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Abbey

Medema
SST 309-01
Teaching with Text

Title: Need for the Constitution
Time: 1 Day
Objectives:
TLW be able to recognize states represented at the Constitutional Convention.
TLW be able to identify what the people wanted changed from the Articles of
Confederation and why there was a need for a new document.
TLW be able to describe how the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation led to the
writing of the Constitution.
TLW be able to compare the Virginia Plan with the New Jersey Plan.
TLW be able to compare the Articles of Confederation with the Constitution.
Identify cause/effect relationships in the development of Americas government.
Standards:
U3.3.2: Give examples of problems the country faced under the Articles of
Confederation
U3.3.3: Explain why the Constitutional Convention was convened and why the
Constitution was written.
U3.3.5: Give reasons why the Framers wanted to limit the power of government.
Materials:
Wanted: A Just Right Government reading
Projector
Scissors
Tape/Glue
Class set of Document C
Class set of Document D
iCivics Cause and Effect worksheet (6 copies to be safe)
piece of paper (1 for each student)
Procedure:
1. Introduction: We are going to be looking at the Constitutional Convention, and what
happened at it. First, we have to know which states were represented at the
Constitutional Convention. These states sent people to the convention to represent
them, so that they had a say in what was happening.
a. Hand out the George Washington diary entries.
2. George Washington was one of our nations founders. We are going to look at his diary
entries from the time of the Constitutional Convention and see when each state arrived.
As each state arrives, we are going to shade them in on the map that I am going to pull
up on the board. This map may look a little different than the one that we have now,
but thats because the land was way different back then!
3. Pull up the map of the nation at that time (do not pull screen down-let shine on the
white board): https://www.loc.gov/resource/g3300.ar010000/

4. Read through the diary entries, beginning with May 14-June 8 and cross off states on
the map as they arrive at the Convention.
5. Now that we know which states were represented at the Constitutional Convention,
we are going to see what happened at it.
6. Pass out reading Wanted: A Just Right Government.
7. Begin reading with the class. Pause after Independent Citizens Seek Awesome
Government paragraph. Put Document A under the document camera, or write on the
board as you go.
8. Tell students, we are going to complete the sentence for each of these statements
based on what we just read.
9. Read each question one by one, and have the students complete the sentences based
on their options in the phrase bank. They may answer as a whole, or individually. If they
are struggling with which phrase to pick from the phrase bank, let them discuss with
their neighbor for 30 seconds, and bring the class back together to answer. Remind
them that they can use their text to try to find the answer. Continue process until all
answers are filled in.
10. Continue reading. Stop after Independent Citizens Seek Weak Government paragraph.
Have students read aloud, together, the definition of a confederation (bolded in same
paragraph).
11. Put Document B under the document camera, or write on the board as you go.
12. Tell students we are going to fill in the blanks based on the paragraph that we just
read. Follow the answering procedures from the last document (step number 9), until
this document is completed.
13. Continue reading. Stop after A Rocky Relationship. Hand out Document C to each
student. Partner students up based on who they are sitting next to. Give students 5
minutes to fill out the pros and cons chart. Read them the directions on top of
Document C.
14. Have students raise hands to answer what they put in each column to check for
understanding.
15. Continue reading. Stop after Lets Fix This Thing. Ask students: How is the new
government going to be set up?. Ideally, they will answer with 3 branches. If this is not
the answer they give, ask guiding questions such as, How many branches will there
be?. Write 3 Branches big on the board, with 3 lines coming off of it, sort of like a
web. Ask the students what are the three branches? and fill in the web as they
answer.
3 Branches

Judicial Legislative

Executive

16. Continue reading. After the Voting in Congress: Yes, Its a Big Deal paragraph, read the
Battle of the Plans chart word for word, and have the student figure out which plan
favored the bigger states and which plan favored the smaller states.

17. Continue reading. Once the reading is finished, hand out Document D and read the
instructions out loud to the class. Have the students use their reading and their partners
to complete Document D.
18. Give students 10 minutes to complete Document D, then go over the answers with the
class, taking answers from the students.
19. Next, split the students into 4-5 groups, depending on class size, and handout the iCivics
Cause and Effect worksheet.
20. Review historical cause and effect with the students by doing the following:
a. Ask: can anyone explain to me what cause and effect means.
b. Call on students to hear their answers
c. After calling on about 3-5 students, summarize what historical cause and effect
is:
i. Cause and effect, when we look at event in history, is realizing that one
thing, the cause, will make something else happen, the effect. For
example, pretend you decided to eat cereal this morning. Deciding to eat
cereal would be the cause, and opening the fridge to get the milk would
be an effect. So, as we look at the Cause and Effect worksheet in front of
you, we see that one cause is that the British government treated the
American colonists harshly. What you would need to do, is figure out the
effect of that cause and pair them together. Then, put them under one of
the subheadings, British Rule, Articles of Confederation or The
Constitution.
21. Read the instructions aloud. Allow students 15 minutes to complete this worksheet. Use
this worksheet as a performance assessment to gauge students learning from the text.
22. Collect the worksheet before you review.
23. Review using the answer key.
24. After reviewing the worksheet answers, review by asking students questions in a
discussion style format. Write the questions on the board as you ask them (number the
questions as they are written). Take answers from students. After you receive their
answer, ask the class if they agree or disagree. If someone disagrees, ask why. Also ask if
anyone wants to add to their classmates answer.
a. Why was there a need for the Constitution?
b. What changes were made to the Articles of Confederation?
c. Why were states concerned about their representation?
i. Did the Articles of Confederation give them fair representation?
ii. What changes did The Constitution make to the Articles of Confederation
to create fair representation?
d. What was the form of government under the Articles of Confederation?
i. How was the government set up under the Constitution?
25. Also use the above questions as an exit ticket. Give each student a piece of blank
paper, tell them to answer one of the questions on the board, it cannot be one that they
have already answered during the discussion. Make sure they indicate on their paper
which question they are answering. Also, have them write on the bottom a topic that
was covered in this lesson that they are still confused about/need help with.
















George Washington Diary Entries
May 1787-June 1787



























http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/primarysourcesets/constitution/

Document A

The people wanted a certain type of government that had certain qualities. Finish the phrases
using the phrase bank below to find out what those qualities were.

Phrase Bank

A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

Have a say
Of all the states
Individual rights
To do its job
Too much power



Protects
___________________________________________________________________


Doesnt give anyone
____________________________________________________________


Considers the needs
____________________________________________________________


Has enough power
_____________________________________________________________


Lets citizens
________________________________________________________

Document B

The Articles of Confederation explained how the government would be set up. Fill in the blanks
below, using the word bank to find out what was outlined in the Articles of Confederation.

Congress
Independent
Lawmaking

Word Bank
President
Representatives

Courts
Vote
Government



Each state would send ______________________ to the
Congress of Confederation, a _________________ body.


In Congress, each state got one ___________.


_______________ was the only branch of government. There
was no _____________ or _______________.


Each state was ____________________ and had its own
______________________.





Document C

Use the reading to fill in each column with the pros and the cons of the Articles of
Confederation.

Pros

Cons

Document D

Using the reading, fill in the chart with information about how states are represented in the
Senate and in the House of Representatives. At the bottom of the worksheet, fill in the blanks,
using the word bank, of the other changes that the Constitution made to the Articles of
Confederation.

Senate








House of Representatives

Bank
The same




Can be changed
Federal law

State law

The Constitution requires states to treat citizens from other states


____________ as their own citizens.


The Constitution states that _______________ is superior to
_______________.


The Constitution _______________ if of the states agree.

Document A Answer Key



The people wanted a certain type of government that had certain qualities. Finish the phrases
using the phrase bank below to find out what those qualities were.

Phrase Bank

A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

Have a say
Of all the states
Individual rights
To do its job
Too much power



Protects
C.Individual rights


Doesnt give anyone
E.Too much power


Considers the needs
B.Of all the states


Has enough power
D.To do its job


Lets citizens
A.Have a say

Document B Answer Key



The Articles of Confederation explained how the government would be set up. Fill in the blanks
below, using the word bank to find out what was outlined in the Articles of Confederation.

Word Bank
President
Representatives

Congress
Independent
Lawmaking

Courts
Vote
Government



Each state would send representatives to the Congress of
Confederation, a lawmaking body.


In Congress, each state got one vote.


Congress was the only branch of government. There was no
President or courts.


Each state was independent and had its own government.

Document C - Answer Key



Use the reading to fill in each column with the pros and the cons of the Articles of
Confederation.

Pros


States had their own
power and independence.


No powerful government
telling them what to do.


There was a military to
protect all states.

Cons


Congress didnt have
power to enforce their
laws.


Congress couldnt collect
tax to pay for the military.


Every state had to agree in
order to change the
articles.







Document D Answer Key



Using the reading, fill in the chart with information about how states are represented in the
Senate and in the House of Representatives. At the bottom of the worksheet, fill in the blanks,
using the word bank, of the other changes that the Constitution made to the Articles of
Confederation.

Senate

House of Representatives



Each state gets 2 votes.







Votes are based on population
(the bigger the population, the
more votes).

Bank
The same

Can be changed
Federal law

State law

The Constitution requires states to treat citizens from other states the
same as their own citizens.


The Constitution states that federal law is superior to state law.


The Constitution can be changed if of the states agree.