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Day 1
and perform

Journal entry
Day 6
What were the

Exit Slip
Day 11
Short essay on

Pencil and
Paper Test

Day 2

Day 3
Negatives and
positives of the
Articles of
State and
powers under
the Articles of

Venn Diagram
Day 7
Day 8
Begin research Research day
in the library
in the library

Day 12

Day 4
Text Lesson:

Day 5
What was the

Day 9


Day 10
Ready, Set,

Daily Lessons Abstract
Day 1: Hooking Lesson: The Creation of the United States Government*

Why Do We Need Government?

In this lesson students are expected to predict the issues that could arise without
government, and then they will learn what a confederation is by participating in a
simulation. During the simulation students will work together in groups, fostering skills in
communication and collaboration. The final reflection relates the content of the lesson to
the structure of the Articles of Confederation during the years of 1777 to 1781.

Day 2: Concept Formation Lesson: Independence*

By looking at examples and non-examples of the concept independence students will
have a better understand of what it means when the United States gains independence from
the British. Students will then write their own examples and non-examples to demonstrate
their critical thinking. The teacher will use these examples as a formative assessment.


Day 3: Powers Under the Articles of Confederation: Were they Effective?
Students will explore the powers of the state and national governments under
the Articles of Confederation by reading modified primary sources such as the actual
articles. They will then engage in small group work to fill out a Venn diagram that lists
the positives and negatives of the Articles of Confederation. Essentially, they will
evaluate its effectiveness.
Day 4: Text Lesson: Shays Rebellion*

Learn about Shays Rebellion through different text resources. Compare and contrast
different points of view, explore texts, gain a deeper understanding on how Americans
reacted to the rebellion, and then respond to these central questions: What happened in
Shays Rebellion? How does it relate to the Articles of Confederation? Did all Americans
think the Articles of Confederation were too weak?

Day 5: Constitutional Convention Day 1

This lesson will take place over the span of two days. On day one, the teacher
will transition the students using a brief PowerPoint from the rebellions to the
Constitutional Convention. In relating the rebellions to the convention, students will
understand why it was convened.Then students will participate in a simulation of the
convention, acting as the Founding Fathers in 1787. An issue will be presented that the
students will need to resolve. Through the simulation students will gain a better
understanding of compromise. Then the teacher will debrief and tell students that the
Founding Fathers had to compromise in order to reassemble the nation. Students will
also look at images of the Constitutional Convention and learn the names of specific
Day 6: Constitutional Convention Day 2
On day two of the lesson on the Constitutional Convention students will look at
the specific issues brought up at the convention, as well as the solutions. These include
but are not limited to the three branches of government, two divisions of congress, the
3/5 compromise, and ratification of the Constitution. The teacher will provide primary
and secondary sources for the students to look through and engage in critical discussion
Day 7: Research
The teacher will pass out information on the final project for the unit, titled
biography booklet, and explain the responsibilities the student has. Once the project has
been explained, students will have the opportunity to work in the library/media room
on the project in class. It is expected that everyone use sources, whether they are books,
websites, magazines, etc.
Day 8: Research
This is the final day students will be able to work on their biography booklet in
class. They will be given the entire class period to investigate their assigned Founding


Day 9: Constitution Day

On Constitution Day, students will examine the role of the people in shaping
the United States Constitution. First, students will respond to a provocative statement
posted in the room. They will then watch a video that gives a brief explanation of the
Constitutional Convention of 1787, or listen as the video transcript is read aloud. A
Constitution poster is provided so students can examine Article VII and discuss it as a
class. The teacher will then guide students through a read-aloud play depicting two
Constitutional Convention delegates who disagreed about ratifying the Constitution.
High school students will review support materials and have a class debate about why
delegates should or should not have signed the Constitution in 1787. The class will then
discuss the ratification process. The lesson closes with an opportunity for students to
sign the Constitution, if they choose, and to discuss what it means to sign or not sign.
Day 10: Vocabulary Lesson: Ready, Set, Associate*

The goal of this lesson is to review and learn new complex vocabulary that relates to
the formation of the United States government. Students will move between stations with a
partner where they will pair vocabulary words with their word associations. The role of the
teacher is to probe students in asking why they have chosen to pair words and associations,
and to reflect with students on the importance of these terms in the content of the unit.

Day 11: Civic Responsibility

Students will be expected to complete an essay about why voting and other civic
responsibilities are important. The prompt will address the question: Is government
only for leaders? What can we do as citizens to participate? What would happen if we
did not? This short essay gives them the space to explain their thinking and relate
historical events to current rights and responsibilities they themselves have.
Day 12: Biography Booklets
Students will present their final biography booklets in small groups. They will
get into groups of 2-3 people who all have different founding fathers to share. Each
student will have 5 minutes to report on their biography, and the other students who
listen will record all important information. The assessment checks for understanding
on content and also teaches different social studies skills such as research, utilization of
primary and secondary sources, and communication with group members. This is a
comprehensive way for students to end the lesson, because we will end having learned
how and why we arrived at the Constitution that is still in place.

* Full lesson is included in this packet


Shannon Theis

Length of lesson: 35 minutes

Compelling Question: Why do we need government?

Overview: The lesson begins with a short journal entry in which the students imagine
what it would be like if the colonies were not governed by a united, central government.
Once students have a chance to journal entry, they will participate in a mock confederation.
Students will be put into groups and they will be asked to come to agreements in their
small groups, and then as a whole class. Afterwards we will reflect together on the
difficulties of agreeing when structured as a confederation in our class as well as those the
United States truly faced under the Articles of Confederation.

Students will collaborate with classmates to design a simulated government

Students will follow instructions during the simulation of a confederation and participate
as active members of their groups. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.1.B)
Students will understand what a confederation is and be able to list some of its
limitations. (5 U3.3.2)

Anticipated student conceptions or challenges to understanding:

One challenge to understanding we could encounter is that the students get along
very easily during the simulation and they do not experience any conflict. The conflict
would be crucial in their understanding of the limitations of the Articles of Confederation.

-Journal entry handout

Assessment: Students will be given an informal assessment in the format of a journal
entry, which I will collect to look over and give credit to each student for completing. They
will also be informally assessed as I walk around the room during the simulation and note
whether they are actively participating or not.

Instructional Sequence: 35 minutes
Warm-Up (5 minutes)

1. Introduce the unit: Today we are going to talk about what happened after the
American Revolution. Can anyone tell me why the colonists wanted to form a new
government after the war? Allow time for class discussion. (2 minutes)


2. Write Articles of Confederation on the board and tell students this was the new
form of government the colonists formed. Ask if anyone knows what a confederation
is and then give them the definition:

A confederation is a loose union of a number of small political units. Political
power is given to the small states and the federal (central) government has
limited power.

If further explanation is needed, try to explain and answer and any questions. (3

3. While answering questions, pass out journal entry handouts.

Brainstorm (8 minutes)

1. Instruct students to complete the journal entry handout.
2. Collect the papers or have students turn them in once they are finished.

Class Activity (17 minutes)

1. Now we are going to move into what we call a simulation of a confederation. I will
break you up into small groups and then you will need to answer the question I
write on the board (write the question after splitting up groups while they are getting

Divide the class by counting off so there are 5 students per group. The number of
groups is not important. (2 minutes)

2. Instruct the groups to respond to the question orally. Make sure to emphasize that
they will need to come up with one response to the question but that it is ok to
disagree and discuss/defend their individual responses until time is up. (5 minutes)

Question: What activity would you choose to do at recess if you had to do the same
thing for the rest of the year?

3. Come back as a whole class. We will have a chance to talk about what your
experience was like, but now we are going to do the same thing you just did in small
groups as a whole class. We are going to try to come to an agreement as a class as to
which of the activities from the groups is the best. You as a group must defend why
you want your recess choice. Allow time for them to discuss and debate,
interceding when necessary. (10 minutes)


Conclusion (5 minutes)

Reflect on the activity. Ask students what problems they encountered and why they think
they arose. Then connect the activity to the Articles of Confederation. Explain that this
simulated a confederation because there was no federal government, which would be
represented by the teacher facilitating conversation.

List some of the problems experienced under the Articles of Confederation:

5 Major Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation

1. A weak national (or central) government.
2. Congress could not tax or regulate trade.
3. One vote per state no matter the size of the population or land size.
4. The national government did not have an executive or judicial branch.
5. No common currency among the states.

These are some of the problems the individual states had a hard time agreeing
upon. Just as you had problems agreeing, so did the states.


Prompt: Think about what might happen if each state was independent and we had no
central government. Write a list of 5 things you think would happen. Explain.


Concept Formation Lesson Plan Format

Name: Shannon Theis
Length of lesson: 20 minutes
Title of lesson: Falling into Independence
Overview: By looking at examples and non-examples of the concept independence students
will have a better understand of what it means when the United States gains independence
from the British. Students will then write their own examples and non-examples to
demonstrate their critical thinking. The teacher will use these examples as a formative
Objectives: Students will form the concept independence in order to understand how the
United States became an independent nation rather than a British colony.
Anticipated student conceptions or challenges to understanding: I think that students will
have a hard time understanding that independence is not always seen in a positive light. To
help them understand, I will include examples that are both positive and negative but still
explain independence.
Materials/Evidence/Sources: Examples/non-examples
Assessment: Explain how you will assess student understanding during and after
instruction. This might be formal or informal and should align with lesson objectives and
the instructional sequence.
Instructional Sequence:
1. Write independence on the board. Then define independence and explain that it is a
concept that can be tricky to understand. The definition to provide states: Thinking or
acting for oneself.
2. Go through the critical attributes of independence before looking at examples/nonexamples. Explain that when we look at situations and judge whether they represent
independence they should follow these attributes:
-The nation governs itself (self-government)
-Was there a separation? (revolution)
-Is not dependent on others for its value
3. Show two examples that help define independence. One is a video clip and one is an
image. The link to the video is found under materials and on the PowerPoint and the image
is found on the PowerPoint.


4. Pass out handout that lists examples and non-examples. Instruct students to place a check
mark in the box that says example if it is an example of independence or non-example
if it is not.
5. Go over the answers as a class. Have students explain aloud why they chose their
answer. Also have a student that picked a different answer respond and explain their
response. Then tell the students the correct response.
6. Have students each write down one example and one non-example to turn in as a form of
formative assessment. Also have them respond to the assessment questions in a class
discussion at the end of the PowerPoint as a way to see how well they apply the concept.
Also have the students write down their responses and notes from discussion of assessment
Note: Attach all handouts, lecture notes, PowerPoint slides, etc.

By: Shannon Theis

Thinking or ac,ng for oneself.

Critical Attributes
The na'on governs itself (selfgovernment)
Was there a separa'on?
Is not dependent on others for its


Independent Reading

Preparing cereal by yourself

Assessment Questions
Are there any symbols that represent Americas
independence? Which ones? How?
Can a na9on be independent if they have a king/
What are some responsibili9es of a country that
they gain in becoming independent?


Example or Non-example
1) Before Emily goes to school she needs to tie her shoes. Her
mom helps her to cross the laces, and then Emily does the

___ Example

___ Non-example

2) The American colonies had a British king.

___ Example

___ Non-example

3) At the Constitutional Convention, the Articles of

Confederation were written.
___ Example

___ Non-example

My example:

My non-example:


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