Lesson Plan: Tuesday, November 13, 2007
US Civics
Mr. Cassutto

Objectives: The students will

I. Identify the basic concepts of American democracy as found in the major documents of American History;
II. Differentiate between the historical causes and effects that led to the writing of such documents as the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, the Articles of Confederation, Declaration of Independence, and the US Constitution, including the Bill of Rights.

Procedure(s): Students will review orally and score the “Articles vs. Constitution” worksheet. The following activity involves taking notes from a chart on the major documents of American history. Students will complete a worksheet on identifying historical documents in a teacher-led activity, and then they will identify historical documents independently. If time remains, students can study Chapter 2 (of Civics Today) and related concepts on their own.

Motivation: Scoring Homework on the Articles of Confederation and Constitution

A) Students should have received the worksheet: Articles of Confederation vs. The US Constitution
The worksheet is also available as a Word 2000 document and as an Adobe PDF.
Have students review their homework for one minute silently. Inform them that no pair of answers should be the same. Each pair of answers includes the response ART for Articles of Confederation and CON for the Constitution. All pairs should be either “Art/Con” or “Con/Art” but no pair should be “Con/Con” or “Art/Art.”

The answers to the worksheet are available here.

B) Remind students to place their names, class period, and date on the worksheet.

C) After one minute, have students exchange papers in what is known as “the Quick Switch.” Students should know this procedure, but it is described below:

1) They must use another color pen than the one used on the paper they are checking.
2) They must sign the bottom of the paper they are checking.
3) Be attentive to students filling in answers before switching papers or students who don't switch and add answers during the review process.
4) Reveal the answers one by one on the overhead. Choose students to give their response and tell why before revealing the answers on the overhead. Use a piece of paper to cover the question you are discussing. Use notes already on the overhead to provide information to the students. In this worksheet, students must recognize that any statement that gives the states power over the central government identifies the Articles of Confederation (ART). Any mention of the House of Representatives, Senate, or Federal government refers to the Constitution (CON).
5) Have students count the number of responses. Each pair of responses counts as two points. Students should place the number correct over the number 30 at the top of the paper. Do not collect. Students need to study their worksheets for the test.

Description (Main Activity): Note-taking on the Historical Documents of American History

A) Distribute the worksheet entitled Important Historical Documents of American History that contains the chart to students (or have them pick up all documents as they come into the room).  The worksheet is available as a PDF document as well.

B) The information that students will write into their charts is contained in this document.
Available in Word 2000 and Adobe PDF

Create a transparency of the chart with the answers. Chop each column into an answer strip without the heading. Leave the heading and topic column in tact and place on the overhead.

Distribute transparency strips that make up the column of information for each document listed in the chart. There are about ten documents and corresponding transparency strips, so each student will not get one. Allow students to discuss which one they have with a neighbor.

C) Have the students come up one at a time and place the document-strip where it belongs. First the holder of the Magna Carta strip will place it on the overhead. Have the class complete their chart for that document. When it seems as though a majority of students have finished, have the next student come up and place the strip where it belongs. Have the students read the information out loud for the rest of the class.

D) Continue the process until the chart is complete. Use the answer key transparency to monitor whether or not students are placing the correct strip in the appropriate column.

Application/Reflection: Historical Documents Treasure Hunt

A) Distribute these worksheets to students or instruct them to pick them up on the way into class.

B) Instruct students to work on the worksheet entitled “Historical Documents Treasure Hunt.” Tell them they have about 15 minutes to complete it. Before they get started, have students write down the hints and clues identified on the overhead. This will give them some assistance.

C) Have students work on their own. After about 10 minutes, allow students to correct their own papers for the  worksheet entitled “Historical Documents Treasure Hunt.” Have students complete the worksheet using their textbooks and the posters that have been placed around the room. (Students created posters based on each document in a previous lesson. this activity may be posted soon). They may also use their notes or any other document that they have in their possession such as the textbook.

D) Using a cover up sheet on the overhead projector, reveal the answer and allow students to correct their own papers.
have students identify key words found in the documents that will help them identify and remember the meaning and importance of the document. Remind students to include the underlining and notes visible on the overhead.

Wrap-Up Activity (Closure): Homework: Matching Activity: Origins of American Government

Distribute the worksheet with this title.

The worksheet is also available as a Word 2000 and Adobe PDF file.

 In essence, it is an open-note, open-book, take home quiz. Students should complete the worksheet for homework using their notebook, their textbook, and the Internet.

Answers to the worksheet are available here.

If time remains: Have students create their own multiple-choice quiz of about 5 questions using the worksheets and their textbook. Then allow them to ask each other questions or take each other’s quizzes until the bell. They should keep their work to use in studying for the upcoming test.

Assessment: The lesson will be evaluated by:

A) Scores on the upcoming test on historical documents
B) Scores on the worksheets.

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