lesson)

Computer Game

 

Role Play (Abigail Adams letters to John)

Guest Speaker (local elected official)

 

 

Computer, power point

 

Textbook* (p.  90-94)

Textbook* (p. 94)

 Were in Time is Carmen Sandieago,

Costumes, props

John Doe

Teacher- Observation

Checklist (teacher made)

Activity-Results

Test (p. 102-3)

Advance Organizers

Mnemonics

Shorting of assignments

Time Extensions

Tests with fewer choices

Text on Tape

 

 

 

Students will be able to explain the debates that took place during the Conventions of 1787 and the struggle to ratify the Constitution.

1.) Explain the development of the Constitution (PA Standard 5.1.9 i).

Possible Activities

Materials/Resources

Evaluation

Adaptations/Modifications

Direct Instruction (development the result of compromise, debates between small and large states, the Continental Convention, major delegates, state ratification)

Guided Practice (Students write a summary of what the class discussed)

Read from Text* (the Constitutional Convention)

Read out loud (historical background)

Homework (review question at the end of lesson)

Computer game

Field Trip (government polices)

 

 

 

Paper, pencil

Textbook* (p. 106-113)

 Starkey, Marion-Lace Cuufs and Leather Aprons

Textbook* (112-113)

 World history 2.0

Madison’s Museum in Rocklin

Teacher- Observation

Interview

Activity –Results

Test (p. 102-3)

Graphic organizers

Mnemonics

Assign Study Buddy

Text on tape

Time Extensions

 

2.) Summarize the debates regarding representation and ratification (PA Standard 5.1.9 d).

Possible Activities

Materials/Resources

Evaluation

Adaptations/Modifications

Direct Instruction (Representation and ratification, federalist antifederalist, ratify, power balance, tyranny)

Read from Text* (ratification debate)

Role Play (“What if we never had a Constitution”)

Homework (review question at the end of the lesson)

Instructional Game

Write a Letter (pretend they are living in 1787)

Debate (Compare the Articles of Confederation & the Constitution)

 

 

Text* (p. 118-123),

Costumes, props

Text* (p. 122)

Around the world

Paper, pencils, envelopes

Text* (112)

Teacher- Observation

Rubric (teacher made)

Activity- Results

Test (p. 102-3)

Tape record text

Change instructional presentation, advanced organizers

 

*Armento, B., Nash, G., Salter, C., &Wixson, K.  (1991).  A More Perfect Union.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

 

LESSON PLANS

 

Initial Roots of Government

 

Subject:  The History of the US Constitution

 

Length:  3-4 days (42 minute each day)

 

Goal:  Students will be to identify the initial roots of government of the United States (PA Standard 5.1.9 a).

 

Instructional Objective:  At the end of this lesson students will be able to identify initial roots of government of the United States with 100% accuracy. 

 

Procedures:

1.  Tell students that they will learning about the beginnings of our government and will be able to recognize the importance of a strong government.  Point out that in 1775, a year before the Declaration of Independence was signed, Ben Franklin first proposed in the idea of a union of the states.  Could we imagine what our lives would be like if we didn’t have a constitution? 

2.  (15 min., paper, pencils) Have students break into groups and brainstorm about what it would be like if we did not have the form of government that we do.  What rights would we probably not have?  What rights would we have?

3.  (10 min.)  Have students share what they wrote down and discuss their answers.

4. (35 min. (each day) , text*) Through direct instruction explain to students the initial roots of government.  Refer to the text (p. 82-87).  Make sure that the following key points are discussed:

§                 The American government was shaped by belief in republicanism, in the philosophies of the Enlightenment, in a written constitution, and in limed power for the central government.

§                 One-year terms for political offices thought to be a way to avoid a tyrannical government because they would make the representatives accountable to the people.

§                 The four roots of American government are constitutionalism, republicanism, enlightenment, and the colonial experience.

§                 Discuss the terms constitution, federal, confederation, executive, legislature.

While you are lecturing about the roots of government use an overhead that highlights the main points of the lecture. 

5.  (5 min. text*) Refer students to the timeline on page 84.  Ask students to identify the earliest written statement of people’s rights.   

6.  (10 min., text*) Review what was just discussed through questions and discussion.

7.  (15 min.)  Have students list ways in which their daily lives are affected by local, state, and national government (for example paying a sales tax, going to public school). 

8.  (10 min.)  Provide closure to the students by telling them that today we just talked about how our government grew out of the colonists’ English constitutional heritage and experiences with colonial government.  We also discussed that Constitutionalism, republicanism, enlightenment, and colonial experiences all helped to form out government.  

9.  If at this time you did not feel that the students retained what they were supposed to learn during the lesson,  homework should be assigned – Text* p.

 

Evaluation:  Teacher Observation

                     Activity Results

                     Quiz (teacher made)

                   

Follow-up:  Reteaching, practice, and/or enrichment could include using a peer buddy to guide a student, watching a video (The U.S. Constitution in Action), working on the review questions on page 87, using the computer program (Creating the U.S. Constitution), or learning centers.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION

 

Subject:  The History of the US Constitution

 

Length:  3-4 days (42 minute each day)

 

Goal:  Students will be able explain the importance of the Articles of Confederation (PA Standard 5.1.9 e). 

 

Instructional Objective: At the end of this lesson, Students will be able explain the importance of the Articles of Confederation with 100% accuracy. 

 

Procedures: 

1. (10 min.) Review what was discussed in the previous lesson on the roots of US governments.

2.  (20min. , text*) Have students read from the text* (p. 90-94).  Have student’s outline what they think is important from what they just read.  Remind them not to spend too much time on the outline because we will to an outline later.

3. (10min., graphic organizer) After the students have read from the text provide a graphic overview (p. 90).   

5.  (35 min. (each day) , text*) Through direct instruction explain to students about the Articles of Confederation.  Make sure that the following key points are discussed:

§               Congress had the power to conduct foreign affairs, raise an army, coin money, establish weights and measures, and run the postal system.

§               The states controlled commerce, the courts, taxation, and law enforcement.

§               The early aspects of the government such as the national postal system, government departments for defense, finance, and foreign affairs have been carried over into the twentieth century.

§               Discuss the words sovereignty and term of office. 

While you are lecturing about the Articles of Confederation use an overhead that highlights the main points of the lecture.

6. (35 min, costumes, props) Have student’s role-play the letters of Abigail Adams and John.  Refer to page 88 in text*.  They can break up into groups to put on a little skit of what it would have been like to Abigail and John. 

7. (5 min.) In closing this lesson, remind the students of what was just discussed.  Refer to the overhead or the graphic organizer.

8.  If at this time you did not feel that the students retained what they were supposed to learn during the lesson,  homework should be assigned – Text* p.94

 

Evaluation:  Teacher Evaluation

                     Activity Results

                     Quiz (teacher made)  

 

Follow-up:  Reteaching, practice, and/or enrichment could include using a peer buddy to guide a student, watching a video (The U.S. Constitution in Action), working on the review questions on page 94), using the computer program (Creating the U.S. Constitution), or learning centers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION

 

Subject:  The History of the US Constitution

 

Length:  3-4 days (42 minute each day)

 

Goal:  Explain the development of the constitution (PA Standard 5.1.9 i).

 

Instructional Objective: At the end of this lesson, students will be able to explain the development of the constitution 100% accuracy. 

 

Procedures:

 

1. (10 min.) Review what was discussed during the previous lesson about the Articles of Confederation.

2.  20 min., text*)Have students read form the text* (p. 106-113). 

3. (15min., paper, pencil) After the students have read the chapter asks them to write a paragraph about what they have just read.

4. (5 min.)Provide a graphic Overview (p. 106).

5. (35 min. (each day) , text*)  Through direct instruction explain to the students about the beginnings of the Constitution.  Make sure that the following points are discussed:

§                 The delegates to the Constitution Convention made important compromises such as they agreed to the Great Compromise, to the three-fifths compromise, and to delaying the vote on slavery.

§                 Because of the Articles of Confederation some delegates were upset by the prospect of a supreme national government because they feared the possibility of tyranny and did not want to give up independence.

§                 Differences on the issue of slavery led to the three-fifths compromise, which determined representation in Congress. 

§                 Discuss the terms checks and balances, legislative branch, executive branch, judicial branch.  

While you are lecturing about the Articles of Confederation use an overhead that highlights the main points of the lecture.

6. (20 min., book, computer) After the lecture, some students can work on the computer using World History 2.0 while the other students listen or read themselves the book Marion-Lace Cuffs and Leather Aprons.

7. (5 min) In closing, remind the students of what we just discussed concerning the development of the Constitution.

8.  If at this time you did not feel that the students retained what they were supposed to learn during the lesson, homework should be assigned – Text* p. 113.   

 

 

Evaluation:  Teacher Observation

                     Activity Results

                    Test (teacher made)

 

Follow-up:  Reteaching, practice, and/or enrichment could include using a peer buddy to guide a student, watching a video (The U.S. Constitution in Action), working on the review questions on page 113), using the computer program (Creating the U.S. Constitution), or learning centers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REPRESENTATION AND RATIFICATION

 

Subject:  The History of the US Constitution

 

Length:  3-4 days (42 minute each day)

 

Goal:  Summarize the debates regarding representation and ratification (PA Standard 5.1.9 d).

 

Instructional Objective:  At the end of this lesson, students will be able to summarize the debates regarding representation and ratification with 100% accuracy. 

 

Procedures:

1. (10 min.)  Review what was discussed during the last lesson on the development of the constitution.

2.  (5 min., text*) Read aloud the lesson title and ask students what the main topics of debate might be about. 

3.  (25 min., text*) Have the students read from the text (p. 118-123). 

4. (10 min, graphic overview, text*) Present a graphic overview (can be reproduced on p. 118).  Ask students to copy it in their notes and, as they read, to list under the appropriate head the desires and fears that caused the Federalists and Antifederalists to support or oppose the Constitution.

5.  (35 min. (each day) , text*) Through direct instruction explain to students about the debates regarding representation and ratification.  Refer to the text (p. 118-123).  Make sure that the following key points are discussed:

§                 The ratification of the Constitution depended on the debates of each state because whether each state convention ratified the Constitution depended on the outcome of debates between Federalists and Antifederalists. 

§                 The political process that led to the state’ ratification of the Constitution. 

§                 Why the Constitution was thought of as incomplete.

§                 The process of ratification.

  While you are lecturing about the Articles of Confederation use an overhead that highlights the main points of the lecture.

6. (20 min, paper, envelopes) After the lecture, have the students write a letter pretending that they are living in 1787.  Tell them that they can either write it to relatives in Europe or friends.  The letter should focus on what is happening in America at this time and how they feel about it.

7. (15 min.)  Ask the students to share what they their letter is like by reading it to the class. 

8.  (5 min.) In closing, the review with the students what was just discussed.  Refer to the Graphic Overview.

9.  If at this time you did not feel that the students retained what they were supposed to learn during the lesson, homework should be assigned – Text* p. 122.    

Evaluation:  Teacher Observation

                     Activity Results

                     Quiz (teacher made)

 

 

Follow-up:  Reteaching, practice, and/or enrichment could include using a peer buddy to guide a student, watching a video (The U.S. Constitution in Action), working on the review questions on page 122), using the computer program (Creating the U.S. Constitution), or learning centers.