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FRAME THE LESSON
TEACHER:
CLASS: 8th Grade
DATE: October 26-27
M T W TH F
A Weak Confederation
Student Expectations Bundled in Lesson
Noun=Underline
Verb=Italicize
Resources/Materials:
1A: identify the major eras and events in U.S. history through 1877, including colonization, revolution, drafting of the Declaration of
Independence, creation and ratification of the Constitution, religious revivals such as the Second Great Awakening, early republic, the Age of
Jackson, westward expansion, reform movements, sectionalism, Civil War, and Reconstruction, and describe their causes and effects
4C: explain the issues surrounding important events of the American Revolution, including declaring independence; writing the Articles of
Confederation; fighting the battles of Lexington, Concord, Saratoga, and Yorktown; enduring the winter at Valley Forge; and signing the
Treaty of Paris of 1783
6A: explain how the Northwest Ordinance established principles and procedures for orderly expansion of the United States
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



Explain why state governments wrote constitutions.
Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.
Describe the process the Articles created for admitting new states.
Explain why many Americans called for changes to the Articles.
Summarize Shay’s Rebellion and how it influenced leaders to change the
Articles of Confederation.
Digital Activity:
Debating the Power of
a Government (p. 207)
Introduce Vocabulary Activity (p. 174)
Constitution
bill of rights
Currency
depression
Shay’s Rebellion
Northwest Ordinance
Land Ordinance of 1785
Articles of Confederation
Rigor & Relevance: (Real World Connection)
Informal Assessment Questions 1-5 (p. 208)
 Summarize the voting rights in most states in the early 1780s.
 What were three weaknesses of the central government under the Articles of Confederation?
 Why did people describe something without value as “not worth a Continental?”
 Hypothesize about why slavery was outlawed in the Northwest Territories.
 How do you think the convention will improve upon the Articles of Confederation?
Interactive Chart:
Problems and Effects
of the Articles of
Confederation (p. 203)
Interactive Maps:
Claims to Western
Land (p. 203)
15B: summarize the strengths and weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
Objective/Key Understanding:
U.S. History Textbook
Colonization through
Reconstruction pp.
(202-208)
cede
Digital Lesson Quiz:
(p. 207)
Stop & Check for Understanding—High Level Questions





What sort of freedoms did many states agree to protect?
What functions was Congress able to perform under the Articles of Confederation?
Why did trade between states become increasingly difficult?
What was the purpose of the Northwest Ordinance?
What did Shay’s Rebellion show to many people?
Critical Writing Prompt:
Small Group Purposeful Talk Question Stems
Each State Creates a Constitution (p. 203)
 Discuss why the creation of state constitutions was an important issue surrounding the American Revolution.
 Explain why states needed to create their own constitutions.
The Articles of Confederation (203-205)
 Why was writing the Articles of Confederation an important event of the American Revolution.
Weaknesses of the Confederation (p. 205-206)
 Summarize the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.
 Using the map as their reference, ask students to Make Headlines that summarizes what the map shows about the resolution of disputes among the states over
claims to lands west of the Appalachian Mountains, and how those resolutions led to the passage of the Articles of Confederation.
 Tell students that the origin of the word dollar for U.S. currency was the Spanish peso. The colonists used the peso as money, but English speakers called it a
dollar. Ask students what they think of the currency’s design.
An Orderly Expansion (p. 206-207)
 Explain how the Northwest Ordinance established principles and procedures for the orderly expansion of the United States.
 Why did the nation need a land ordinance for the Northwest Territory? Why weren’t the Articles of Confederation sufficient to oversee the orderly expansion
of the United States?
 Explain that an ordinance is an authoritative order. Have students locate the Northwest Territory on a map and state in their own words what authoritative
order the Northwest Ordinance made.
Economic Problems Lead to Change (p. 208)
 How did the weaknesses of the federal government under the Articles of Confederation impact the economy of the new nation?
 Identify the causes and effects of Shay’s Rebellion.
 Ask students to find the key term depression in the text. Explain that it can also mean a medical condition, a feeling of sadness, or an area that has sunk below
its surroundings.
Online Resources, Analyzing Maps and Charts & Digital Activity
Interactive Chart: Problems and Effects of the Articles of Confederation (p. 203)
Project the Interactive Chart: Problems and Effects of the Articles of Confederation (p. 203) and read through the problems.
Interactive Maps: Claims to Western Land (p. 203)
Project the Interactive Maps: Claims to Western Land (p. 203) and move the slider.
Analyzing Maps (p. 204)
 Based on the information in the map, what problems did the U.S. government face as the country expanded westward?
Digital Activity: Debating the Power of a Government (p. 207)
Project the Digital Activity: Debating the Power of fa Government (p. 207). Have students make a list of five ways the early nation could have strengthened
the central government without leading to abuses of power. Poll the class to see if students agree on possible solutions.
 What powers should the federal government have?
 What federal powers should be limited?
Digital Lesson Quiz: (p. 207)
Assign the Digital Lesson Quiz. Pose these questions to the class: In A Weak Confederate, you read about the strengths and weaknesses of the Articles of
Confederation and how the Northwest Ordinances contributed to the orderly expansion of the United States.
 Why do you think many colonists wanted a weak federal government, as evidenced by the Articles of Confederation?
 Name one change you think the United States Constitution would make to strengthen the federal government following the Articles of
Confederation, and why.
Engage
~Have students preview the lesson objectives and the list of key terms (p.202). Use the Editable Presentation found on the digital course to present the main ideas of the
lesson (p. 202).
Complete the Start Up Activity on p 202. Students are to write a brief paragraph about why the balance of power in the Articles of Confederation rested with the states.
Tell students that in this lesson they will be learning about the issues surrounding the writing of the Articles of Confederation.
~Divide the class into groups. Each group is to read a section and be prepared to discuss and share findings with the class.
Explore
Each State Creates a Constitution (p. 203)
The Articles of Confederation (p. 203-205)
Weaknesses of the Confederation (p. 205-206)
An Orderly Expansion (p. 206-207)
Economic Problems Lead to Change (p. 208)
Explain
Elaborate
Evaluate
Students are to read assigned sections and use the Note Taking Study Guide to help them take notes and understand the text as they read.
Tell students that in this lesson they will be learning about the issues surrounding the writing of the Articles of Confederation.
Each State Creates a Constitution (p. 203)
 People valued the rights that state governments protected. Virginia’s constitution included a bill of rights, or list of freedoms that the government promises to
protect.
The Articles of Confederation (p. 203-205)
 As citizens formed state governments, the Continental Congress was drafting a plan for the nation as a whole. Delegates believed that the colonies needed to be
united by a national government in order to win independence.
Weaknesses of the Confederation (p. 205-206)
 By 1783, the United States had won its independence. Yet, the end of the American Revolution did not solve the confederation’s troubles. Americans had
reason to doubt whether “these United States” could survive.
An Orderly Expansion (p. 206-207)
 Despite troubles, Congress did pass important laws about how to govern the Northwest Territory. This was the U.S. territory west of Pennsylvania, north of the
Ohio River, south of the Great Lakes, and east of the Mississippi River. The Laws established how territories would be governed and how they could become
states.
Economic Problems Lead to Change (p. 208)
 The Northwest Ordinance was the nest achievement of the national government under the Articles. Still, the government was unable to solve its economic
problems. After the Revolution, the nation suffered an economic depression. A depression is a period when business activity slows, prices and wages fall, and
unemployment rises.
~Guided Reading and Discussion Questions
 See Small Group Purposeful Talk Question Stems from the previous page for this portion of the lesson.
~Analyzing Maps and Charts & Digital Activity (p.203 & 207)
 See Online Resources from the previous page for this portion of the lesson.
~Assign the Digital Lesson Quiz for this lesson (p. 208). Teachers can also opt to have students demonstrate mastery by responding to the following questions on
paper:
 Summarize the voting rights in most states in the early 1780s.
 What were three weaknesses of the central government under the Articles of Confederation?
 Why did people describe something without value as “not worth a Continental?”
 Hypothesize about why slavery was outlawed in the Northwest Territories.
 How do you think the convention will improve upon the Articles of Confederation?
FRAME THE LESSON
Drafting a Constitution
TEACHER:
CLASS: 8th Grade
DATE: October 28-30
M T W TH F
Student Expectations Bundled in Lesson
Noun=Underline
Verb=Italicize
Resources/Materials:
1A: identify the major eras and events in U.S. history through 1877, including colonization, revolution, drafting of the Declaration of Independence, creation
and ratification of the Constitution, religious revivals such as the Second Great Awakening, early republic, the Age of Jackson, westward expansion, reform
movements, sectionalism, Civil War, and Reconstruction, and describe their causes and effects
1C: explain the significance of the following dates: 1607, founding of Jamestown; 1620, arrival of the Pilgrims and signing of the Mayflower Compact;
1776, adoption of the Declaration of Independence; 1787, writing of the U.S. Constitution; 1803, Louisiana Purchase; and 1861-1865, Civil War
4D: analyze the issues of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, including the Great Compromise and the Three-Fifths Compromise
15D: analyze how the U.S. Constitution reflects the principles of limited government, republicanism, checks and balances, federalism, separation of powers,
popular sovereignty, and individual rights
U.S. History Textbook
Colonization through
Reconstruction pp. (209214)
Interactive Gallery:
Delegates of the
Constitutional
Convention (p. 210)
Interactive Chart: The
Great Compromise
(p. 212)
20B: evaluate the contributions of the Founding Fathers as models of civic virtue
Digital Activity: How
Much Power Should
Government Have? (p.
213)
21C: summarize a historical event in which compromise resulted in a peaceful resolution
Digital Lesson Quiz:
(p. 213)
Objective/Key Understanding:



Identify leaders of the Constitutional Convention
Compare the main differences between the two rival plans for the new Constitution.
Summarize compromises the delegates had to reach before the Constitution could be signed.
Introduce Vocabulary Activity (p. 215)
Constitutional Convention
Executive branch
Great Compromise
Three-Fifths Compromise
Virginia Plan
judicial branch
Compromise
legislative branch
New Jersey Plan
Rigor & Relevance: (Real World Connection)
Informal Assessment Questions 1-5 (p. 214)
 Contrast the ideas of Alexander Hamilton with those of George Mason. Which one was more pleased with the final Constitution?
 Why did New Jersey propose the plan that it did?
 The Great Compromise is so named because it was considered vital to the success of the Convention. What proof is there that it was a Great Compromise?
 How did the agreement that no state could stop a fugitive slave from being returned to his or her owner affect slaves?
 What is so significant about the Preamble’s opening words, “We the people of the United States…”?
Stop & Check for Understanding—High Level Questions




What was the essential difference between the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan?
How did the Great Compromise address the concerns of small and large states?
Why did many of the northern states object to including enslaved people in population counts?
Why did some delegates choose not to sign the Constitution?
Small Group Purposeful Talk Question Stems
Critical Writing Prompt:
A Historic Convention (p. 210)
 Name one issue you predict will come up in the Constitutional Convention as delegates meet to revise the Articles of Confederation.
Disagreements Over a New Government (p. 210-211)
 Look at the image of George Washington. How did Washington model civic virtue at the Constitutional Convention?
 As you look through the gallery, name one issue that came up for the delegates during the creation of the Constitution.
The Great Compromise (p. 212)
 Analyze the issues that lead to the Great Compromise, and explain how the Great Compromise resulted in a peaceful solution.
The Three-Fifths Compromise (p. 212-213)
 Analyze the issues surrounding the Three-Fifths Compromise.
 Do you think the Three-Fifths Compromise offered a genuine solution to the issue of representation? Did it result in a peaceful resolution? Explain your reasoning.
The Convention Comes to a Conclusion (p. 213-214)
 How did the convention end?
Online Resources, Analyzing Maps and Charts & Digital Activity
Interactive Gallery: Delegates of the Constitutional Convention (p. 210)
Project Interactive Gallery: Delegates of the Constitutional Convention (p. 210) and click through the images.
 Look at the image of George Washington. How did Washington model civic virtue at the Constitutional Convention?
 As you look through the gallery, name one issue that came up for the delegates during the creation of the Constitution.
Analyze Information (p. 211)
 How did the New Jersey Plan and Virginia Plan differ in their approach to the executive branch of government?
Interactive Chart: The Great Compromise (p. 212)
Project the Interactive Chart: The Great Compromise (p. 212) and click through the banners.
 Analyze the issues that lead to the Great Compromise, and explain how the Great Compromise resulted in a peaceful solution.
Digital Activity: How Much Power Should Government Have? (p. 213)
Project the Digital Activity: How Much Power Should Government Have? (p. 213). Discuss with students their definitions of power. According to the United States
Constitution, where does the federal government get its authority? Ask students why they think the founders divided the government into different branches. Discuss how
the structure they came up with affects the power of the government.
 Why was compromise necessary for the creation of the Constitution?
 Do you think the Three-Fifths Compromise offered a genuine solution to the issue of representation? Did it result in a peaceful resolution? Explain your reasoning.
Analyzing Charts (p. 213)
 Based on the information presented in the chart on page 213, how did southern states benefit from the Three-Fifths Compromise?
Digital Lesson Quiz: (p. 213)
Assign the Digital Lesson Quiz. Pose these questions to the class: In Drafting the Constitution, you read about the issues surrounding the Constitutional Convention of
1787 and the compromises delegates made in writing the United States Constitution.
 Why was compromise necessary for the creation of the Constitution?
 Do you think the Three-Fifths Compromise offered a genuine solution to the issue of representation? Did it result in a peaceful resolution? Explain your reasoning.
Engage
~Have students preview the lesson objectives and the list of key terms (p.209). Use the Editable Presentation found on the digital course to present the main ideas of the
lesson (p. 209).
Complete the Start Up Activity on p 209. Delegates to the Constitutional Convention disagreed on several issues, but an agreement called the Great Compromise helped
clear the way for the completion of the U.S. Constitution.
Tell students that in this lesson they will be learning about the issues of the Constitutional Convention and the writing of the United States Constitution.
~Divide the class into groups. Each group is to read a section and be prepared to discuss and share findings with the class.
Explore
A Historic Convention (p. 210)
Disagreements Over a New Government (p. 210-211)
The Great Compromise (p. 212)
The Three-Fifths Compromise (p. 212-213)
The Convention Comes to a Conclusion (p. 213-214)
Students are to read assigned sections and use the Note Taking Study Guide to help them take notes and understand the text as they read.
~Tell students that in this lesson they will be learning about the issues of the Constitutional Convention and the writing of the United States Constitution.
Explain
Elaborate
Evaluate
A Historic Convention (p. 210)
 The Constitutional Convention opened May 25, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its goal was to revise the Articles of Confederation. Every state except
Rhode Island sent representatives. The convention would prove historic because it did not revise the Articles of Confederation. Instead, it produced a new
United States Constitution.
 The convention’s 55 delegates were a remarkable group. Eight of them had signed the Declaration of Independence, including the oldest, Benjamin Franklin. At
age 81, Franklin was wise in the ways of government and human nature. George Washington was a representative from Virginia. Washington was so well
respected that the delegates at once elected him president of the Convention.
Disagreements Over a New Government (p. 210-211)
 Soon after the meeting began, the delegates realized they would have to do more than simply revise the Articles of Confederation. They chose instead to write
an entirely new constitution for the nation.
The Great Compromise (p. 212)
 For a while, no compromise could be reached. With tempers flaring, it seemed that the Convention would fall apart without adopting any plan. Finally, Roger
Sherman of Connecticut worked out a compromise that he hoped would satisfy both the large and small states.
The Three-Fifths Compromise (p. 212-213)
 Just as there were disagreements between large states and small states, there were also disagreements between northern and southern states. The most serious
disagreements concerned the issue of slavery. Would enslaved people be counted as part of a state’s population? Would the slave trade continue to bring
enslaved Africans into the United States?
The Convention Comes to a Conclusion (p. 213-214)
 As the long, hot summer drew to a close, the weary delegates struggled with one difficult question after another. How many years should the President, head of
the Executive Branch, serve? How should the system of federal courts be organized? Would members of Congress be paid?
~Guided Reading and Discussion Questions
 See Small Group Purposeful Talk Question Stems from the previous page for this portion of the lesson.
~Analyzing Maps and Charts & Digital Activity (p. 210, 211, 212, & 213)
 See Online Resources from the previous page for this portion of the lesson.
~Assign the Digital Lesson Quiz for this lesson (p. 214). Teachers can also opt to have students demonstrate mastery by responding to the following questions on
paper:
 Contrast the ideas of Alexander Hamilton with those of George Mason. Which one was more pleased with the final Constitution?
 Why did New Jersey propose the plan that it did?
 The Great Compromise is so named because it was considered vital to the success of the Convention. What proof is there that it was a Great Compromise?
 How did the agreement that no state could stop a fugitive slave from being returned to his or her owner affect slaves?
 What is so significant about the Preamble’s opening words, “We the people of the United States…”?