Learning Experience – ARTICLE I

Young historians – it’s time to dig into the Constitution!  As we read through the awesome document, you may want to utilize one of the many the interactive online Constitutions as a guide.  I encourage it, especially if you get stuck!  I find the Interactive Constitution from Prentice Hall to be the easiest – not too overwhelming, and an easy summary if you get lost. We will begin with the legislative branch – Congress. Your first task is to start reading Article I, getting as far as you can for our next class.  My thoughts? Spend 25 minutes the afternoon/night you get it and 25 minutes the next afternoon/night … and we will see how far you go.

If you want to see a little bit of Congress in action, play LawCraft, a fun legislation game from iCivics.org! Gotta love government games …

Want to find out even more?  Of course!  Check out …

 

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In class September 18-19 – The Preamble!

What better way to celebrate Constitution Day than analyzing the first 52 words of the supreme law of the land – THE PREAMBLE! We will put the Constitutional targets in our own words and then find some examples of the American government trying to meet those targets with some current events.

Use Google News and CNN.com to find examples of the national government meeting (or trying to meet) the Preamble goals. Post your link and brief summary on the bulletin board for your section!

SECTION 1 / SECTION 2 / SECTION 5 / SECTION 6 / SECTION 7

Here’s the National Constitution Center’s analysis of the Preamble from their Interactive Constitution.

Want some Sporcle fun with the Preamble? Check out some awesome games!

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THE CONSTITUTION ONLINE!

Need help as your dig into the Constitution?

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Creating the Constitution – Hit the Targets!

 

How will you show your understanding of the creation of the Constitution?  Any way you want … as long as you hit the targets! You can choose to take a Creating the Constitution Test on the same targets on Wednesday afternoon next week – it’s up to you!

Want some more info on Ratification?  Check out ..

 

 

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Cool Convention Stuff for Review!

Untitled design

What an amazing Convention!  The delegates created a document that George Washington termed “a miracle” – what do you think he meant? Aren’t you dying to know more?  Spend some time with the materials below to review the causes, influences and actions of the Framers of the Constitution.  How long, you ask?  That’s up to you – but realize that you will be asked to hit some targets very soon!

You gotta check out GW’s own site on the Convention!

VIDEOS

AWESOME WEBSITES

The Constitutional Convention by Gordon Lloyd and Teaching American History – Pretty much everything you would ever need to know about the Convention.  On a scale of 1-4, Lloyd gets a 3,451.

James Madison and the Constitutional Convention – Madison took a ton of notes at the Convention and later published them so future 8th graders could relive the incredible meeting.  Thanks, James!

MUSIC!

And, it’s mentioned a little in …

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Learning Experience September 8 – Get Ready for the Federal Convention!

It’s pretty obvious that the young United States needed a new government in 1787, isn’t it? (If not, please review the AOC again!)  After a few smaller meetings took place to set the stage, a meeting of members of all (almost all) 13 states was scheduled for May of 1787 in beautiful Philadelphia.  The resulting document will be the longest lasting written form of government still in use today – the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION.  

This amazing meeting in Philadelphia will become an integral part of America’s story, and one that we will learn about over the next few activities.  55 men met in the Pennsylvania State House that long, hot summer, creating a framework of government that has lasted (with a few changes) until today – and you will play one of them (actually, parts of many of them)!

In our “Convention”, you will be representing a delegate to the Federal Convention in Philadelphia in 1787.  Your role below is really an amalgamation (ooh, cool word) of the participants in the three-month meeting, and your goal is to represent their opinions, examine the arguments and compromises made at the convention, and understand why the writing of the Constitution has been called “A Miracle in Philadelphia”.

This amazing meeting in Philadelphia will become an integral part of America’s story, and one that we will learn about over the next few activities.  55 men met in the Pennsylvania State House that long, hot summer, creating a framework of government that has lasted (with a few changes) until today.  For our next class, your tasks are …

CONTEXT – To prepare for the Convention, your first task is to find out more about the events and ideas that led to the momentous meeting in the summer of ’87.  Listen to The Road to Philadelphia podcast (you can read it too) and check out the Life in 1787 handout (kinda cool info) to provide CONTEXT and set the stage for the events of the Convention. Your learning target is I can describe the events and issues leading to the Constitutional Convention. This should be done FOR OUR NEXT CLASS. 

IDEAS The 55 men that spent the summer of 1787 in Philly came with many of their own ideas – but they were also influenced by many individuals, events, documents, and concepts from the previous millennia.  Your target is I can illustrate and explain the ideas that influenced the Framers of the Constitution. To examine these ideas, complete some sort of illustrated notes that summarize the 6 major ideas that influenced the Framers of the Constitution. You can make sketchnotes, digital notes, flash cards, an annotate collage –  you name it – just make sure you have the MOST IMPORTANT concept(s) from each idea and illustrations to support your understanding of the major ideas that influenced the Framers of the Constitution. You can get all necessary info on the Influencing the Framers site … and you can try to crack a code and break in early.  Great call being the first to arrive at the Convention!

The terms/ideas are the Roman Republic, Cincinnatus and civic virtue, the Magna Carta,  the Mayflower Compact, the English Bill of Rights, and Montesquieu and separation of powers.   This should be done AFTER OUR NEXT CLASS. I would also love for you to write the learning target on your work as well!

 

CONVENTION PREP –In our next class, we will be experiencing some of the major arguments and debates of the long hot summer in the “City of Brotherly Love”.  You will be in a smaller group, discussing the major arguments of many of the great delegates and then coming to conclusions about the compromises that were made.  To be ready for action, carefully look at the perspectives of your composite delegate (sorta like a Constitutional Frankenstein) so you have a decent idea of the topics of discussion! You should have the perspectives in your own words as well, and understand the basics about each of your positions.  Remember, you are a combination of views. This should be done FOR YOUR NEXT CLASS.

 

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DOI Target Writing

Hit that DOI target – I can discuss the basic structure, concepts, and importance of the Declaration of Independence. Don’t forget the optional writing if you want!

Here are some of your ideas about the DOI …

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Learning Experience – The First American Government

After the DOI was adopted, the new United States needed to make a government – can’t have a state of nature, right?  The Congress discussed and adopted a form of known as … (drumroll, please)

THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION!

What was this form of government? How did it work? How didn’t it work? That’s our next step, as we answer the essential question “Why was there a need for new government in 1787?

Use the fun fantastic “Articles of Confederation” reading to dive into the AOC.

AOCreading 17

Want more? check out …

Use the links below (or any other link) to add to / complete your notes.

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Learning Experience August 31-Sept 1 – THE DOI!!!!!

  • I can summarize the main ideas and important points of The Declaration of Independence
  • I can explain and evaluate the relevance of the Declaration of Independence.

It’s the most important document in American history – the Declaration of Independence. It was written 241 years ago … does it still matter today?  Your task for our next class is to dig in to the text of the DOI using the AWESOME “Notice and Note” signposts that you have used in classes before. The instructions and document will be shared on Google Docs, and you should will have a copy your GDrive. Wade through the 1,458 words of the document to really analyze the ideas and claims of Thomas Jefferson and the Second Continental Congress. (BROWSE THROUGH THE LONG LIST OF GRIEVANCES – OK) You can also  use this podcast from Colonial Williamsburg to help!

Once you are done, think about what the DOI says, what it means, what it symbolizes, what it stands for, how it relates to you, and then come to class with some ideas about this question – Does the Declaration of Independence still matter today?


Want some DOI fun?  Check out “Too Late to Apologize” from the folks at Soomo Publishing- the lyrics are available as well! (As a history teacher, I think I am required to show you this.)

If you are a football fan, check this out !  You can also check out 9 Things You May Not Know About the Declaration of Independence.

Below are some awesome links about the DOI – take a look if you get a chance!

The National Archives – Charters of Freedom – http://www.archives.gov/national_archives_experience/charters/declaration.html – The National Archives provides a great site about the DOI, including actual images, articles about the DOI, and the opportunity to join the signers.

The Declaration of Independence – USHistory.org

A User’s Guide to the Declaration of Independence  – Founding.com has a great interactive site detailing the political philosophy of the DOI.

 

 

If you are a football fan, check this out !  You can also check out 9 Things You May Not Know About the Declaration of Independence.

Below are some awesome links about the DOI – take a look if you get a chance!

The National Archives – Charters of Freedom – http://www.archives.gov/national_archives_experience/charters/declaration.html – The National Archives provides a great site about the DOI, including actual images, articles about the DOI, and the opportunity to join the signers.

The Declaration of Independence – USHistory.org http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/– “This site provides a wealth of information about the signers of the Declaration, the history of the Declaration, and an online version of the Declaration for you to read. The site also provides links to other Declaration-related biographies and histories and a guestbook where you are invited to add comments and ideas. This site is a good resource for anyone curious about the Declaration and its history, or for the student who needs resources for his or her research paper.”

A User’s Guide to the Declaration of Independence  – Founding.com has a great interactive site detailing the political philosophy of the DOI.

 

 

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IN CLASS August 30-31 – Why do we need to know about government?

  • I/we can evaluate the importance of studying government.
  • I/we can effectively communicate a thesis or claim in a creative manner.

As social studies teachers, we need your help, American Studies scholars! People- especially teenagers – across the nation don’t see the value in studying government.  They say it’s a boring subject, it doesn’t have any relation to their lives, and they have no say in the government, so why bother learning about it? We feel this attitude needs to be changed – and we are turning to you for help.

We want you to create a 1 minute PSA (public service announcement) convincing teenagers that studying government is necessary.  Your PSA should…

  • Have a CLAIM/thesis or main argument.
  • Offer specific EVIDENCE and real life examples that support your CLAIM/thesis.
  • Tie your EVIDENCE to your CLAIM with clear REASONING
  • Contain a catch phrase that people will remember.
  • Be convincing and creative in its presentation.
  • Be completed in 25 minutes.

Your PSA can be audio (for a radio campaign) or video (for television or streaming).  You should upload it to Youtube and enter the URL in Google classroom.  Put your heads together and get working – our democracy depends on you!

 

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