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This unit is part of Gilder Lehrman’s series of Common Core State Standards–based teaching resources. These units were developed to enable students to understand, summarize, and analyze original texts of historical significance. Through a step-by-step process, students will acquire the skills to analyze any primary or secondary source material.
Over the course of three lessons the students will analyze text from three documents defining American democracy: the Preamble to the United States Constitution, the...
This unit is part of Gilder Lehrman’s series of Common Core State Standards–based teaching resources. These units were developed to enable students to understand, summarize, and analyze original texts of historical significance. Through a step-by-step process, students will acquire the skills to analyze any primary or secondary source material.Lesson 1 Objective
Today students will participate as members of a critical thinking group and “read like a detective” in order to analyze the...
Little did William Penn know that his plans for a “Great Towne,” set up in rectangular form between the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers, would become the site of some of the most important meetings in our nation’s founding, including the meeting that formed our national government. The Constitutional Convention was held in the Pennsylvania State House during the hot summer of 1787. The windows were kept shut and guards posted so that outsiders could not hear the discussions.Essential Question
Students will be able to:Identify the parts of the Constitution and their purposes Explain the first ten amendments and how they affect people today Describe the rights and responsibilities of American citizens Historical Background
The United States has the oldest written national framework of government in the world. At the end of the twentieth century, there were about 159 other national constitutions in the world, and 101 had been adopted since 1970. While the United States has been governed by a single framework of government for over two centuries, France, in contrast, has had 10 separate and distinct constitutional orders (including five republics, two empires, a monarchy, and two dictatorships). The country of El Salvador has had 36 constitutions since 1824....
On the 200th anniversary of the ratification of the US Constitution, Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to sit on the Supreme Court, said that the Constitution was “defective from the start.” He pointed out that the framers had left out a majority of Americans when they wrote the phrase, “We the People.” While some members of the Constitutional Convention voiced “eloquent objections” to slavery, Marshall said they “consented to a document which laid a foundation for the tragic events which were to follow.”
The word “slave...