Teaching Guide

Please refer to the module Teaching Guide for additional information.

Lesson summary
Instructional use
Pre-lesson activity
Standards covered by this lesson
Selected bibliography
Assessment

Lesson summary

This lesson on the Constitution centers on the story of David Claypoole and John Dunlap, who scooped the world when they published the new plan of government in their newspaper, the Pennsylvania Packet, on September 19, 1787. Claypoole tells the story of how a group of men got together for the goal of writing a new plan to replace the Articles of Confederation. In the process, they brought together many of the ideals expressed in the state constitutions. The story emphasizes the concepts of checks and balances and the separation of powers as they are expressed in Articles I-III of the Constitution.

Instructional use

Please refer to the module Teaching Guide for instructional use scenarios.

Pre-lesson activity

It is recommended that teachers preview the lesson to identify concepts that may need to be reviewed before students begin. Concepts include separation of powers, checks and balances, the three branches of government, and freedom of the press. Teachers may also wish to create a vocabulary/spelling list for terms found in this lesson.

Teachers may want to pose some questions to students before getting started: How do you think people got their news in colonial times? How fast do you think news travelled then? How fast do we get our news now? How do we get news about our government today? Do you think people always had news about their government? Why would that be important?

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Standards covered by this lesson

Refer to the module Teaching Guide for list a Language Arts goals covered by all WebDocent lessons.

Grades 7-8 Social Science and American History

Illinois State Goal 14

Understand, analyze, and compare political systems with an emphasis on the United States.   

Illinois State Goal 16

Understand and analyze events, trends, individuals, and movements shaping the history of Illinois, the United States, and other nations.


Selected bibliography

Alfred E. Young and Terry J. Fife, with Mary E. Janzen. We the People: Voices and Images of the New Nation. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993.

Assessment


Refer to the module Teaching Guide for an explanation of the online journal for assessment purposes.

See the Additional Activities page for ideas for extending the lesson offline.


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