Author:
Melody Casey
Subject:
Social Studies
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
High School
Grade:
11
Tags:
  • GEDB
  • Global Education
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Language:
    English

    Education Standards

    GEDB Causes of Revolution: The Articles of Confederation (Lesson 3 of 5)

    GEDB Causes of Revolution: The Articles of Confederation (Lesson 3 of 5)

    Overview

    The purpose of this lesson is to help students gain a deeper understanding of how the United States government was formed, and the people/ideas that influenced the founding documents of the nation. In this lesson, students will evaluate the importance of the Articles of Confederation and identify the weaknesses that caused the delegates at the Constitutional Convention to create a new governing document. Students will be recognizing perspectives and communicating ideas about the Articles of Confederation. This lesson will consist of teacher facilitated notes and discussion opportunities that will prompt group and classroom conversation. This lesson was developed by Dorothy Kerby as part of their completion of the North Carolina Global Educator Digital Badge program. This lesson plan has been vetted at the local and state level for standards alignment, Global Education focus, and content accuracy.            

    Lesson Plan

    Description

    The purpose of this lesson is to help students gain a deeper understanding of how the United States government was formed, and the people/ideas that influenced the founding documents of the nation (NCES.CE.C&G.1.2, 1.4, 4.2). In this lesson, students will evaluate the importance of the Articles of Confederation and identify the weaknesses that caused the delegates at the Constitutional Convention to create a new governing document. In this lesson, students will be required to read, write, and talk. Students will be recognizing perspectives and communicating ideas about the Articles of Confederation. In the extension activity, students will be investigating the world, recognizing perspectives, communicating ideas, and taking action by looking at other governments around the world and evaluating why those governments were chosen to represent that people of that nation. This lesson will consist of teacher facilitated notes and discussion opportunities that will prompt group and classroom conversation.


    Content

    Student Engagement/Motivation

    Students will be asked to participate in a quick write.  In this activity, students will have the opportunity to respond to the question: In what ways were colonists practicing civil disobedience before the signing of the Declaration of Independence? 


    Learning Targets and Criteria for Success

    Learning Targets

    • I can discuss ways in which the colonists practiced civil disobedience.
    • I can identify weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.
    • I can identify influential documents used to create the new American government.
    • I can name philosophers whose ideas contributed to the new American government.

    Criteria for Success

    • I will describe/discuss evidence of colonial disobedience.
    • I will list weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation in an Exit Slip.
    • I will discuss and answer provided questions about philosophers and influential documents of the newly created American government.

    Supplies/Resources

    Supplies/Materials

    • Paper
    • Pen/Pencil
    • **Optional: Computer

    Learning Tasks and Practice

    Activity 1: Opening Quick Write and Discussion (15 Minutes)

    1. As a class starter activity, teacher will ask students to respond to a question by writing as much as they can in a set time period.
    2. For this starter activity, teacher will set a timer (or keep track of time) for 10 minutes.
    3. Teacher will ask students to respond with as much detail as possible when answering the question. (The teacher can set a format for this quick write if necessary, but it is recommended that students have some flexibility to free-style and record as much as they can remember or contribute in the given time frame. This activity can be done using a computer or pencil and paper (teacher preference). This serves as an opening activity to get students thinking and writing (a warm-up), but it also asks students to recall information from the previous lesson.)
    4. Teacher will ask students to respond to the following question: In what ways were colonists practicing civil disobedience before the signing of the Declaration of Independence?
    5. After about 10 minutes of writing, teacher will let students discuss, as a class, their responses. This discussion should be a teacher facilitated, but student led discussion). Teacher will let students talk about their responses. (This will be a transition into the teacher presentation notes).
    6. To transition into the notes, the teacher might want to say something like the following:

    (All of these examples of civil disobedience, that we have discussed, were the first steps in trying to reconcile with the British government. However, when civil disobedience did not work, colonists began to discuss ways in which they could formally break ties with the British government, which resulted in the creation of the Declaration of Independence. At that point, the signers of the Declaration of Independence were fed up. They had attempted to reconcile with Great Britian and when that didn't work, they knew that the time had come to do the unthinkable. The signers of the Declaration of Independence took a risky chance when they signed this document. Had the war ended differently, with a British victory, the signers would must definitely have stood trial for treason against the British government. They knew this would most likely mean a death sentence. However, they signed the Declaration of Independence anyway! Imagine a cause that you feel SO strongly about that you would sign your name in support of it knowing that your odds of winning your battle were extremely low and might even cost you your life in the end! This is how powerfully certian the signers of the Declaration of Independence were when they signed this document. So, when the war was over and the colonists could declare victory, it was time to create an entirely new nation. But where would the founding fathers start? What ideas and values would they incorporate into the newly formed government? It took many meetings, a lot of time, and discussion to decide what the new American government would look like. Take out your notes (computer or paper) and lets look at how the new American government was formed.)

     

    Activity 2: Presentation of Notes: The Formation of a New Government (60 Minutes)

    1. Teacher will instruct students to follow along with slides and copy down important information. Important information is depicted in red text.
      • Some slides have discussion questions which are designed to foster conversation between students. Each discussion should be teacher facilitated, but student-driven. Since some slides have discussion questions, the teacher should decide how long they are willing to spend on each discussion. The lesson length could be longer depending on how long the teacher decides to allow for discussion.

     

    Activity 3: Exit Slip (10-15 Minutes)

    1. Teacher will tell students to get out a sheet of paper and answer the following questions:
      1. Explain 2 weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.
      2. List 2 earlier documents that the founding fathers used as guidance for the new government.
      3. Name one philosopher that influenced the new government and explain what influence they had.
    • (When students have finished answering questions, the teacher should take up these exit slips as an assessment grade. Teacher should also briefly go over these questions with students to verify the answers for them. Teacher should call on students or ask for volunteers to answer the questions. Since there are a variety of answers to all three questions, teacher might want to call on several students for each question to make sure all of the possible answers are discussed).
    • Possible Answers for Exit Slip:
      • Explain 2 weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation:
        1.  It emphasized state power over federal power.
        2. It took 9 out of 13 states to ratify (pass) a law.
        3. The federal government could pass laws but NOT enforce them.
        4. The federal government did not have any power to collect taxes.
        5. The federal government did not have the power to regulate trade.
        6. The federal government did not have the power to coin money.
        7. There was no federal court system.
      • List 2 earlier documents that the founding fathers used as guidance for the new government:
        1. Magna Carta
        2. English Bill of Rights
        3. Mayflower Compact
        4. Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
      • Name one philosopher that influenced the new government and explain what influence they had.
        1. John Locke: believed in natural rights, argued that people were born free, equal, and independent.
        2. Thomas Hobbes: all subjects of a government have the right to defend themselves against, and even overthrow, a government that no longer supports them.
        3. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: wrote The Social Contract-- people agree to give up part of their freedom to a government in exchange for the protection of natural rights. Also believed people alone had the right to determine how they would be governed.
        4. Baron de Montesquieu: Separation of Powers--divide the branches of government into different parts in order to balance each other out. Each branch would have equal, BUT different power.

    Collecting and Documenting Evidence of Learning

    Teacher will collect "quick write" responses for a grade.  Teacher will also collect exit slips for discussion and grade.  Both of these will demonstrate evidence of learning.


    Extended Learning Opportunities

    For extended learning opportunities, ask students to analyze the newly created American government and list qualities/traits/aspects that still exist today.  Then  ask students to investigate the world by choosing a country around the world that has a different government than the United States.  Tell students to research their chosen government and make a list of traits/aspects that are similar to and different from the United States.  Have students create a comparision chart or venn diagram that demonstrates the ways in which that country's governmet is similar to and different from the United States.  Then ask students to look at why/how those governments were created and if those governments are representative of the people that live in that country.  Tell them to consider the perspectives of those people and the government and take a side.  Is that government truly representative of the people that live in that country or not?  Ask students to write a letter to the United Nations discussing that country's government and why they belive it is representative of the people or not.  Teacher can set length requirements and directions for the letter.