ERIC Number: ED363564
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988
Reference Count: N/A
Making the Constitution. SSEC American History Series.
This unit for teaching U.S. history was designed to help students understand, appreciate, and analyze the magnitude of the Founders' creation. It permits them to understand issues confronting the Founders in 1787, to become involved in the process of resolving these issues, to comprehend the actual solutions developed by the Founders, and to speculate on the motives of the men who wrote the fundamental law of the United States. This unit creates a simulation exercise. Students prepare to participate by reading short biographies giving the political views of some of the most influential Founding Fathers. Each student is assigned a Founder and challenged to represent that delegate's views at a mock convention. To prepare for this experience, students study their delegates' views, familiarize themselves with the fundamental questions of government addressed at the convention, analyze the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation, and learn of Shays' Rebellion and the issues it raised. Then they are asked to resolve five major issues faced by the men who wrote the U.S. Constitution: (1) balancing the interests of the large and small states on the issue of representation; (2) strengthening the national government without needlessly limiting the states; (3) permitting majority rule while protecting the interests of minorities; (4) protecting the rights of the people without unnecessarily limiting the powers of the national government; and (5) restricting slavery without needlessly antagonizing the southern states. Students must decide if the government could live up to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence while exercising the powers needed to rule effectively. (DK)
Descriptors: Constitutional History, History Instruction, Secondary Education, Slavery, Social Studies, United States History
Social Science Education Consortium, 855 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302.
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Social Science Education Consortium, Inc., Boulder, CO.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Bill of Rights; United States Constitution