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UnitPlan

By:StevenAlfieri

Title:TheUnitedStatesConsitution
GradeLevel:8thGrade
Subject:SocialStudies
BigIdeas:limitedgovernment,republicanism,checksandbalances,federalism,separationofpowers,popularsoveignty
EssentialQuestions:WhatisthesignificanceofthekeyideasintheconsitutionhistoricallyandforAmericanstoday?
Whatisboththegovernmentsandcitizensroleingovernment?
Howshouldpowerbedividedwithinthegovernment?
StudentswillKnow:Thecoreconceptsoftheconsitutionandidentfytheirrelationshiptoitscentralideasanddebatethecore
constitutionalprinciplesastheyrelatetotoday'spoliticalissues.
StudentswillUnderstand:ThemajorideasandframeworkofhowtheUnitedStatesgovernmentisstructuredandthesignificanceof
theconstitution.
StudentswillDo:MappingtheConsitutionstext,learningaboutthefoundingfathers,identifyingtheconsitutionssixmainconcepts,
analyzeprimarysources,debatingtheideasintheconstitution.

ResearchBasedInstructionalStrategies:Researchingonlinetextualinformation

Materials/Resources/Websites:Constitution,BackgroundinformationonFoundingFathers(online),Copiesofprimarysources
4handouts,http://www.archives.gov/legislative/resources/education/constitution/
MultipleAssessmentsandRubrics:Handouts,GraphicOrganizers,Discussion

MercyhurstUniversityLessonPlan
PreserviceTeacher__StevenAlfieri_____________
th
School/Grade_ParkerMiddleSchool/8

Grade

CooperatingTeacher___MrLaser

____________
DateReceived__________DateReviewed_________
(CooperatingTeacherInitialsRequired)

LessonTitle__
OrientationtotheConsitutionMappingtheText

TeachingTime__
90minutes

______

LessonConcept:Studentswillbeabletounderstandtheconstitutionasatextualhistoricaldocument,anddeterminehowmuchofthe
overallprojectwasdedicatedtoeachstructureorpower
Standards: 8.1.8.B:Compareandcontrastahistoricalevent,usingmultiplepointsofviewfromprimaryandsecondarysources.
8.3.8.B:Evaluatetheimportanceofhistoricaldocuments,artifactsandplacescriticaltoUnitedStateshistory.

Objectives

(Stateinmeasurabletermswhatthestudentsshould/willbeabletodoasa
resultofthelesson.)SeeBloomWheel.

Assessments

(Theassessmentshouldclearlystatehowstudentachievementofobjectivewill
bemeasured.)SeeBloomWheel.

1.Studentswillbeabletounderstandtheconstitutionasa
documentandidentifythemakeupofitsstructureasa
manuscript

1.Studentswillfilloutahandouttodeterminethenumberof
wordscontainedineacharitcleoftheconstitutionandwhatthey
represent.

2.

2.

3.

3.

Materials:DigitalandPhysicalCopiesoftheGraphicOrganizerHandout
AnticipatorySetWhattopicsdoyouthinkaremostimportantintheConstitution?
ActivatingPriorKnowledge:WhatdoyouknowinitiallyabouttheUnitedStatesConstitution?
Adaptations:Givingthestudentwithadaptationsthehandoutaheadoftimebeforeclass
Procedure:
TeacherActions
1. IntroducetheSixBigIdeaswhichunderpinthe
Constitution.Limitedgovernment,republicanism,checks
andbalances,federalism,separationofpowers,popular
soveignty

StudentActions
1. StudentswilllistenandtakenotesonthesixBigideasin
theconstitution

2. Introducethetablehandouttodeterminethenumberof
mainideascontainedineacharticleoftheconstitution

3. Studentswillcompletethehandoutbyidentifyingthe
numberofwordsandthepercentagebreakdownand
contentoftheconstitution

3. Havethestudentscompletethehandoutbywritinginthe
percentagesofthewholeConstitutionthatisdedicatedto
eacharticle

4. Studentswillanswerquestionsandconverseinclass
discussion

4. Classdiscussiontoanalyzethemapandaddressquestions
etc

2. Studentswilllistentotheinstructionsabouthowto
completethetablegraphicorganizer

etc

Closure:WhichtopicsreceivedthemostattentionintheConstitution?Doesthemapsuggesthypothesesabouttherelativeimportance
tothefoundersofthepowersofthenewgovernment?Towhatextentdothepowersofeachbranchofgovernmentdisplayedinthe
mapmatchhowthefederalgovernmentworkstoday?
AdditionalConceptRelatedActivity:LinktheseconceptstotheIntroducingoftheFoundingFathersandhowthesewordsrepresent
theirideas.
MercyhurstUniversityLessonPlan
PreserviceTeacher_
StevenAlfieri

_________
th
School/GradeParkerMiddleSchool/8

Grade

CooperatingTeacher

Mr.Laser

DateReceived__________DateReviewed_________
(CooperatingTeacherInitialsRequired)

LessonTitleIntroductingtheFounders

TeachingTime

45minutes

LessonConcept:Researchinformationaboutthefoundersthemselvestoaidintheunderstandingoftheconstiutionandhowthe
governmentsystemwascreated.
Standards: 8.3.8.A:Examinetherolegroupsandindividualsplayedinthesocial,political,cultural,andeconomicdevelopmentof
theUnitedStates.
8.3.8.C:SummarizehowcontinuityandchangehaveimpactedU.S.history
8.3.8.D:Examinehowconflictandcooperationamonggroupsandorganizationshaveimpactedthegrowthand
developmentoftheU.S.

Objectives

(Stateinmeasurabletermswhatthestudentsshould/willbeabletodoasa
resultofthelesson.)SeeBloomWheel.

Assessments

(Theassessmentshouldclearlystatehowstudentachievementofobjectivewill
bemeasured.)SeeBloomWheel.

1.Studentswillbeabletoidentifywhothefoundingfatherswere
andundesrtandthegovernmenttheycreated.

1.Studentswilleachcompleteaprofilehandoutofthefounding
fatheroftheichoicwhicheachstudenthavingadifferent
individualtoresearch.

Materials:Onlinenationalarchiveswebsitethathasinformationoneachfoundingfather,socialnetworkhandout
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_founding_fathers.html
AnticipatorySetExplainhowthefoundingfathersviewsandideasconnectwiththeconstitution.
ActivatingPriorKnowledge:Whatdoyouknowabouttheofundingfatherspriortoresearchingthem?
Adaptations:Givestudentswhoneedadaptationsthefoundingfatherinformationpriortoclassandletthemresearchthereindividual
beforehand
Procedure:
TeacherActions
1. Introducewhythefoundingfathersareimportantto
UnitedStatesHistoryandhowtheirpersonalrelationships
wereimportanttofarneraconsensusforspecific
proposalstobeincludedintheconstitution.
2. Assigneachstudentafoundingfatherandgiveeach
studentasocialprofilehandouttocompletefromthe
onlinewebresource
3. Afterstudentscompletetheprofileandlikessectionon
Handout2,postthemonthewall.Studentswillthen

StudentActions
1. Studentswilllistentotheteacherandmakeconnections
withtheimpactthatthefoundingfathersmadeonthe
UnitedStates.
2. Studentswillcompletethesocialprofilehandoutby
researchingontheonlinewebsiteabouttheirspecific
foundingfather
3. Studentswillcompletethefinalportionofthehandoutby
comparingtheviewpointsoftheirfoundingfatherwith
otherstomakeconnections.

browsetheotherprofilestodeterminewhowouldlikely
be"friends"withtheirassignedFounder,thenfilloutthe
Friendssectionofthehandout.

4.
etc

4.
etc

Closure:Theteacherwilldiscusswhatthestudentslearnedaboutthefoundingfathersandhowindividualsstillmadeconnections
todayliketheydidbackinhistory.
AdditionalConceptRelatedActivity:Connectthefoundingfatherstotheconstitutionandthesixbigideas
MercyhurstUniversityLessonPlan
PreserviceTeacher

StevenAlfieri
th
School/GradeParkerMiddleSchool/8

Grade

CooperatingTeacher

Mr.Laser

DateReceived__________DateReviewed_________
(CooperatingTeacherInitialsRequired)

LessonTitle
OutliningtheConstitutionsSixBigIdeas
LessonConcept:

TeachingTime

45minutes

Standards:CC.8.5.68.D:Determinethemeaningofwordsandphrasesastheyareusedinatext,includingvocabularyspecificto
domainsrelatedtohistory/socialstudies.
1.1.6.C:UseMeaningandknowledgeofwords(e.g.,rootwords,literalmeanings,idioms,commonforeignwords)across
contentareastoexpandreadingvocabulary

Objectives

(Stateinmeasurabletermswhatthestudentsshould/willbeabletodoasa

Assessments

(Theassessmentshouldclearlystatehowstudentachievementofobjectivewill

resultofthelesson.)SeeBloomWheel.

1.Studentswillanalyzethetextoftheconstitutiontoidentify
specificexamplesoftheSixBigIdeasintheconstitutionitself.
Limitedgovernment,republicanism,checksandbalances,
federalism,separationofpowers,popularsoveignty

bemeasured.)SeeBloomWheel.

1.Studentswillcompleteahandoutthatsummarizesthe
vocabularywordsinquotesthattheyfindwithintheconstitution.
2.

2.

3.

3.
Materials:OnlineCopyoftheConstitution,SixBigIdeasGraphicOrganizer
AnticipatorySetReferbacktopriorlessonsandquestionthestudentsaboutwhateachofthewordsmeansasarefreshertocheck
forunderstanding
ActivatingPriorKnowledge:Askthestudentsifanyofthefoundingfathersrelatestotheseconceptsandwhichideatheysupported
Adaptations:Icouldgivethevocabularyandcopiesofthehandoutstostudentspriortothelesson.
Procedure:
TeacherActions
1. Dividethestudentsintosixgroupswitheachgroup
assignedaBigIdeavocabularyword
2. Providetheelectroniccopyoftheconstitutionandhave
thestudentsfilloutthehandoutwiththequotefromthe
consitutionanditslocationsthatshowanexampleofthe

StudentActions
1. Studentswillfollowtheteachersdirections
2. Studentswillresearchthroughouttheconstitutionfora
quotethatusetheideawithingtheirvocabularywordand
summarizethequotetosharewiththeclass

assignedBigIdeainaction,whilerefrazingthequotein
theirownwords
3. Eachgroupwillsharetheirexampleswiththeclass

3. Studentswillsharetheirexampleswiththecalssandwrite
downtheexamplesfromotherstudents
4.
etc

Closure:Discusswithstudentswhyunderstandingvocabularyandlocatingideasintextareimportantandhowtheseideasarewithin
theconstitution.
AdditionalConceptRelatedActivity:Showstudentshowthesewordswillrelatetothedebateforthenextclass.

MercyhurstUniversityLessonPlan
PreserviceTeacher
StevenAlfieri

th
School/GradeParkerMiddleSchool/8

Grade

CooperatingTeacher

Mr.Laser

DateReceived__________DateReviewed_________
(CooperatingTeacherInitialsRequired)

LessonTitle
DebatingtheSixBigIdeasinAmericaToday

TeachingTime

90minutes

LessonConcept:Studentswillobtainanunderstandingoftheelementsoftheconstitutionandtakesidesinadebatefeaturingcurrent
issues.
Standards: 8.3.8.B:Evaluatetheimportanceofhistoricaldocuments,artifactsandplacescriticaltoUnitedStateshistory.

8.3.8.A:Examinetherolegroupsandindividualsplayedinthesocial,political,cultural,andeconomicdevelopmentofthe
UnitedStates.
8.1.9.B:Comparetheinterpretationofhistoricaleventsandsources,consideringtheuseoffactversusopinion,multiple
perspectives,andcauseandeffectrelationships.

Objectives

(Stateinmeasurabletermswhatthestudentsshould/willbeabletodoasa
resultofthelesson.)SeeBloomWheel.

Assessments

(Theassessmentshouldclearlystatehowstudentachievementofobjectivewill
bemeasured.)SeeBloomWheel.

1.Studentswillobtainanunderstaningoftheconstitutionand
debateoverissueswithintheprimarysourcedocument.

1.GradingtheHandoutforthedebateandthediscussionduring
thedebateitself.

2.

2.

3.

3.

Materials:Onlinecopyoftheconstitution,DebateHandoutGraphicOrganizer
AnticipatorySetRemindstudetnsofthedebatesthefoundershadoverwhattoputintotheconstitution
ActivatingPriorKnowledge:Askstudentswhatdebatedissuesaregoingoninourcountrytoday
Adaptations:Givestudentsthedebatehandoutpriortostarttheirresearchearlier

Procedure:
TeacherActions
1. Teacherswillgivestudentsthedebatehandoutdescribing
thateachquestionwillhaveitsownhandoutandforthe
studentstoworktogethersplitintoteamsdividingthe
workamongtheirteamtoprepareforthesixquestions
thatwillbepresentedthatrelatetothevocabularywords
taughtprior.
2. Allowstudentstoresearchwithintheconstitutionand
createapositionthattheirteamisassignedforeach
question.Eachstudentshouldselectaspeakeranddivide
roleswithinthegroup,andpreparetosupporttheir
arguments

StudentActions
1.Studentswillsplitupintoteamsanddivideuptherolesand
workforthedebateinstructedbytheteacher
2.Studentswillresearchandplanapositionthattheirgroupis
assignedandfilloutthehandout.
3.Studentswillparticipateinthedebatediscussingbackandforth
theirpositions
4.
etc

3. Thedebatewillensuethenextclassperiodwiththe
teacherbeingthemoderatorfascilitatingthequestions.
Closure:Askstudentstoreflectontheconstitutionunitasawholeandseeiftheyunderstandtheunit.
AdditionalConceptRelatedActivity:Segwayintotheperiodaftertheconstitutionwascreated.