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Michael Lamb

Civics Lesson Plan Introduction

Topic: Declaration of Independence Length of Lesson (estimated): 45 50 minutes VA Standards of Learning: Standard USI.7b - The students will describe the historical development of the Constitution of the United States. Cognitive Objectives Students will: Compare and contrast the Articles of Confederation (1781) and the Constitution. Identify the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. Identify and interpret primary and secondary source documents to increase understanding of events and life in United States history. Materials/Technology and Advanced Preparation Students have read (and are familiar with) the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. Copies of the Articles of Confederation Copies of the Constitution Access to the Internet, encyclopedias, and relevant historical texts (for research). Teaching and Learning Sequence Introduction/Anticipatory Set Introduce the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution to the students, withholding historic reasons for adopting the new documents. Introduce key terms: Alienable, naturalization, jurisdiction, legislation, province, arbitrary. Discuss our current 3 branch system of government (specifically checks and balances) Ask the students to imagine owning land or a business in America and having to seek permission from King William in England. Lesson Development Divide the class into groups of 4 and instruct them to compare the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.

Instruct the students to research the events (using available technology and reference materials) leading up to the documents, paying particular attention to who the authors were.

Based on their findings, instruct the students to create a Venn diagram that demonstrates understanding of how there is now a balance of power between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of Government.

Also based on their research, instruct the students to independently write a letter (assuming the

Michael Lamb

identity of one the authors of the Constitution) to your fellow authors of the original Articles of Confederation.

o Voicing your concern of how the Articles are quickly becoming an inadequate document,
providing recommendations to revise key powers, state vote changes, taxation, election terms, and other relevant changes in need of adoption.

Closure Ask the students what their thoughts about the nature of conflict and the need of government. Homework Ask the students to think about the needs of their community and write a new law that they feel would benefit society. Assessment Formative Observe the students while walking through the class and listen for signs of comprehension. Ask probing questions to each group about events leading up to the change to the Constitution. Summative Collect the group Venn diagram activity and record the grade based on a rubric. Collect the letters and grade as Satisfactory or Needs Improvement, save to student portfolios References Declaration of Independence Articles of Confederation Appended Materials Blank Venn diagram VA Standards USI.7b Framework Differentiated Strategy Organizer