Founding Fathers: Franklin, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Madison

by Julie Baergen

Unit Objective

This unit is part of Gilder Lehrman’s series of Common Core State Standards–based units. 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.

Overview

In these lessons students will have the opportunity to study the words of four of the United States’ “Founding Fathers”—Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison—to discover their ideas regarding the new government to be launched in the fledgling country. The people chosen for these lessons are not to be seen as the only relevant founders. Rather, these lessons can serve as a framework for creating additional lessons highlighting other Founding Fathers and Revolutionaries as determined by the teacher and/or the students.

Although the term “Founding Fathers” traditionally refers to the men involved in writing the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States, there were many other men AND women involved in liberating the United States from British rule. Resources for further study of some of these individuals are given in the Additional Resources section after these lessons.

The lessons follow this format: share a brief biography of the individual for historical context, present two to three related quotations by the individual for analysis, and have students respond in writing to check for understanding. The final writing assignment will be a compare/contrast essay of the different views of the presented “Founding Fathers.” The first lesson is teacher directed. As students get more practice with document analysis, they engage in more independent analysis in small groups and individually with teacher guidance.

Lesson procedures are written to provide maximum support for student learning. The teacher knows best what his/her students need and should adjust the lessons accordingly, adding or removing supports. A key is provided with suggested responses, but the teacher should accept what is reasonable for the students, as long as they can justify their responses with evidence from the texts.

Lesson 1 – Benjamin Franklin

Objective

Given a series of quotations by Benjamin Franklin, the students will demonstrate understanding by selecting key words, summarizing the text using those key words, and then restating the meaning of each quotation in their own words. Students will then complete a written response based on the provided quotations.

Introduction

Benjamin Franklin is an interesting character who appeals to a broad range of people. His entrepreneurship and international reputation prepared him for his role in building a new nation. The quotations chosen for this lesson illustrate his desire for equality for all men and the need for compromise to achieve resolution. Students will be interested in Franklin’s many inventions and may recognize other Franklin quotations in everyday language. For a list of Internet links to information about Franklin and additional quotations, see the Additional Resources section of these lessons.

The vocabulary in these documents may be above what the students are used to. Let them struggle with it a bit and remind them of strategies for understanding new vocabulary such as context clues and word structure. Encourage students to discuss the use of words and their meanings among themselves. Although students should struggle, avoid reaching the point of frustration. The teacher can help students find definitions in dictionary resources or provide the definitions as a last resort.

Materials

  • Projector, document reader, or other device for sharing documents with the whole class
  • Handout of Ben Franklin’s selected quotations – Founding Fathers’ Selected Quotations Handout, p. 1; one for each student and one to be displayed for the class.
  • Teacher Resource: Key to the Founding Fathers’ Selected Quotations Handout
  • Chart paper and markers or other method for recording artifacts for the class
  • Biographical information for Benjamin Franklin to provide historical context (see links provided in Additional Resources section of these lessons)

Procedure

  1. Tell the students that in the next few days they will work as a whole class, in small groups, and on their own to study the words and ideas of some of the people instrumental in liberating the United States from British rule and in creating a framework for governing the new nation. Students will analyze quotations from these Founders’ writings to discover what their ideas were for the new government.
  2. Using best practices for grouping students for learning, arrange the students into groups of two or three. These groups will be maintained throughout the unit.
  3. Share a picture and short biography of Benjamin Franklin with the students for historical context. Give each student a copy of the handout with selected quotations from Franklin’s writings and project them for the class to see. Ask students to read the first quotation silently, to note on their handout any questions they may have and some thoughts about the quotation, and to circle words they are unsure of. Set a period of time, no more than three minutes, for students to read through the quotation. Students will most likely struggle and become frustrated with this first quotation. Be sure students understand that this first reading is for them to familiarize themselves with the text. You will be helping them understand the quotation as the lesson continues.
  4. Ask students to share with their learning partners any questions they might have at this point as well as any words that might be challenging. Ask the groups to share with the class and list a few of the questions and words on the chart paper to review at a later time. Don’t try to answer all the questions and define all the words right now. You will revisit this list as the lesson continues.
  5. The teacher now reads the quotation aloud to the students, modeling reading fluency. (It’s a good idea to practice this ahead of time; eighteenth-century writing style is difficult even for adults!) During this reading, the teacher pauses to think aloud for students. For example, “History affords us many instances of the ruin of states by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of their people.” Hmmm . . . affords doesn’t mean “able to buy”; it means “to give.” I know this because I’ve seen it used before and it makes sense. ”Prosecution of measures” is puzzling. I’m going to read on to see if I can figure out what it means. Temper and genius refers to the temperament and character of the people. I know this because I found the definition for genius in the dictionary, and I’ve heard the word temper used before, like when someone has a temper tantrum, or is of a certain temperament. “The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy.” Ah . . . the ordaining of laws relates back to the prosecution of measures . . . Franklin is talking about the creation and enforcing of laws. This sentence means that it’s a mistake to make laws that benefit some people and oppress others. Continue in this manner until the quote is completed.
  6. Read through the quotation a second time as a share read, beginning to read aloud and then inviting the students to read along. Continue to model reading fluency.
  7. When this second reading is completed revisit the list of questions and words to see if any questions can be answered or if any words can be explained. Jot down any additional questions that may require further study.
  8. Now that the quotation has been read (at least three times by the students) it’s time to summarize the text. This higher-level thinking activity engages students in understanding the meaning of the text. The first step is to select Key Words from the text. The first summary statement will be built on these Key Words—the author’s words. Afterward, students will restate the meaning of the text using their own words. The number of words in the passage determines the number of Key Words, roughly five Key Words per one hundred words in the text. This text is 113 words, so we’ll choose five to six words.
  9. Guidelines for Identifying Key Words: Key Words contribute meaning to the text. Key Words are usually nouns and verbs and are not connector words (and, so, but). A word can be a Key Word only if its meaning is known, and students are allowed to use their resources to discover the meanings of words before selecting them. Sometimes two or three words together may constitute a Key Word.
  10. To begin, ask student groups to select the five to six Key Words they think they will need to summarize this passage. Encourage them to talk together to identify the Key Words and to explain why they have chosen those words. As students choose their words, move around the room monitoring conversations and providing assistance. Rather than give answers to students’ questions, guide students to find their own answers.
  11. After an appropriate length of time (about five minutes, or when students stop engaging in meaningful activity), stop the students and survey the class for their word choices. There could be lively discussion as students share their words and defend their choices. This is important conversation and should be encouraged, not only for the learning value, but also as an opportunity to practice civil discourse. Use this time to check for understanding.
  12. Stop the conversation after a reasonable length of time; you’ll know when it’s time. In this lesson the teacher has the final say in selecting the Key Words. Record the words for the class on chart paper or another manner so that the whole class can see them. Students write the words in the section indicated on their handout. In this text Key Words might include ill suited, ordaining of laws, equal, protection, weakened, oppressed.
  13. The Key Words will be used to build a summary statement. Set a time for students to work, and ask student groups to create a sentence using the author’s own words to summarize the meaning of the text. Walk around the room monitoring and guiding conversation.
  14. When time is up the groups share their summaries with the whole class. Answers will vary, but as an example, the summary might read: “The ordaining of laws that do not provide equal protection to all people is ill suited and results in oppression and a weakened state or nation.” The discussion around the summary statement is important. Students are listening to each other and explaining their reasoning. The teacher is checking for understanding and clearing up misconceptions. A final summary is negotiated and recorded for the class. Students record the summary on their handouts.
  15. Next, the students will rewrite the summary using their own words. If students can do this, then you know they understand the text. Give students a set amount of time to work in their groups to craft an original summary statement. Have them share their sentences with the whole class. Choose one or create a new one to record for the class. Students write this summary statement on their handouts.
  16. When this quotation analysis is complete, return to the list of questions and words. Guide the students in answering the questions based on the text; find the meanings of any undefined words. Record any additional questions. These could be answered later in the unit or used for further class or independent study.
  17. Complete the above procedures with the second quotation from Benjamin Franklin, choosing two or three Key Words. The passage is shorter (51 words), and the process should speed up a bit. Continue modeling for students, unless you feel they are ready for more independent work.
  18. Wrap-up: Ask students to work with their group to respond to the prompt below in writing. Use student responses to check for understanding. Keep the class-generated lists of questions, words, and summaries for use at a later time.

    Prompt for student response:
    Benjamin Franklin states in the first quotation, “the ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another . . . never fail[s] to create great and violent jealousies and animosities between the people favored and the people oppressed.”

    Explain how his suggestion of compromise in the second quotation could lessen those “great and violent jealousies and animosities.”

Lesson 2 – Thomas Jefferson

Objective

Given a series of quotations by Thomas Jefferson, the students will demonstrate understanding by selecting key words, summarizing the text using those key words, and then restating the meaning of the quotation in their own words. Students will then complete a written response based on the provided quotations.

Introduction

Thomas Jefferson is credited with drafting the Declaration of Independence, serving as the first secretary of state, and holding office as the third president of the United States. In addition to his interest in agriculture and architecture, Jefferson was also an accomplished writer, scientist, and student of philosophy. The state of Virginia is home to Jefferson’s grand estate, Monticello, and to the University of Virginia, which he helped to establish. For more complete biographical information, visit the suggested links in the Additional Resources section of these lessons.

The vocabulary in these documents may be above what the students are used to. Let them struggle with it a bit and remind them of strategies for understanding new vocabulary such as context clues and word structure. Encourage students to discuss the use of words and their meanings among themselves. Although students should struggle, avoid reaching the point of frustration. The teacher can help students find definitions in dictionary resources or provide the definitions as a last resort.

Materials

  • Projector, document reader, or other device for sharing documents with the whole class
  • Handout of Thomas Jefferson’s selected quotations – Founding Fathers’ Selected Quotations Handout, p. 2; one for each student and one to be displayed for the class
  • Teacher Resource: Key to the Founding Fathers’ Selected Quotations Handout
  • Chart paper and markers or other method for recording artifacts for the class
  • Biographical information for Thomas Jefferson to provide historical context (see links provided in Additional Resources section of these lessons)

Procedure

  1. Tell the students that today they will be working with their groups to study quotations from another Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson. Review the summary statements from yesterday, address any misconceptions discovered in the student responses, and answer any questions students might have. Ask students to be thinking about similarities and differences between the views of Jefferson and Franklin.
  2. Share a picture and short biography of Thomas Jefferson with the students for historical context. Give each student a copy of the handout with selected quotations from Jefferson’s writings and project them for the class to see. Ask students to read the first quotation silently, to note on their handout any questions they may have and some thoughts about the quotation, and to circle words they are unsure of.
  3. Ask students to share with their learning partners any questions they might have at this point as well as any words that might be challenging. Ask the groups to share with the class and list a few of the questions and words on the chart paper to review at a later time.
  4. Read the quotation aloud to the students, modeling reading fluency. (It’s a good idea to practice this ahead of time; eighteenth-century writing style is difficult even for adults!) Share your own questions and difficult words with students, modeling what good readers do when they read.
  5. Read through the quotation a second time as a share read, continuing to model reading fluency. After reading the quotation, ask students to share what they were thinking about the text as they read.
  6. When this second reading is complete, revisit the list of questions and words to see if any questions can be answered or if any words can be explained. Jot down any additional questions that may require further study.
  7. Now that the quotation has been read (at least three times by the students) it’s time to summarize the text using the author’s words. This text is 55 words, so students will choose two or three Key Words and write them in the space provided on the handout. Circulate among groups monitoring conversations and guiding discussion.
  8. After an appropriate length of time (about five minutes, or when students stop engaging in meaningful activity), stop the students and ask them to share the words their group selected as Key Words and to explain why they chose those words. It is likely that groups will have chosen different words. That’s good. As students share their thinking with each other everyone is learning. The Key Words selected are not as important as the thought process the students engage in to select them. Any reasonable, justifiable selection is acceptable. Student groups may change their choice of Key Words as necessary.
  9. Set a time for the students to work and ask the groups to use the selected Key Words to craft a summary statement using the author’s words; they will write that summary in the space provided on the handout. Walk around the room monitoring and guiding conversation. When time is up the groups share their summaries with the whole class.
  10. Give students a set amount of time to work in their groups to craft an original summary statement. Share these with the whole class and record them on chart paper or another method for recording class responses.
  11. When this quotation analysis is complete, return to the list of questions and words. Guide the students in answering the questions based on the text; find the meanings of any undefined words. Record any additional questions. These could be answered later in the unit or used for further class or independent study.
  12. Complete the above procedures with the remaining quotations from Thomas Jefferson. The passages are short (46 and 51 words) and the process should speed up a bit. Continue modeling for students, as needed. By this time more students will be able to work independently in their groups. Word definition will most likely be the biggest hurdle. Students should use their good reader skills for determining the meaning of words in text.
  13. Wrap-up: Ask students to work with their group to respond to the prompt below in writing. Use student responses to check for understanding. Keep the class-generated lists of questions, words, and summaries for use at a later time.

    Prompt for student response:
    Using your analysis of these three quotations by Thomas Jefferson, describe Jefferson’s expectations for the government of the new nation.

Lesson 3 – Alexander Hamilton

Objective

Given a series of quotations by Alexander Hamilton, the students will demonstrate understanding by selecting key words, summarizing the text using those key words, and then restating the meaning of the quotation in their own words. Students will then complete a written response based on the provided quotations.

Introduction

Alexander Hamilton is known as a self-starter. He was born without the social and financial advantages of many of the other people considered Founding Fathers, but was ambitious enough to successfully overcome these barriers. Hamilton is remembered for co-authoring the Federalist Papers, establishing a national banking system, and losing his life in a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr. For more complete biographical information, visit the suggested links in the Additional Resources section of these lessons.

The vocabulary in these documents may be above what the students are used to. Let them struggle with it a bit and remind them of strategies for understanding new vocabulary such as context clues and word structure. Encourage students to discuss the use of words and their meanings among themselves. Although students should struggle, avoid reaching the point of frustration. The teacher can help students find definitions in dictionary resources or provide definitions as a last resort.

Materials

  • Projector, document reader, or other device for sharing documents with the whole class
  • Handout of Alexander Hamilton’s selected quotations – Founding Fathers’ Selected Quotations Handout, p. 3; one for each student and one to be displayed for the class
  • Teacher Resource: Key to the Founding Fathers’ Selected Quotations Handout
  • Chart paper and markers, or other method for recording artifacts for the class
  • Biographical information for Alexander Hamilton to provide historical context (see links provided in Additional Resources section of these lessons)

Procedure

  1. Tell the students that today they will be working with their groups to study quotations by a third Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton. Review the summary statements from the previous lessons, address any misconceptions discovered in the student responses, and answer any questions students might have. Ask students to be thinking about similarities and differences among the views of the Founders they have been studying.
  2. Share a picture and short biography of Alexander Hamilton with the students for historical context. Give each student a copy of the handout with selected quotations from Hamilton and project them for the class to see. Ask students to read the first quotation silently, to note on their handout any questions they may have and some thoughts about the quotation, and to circle words they are unsure of.
  3. Ask students to share with their learning partners any questions they might have at this point as well as any words that might be challenging. Ask the groups to share with the class and list a few of the questions and words on the chart paper to review at a later time.
  4. The teacher now reads the quotation aloud to the students, modeling reading fluency. (It’s a good idea to practice this ahead of time; eighteenth-century writing style is difficult even for adults!) Share your own questions and difficult words with students.
  5. The teacher reads through the quotation a second time as a share read, continuing to model reading fluency. After reading the quote, ask students to share what they were thinking about the text as they read.
  6. When this second reading is complete revisit the list of questions and words to see if any questions can be answered or if any words can be explained. Jot down any additional questions that may require further study.
  7. Now that the quotation has been read (at least three times by the students) it’s time to summarize the text using the author’s words. This text is 53 words, so students will choose two to three words. Circulate between groups to monitor conversations and guide discussion.
  8. After an appropriate length of time (about five minutes, or when students stop engaging in meaningful activity), stop the students and ask them to share the words their group selected as Key Words and to explain why those words were chosen. It is likely that groups will have chosen different words. That’s good. As students share their thinking with each other everyone is learning. The Key Words selected are not as important as the thought process the students engage in to select the Key Words. Any reasonable, justifiable selection is acceptable. Student groups may change their choice of Key Words as necessary.
  9. Set a time for the students to work and ask the groups to use the selected Key Words to craft a summary statement using the author’s words; they will write that summary in the space provided on the handout. The teacher walks around the room monitoring and guiding conversation. When time is up the groups share their summaries with the whole class.
  10. Give students a set amount of time to work in their groups to craft an original summary statement. Share these with the whole class and record them on chart paper or other method for recording class responses.
  11. When this quotation analysis is complete, return to the list of questions and words. Guide the students in answering the questions based on the text; find the meanings of any undefined words. Record any additional questions. These could be answered later in the unit, or could be used for further class or independent study.
  12. Complete the above procedures with the second quotation (74 words) from Alexander Hamilton. Continue modeling for students, as needed. By this time more students will be able to work independently in their groups. Word definition will most likely be the biggest hurdle. Students should use their good reader skills for determining the meaning of words in text.
  13. Wrap-up: Ask students to work with their group to respond to the prompt below in writing. Use student responses to check for understanding. Keep the class-generated lists of questions, words, and summaries for use at a later time.

    Prompt for student response:
    Based on the quotations you just read, what does Alexander Hamilton believe to be important attributes of government?

Lesson 4 – James Madison

Objective

Given a series of quotations by James Madison, the students will demonstrate understanding by selecting key words, summarizing the text using those key words, and then restating the meaning of the quotation in their own words. Students will then complete a written response based on the provided quotations.

Introduction

James Madison collaborated with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay to write the Federalist Papers supporting a Constitution with a strong central government. He is credited with writing the first ten amendments to the Constitution known as the Bill of Rights. Madison worked closely with George Washington to organize the federal government and, as secretary of state in Jefferson’s administration, supervised the Louisiana Purchase. James Madison served as the United States’ fourth president, following Jefferson. For more complete biographical information, visit the suggested links in the Additional Resources section of these lessons.

The vocabulary in these documents may be above what the students are used to. Let them struggle with it a bit and remind them of strategies for understanding new vocabulary such as context clues and word structure. Encourage them to discuss the use of words and their meanings among themselves. Although students should struggle, avoid reaching the point of frustration. The teacher can help students find definitions in dictionary resources or provide definitions as a last resort.

Materials

  • Projector, document reader, or other device for sharing documents with the whole class
  • Handout of James Madison’s selected quotations – Founding Fathers’ Selected Quotations Handout, p. 4; one for each student and one to be displayed for the class
  • Teacher Resource: Key to the Founding Fathers’ Selected Quotations Handout
  • Chart paper and markers or other method for recording artifacts for the class
  • Biographical information for James Madison to provide historical context (see links provided in Additional Resources section of these lessons)

Procedure

  1. Tell the students that in this lesson they will be working with their groups to study quotations by a fourth Founding Father, James Madison. It may be time for your students to complete an analysis independently. Students may stay in their groups for support as they complete the activities on their own, or the teacher may choose to have students remain independent for the whole lesson. You know what your students need!
  2. Review the summary statements from the previous lessons, address any misconceptions discovered in the student responses, and answer any questions students might have. Ask students to be thinking about similarities and differences among the views of the Founders they have been studying.
  3. Share a picture and short biography of James Madison with the students for historical context. Give each student a copy of the handout with selected quotations from Madison’s writings and project them for the class to see. Ask students to read the first quotation silently, to note on their handout any questions they may have and some thoughts about the quotation, and to circle words they are unsure of.
  4. Ask students to share with their learning partners any questions they might have at this point as well as any words that might be challenging. Ask the groups to share with the class and list a few of the questions and words on the chart paper to review at a later time.
  5. The teacher now reads the quotation aloud to the students modeling reading fluency.
  6. The teacher reads through the quotation a second time as a share read, continuing to model reading fluency. After reading the quote, ask students to share what they were thinking about the text as they read. Share your own questions and difficult words with students.
  7. When this second reading is complete revisit the list of questions and words to see if any questions can be answered of if any words can be explained. Jot down any additional questions that may require further study.
  8. Now that the quotation has been read (at least three times by the students) it’s time to choose Key Words (28 words in this quotation) and write them in the space provided on the handout. Circulate among groups monitoring conversations and guiding discussion.
  9. After an appropriate length of time ask students to share the words their group selected as Key Words and to explain why they chose them. It is likely that groups will have chosen different words. That’s good. As students share their thinking with each other everyone is learning. The Key Words selected are not as important as the thought process the students engage in to select them. Any reasonable, justifiable selection is acceptable. Student groups may change their choice of Key Words as necessary.
  10. Set a time for the students to work and ask the groups to use the selected Key Words to craft a summary statement using the author’s words; they will write that sentence in the space provided on their handout. Walk around the room monitoring and guiding conversation. When time is up the groups share their summaries with the whole class.
  11. Give students a set amount of time to work in their groups to craft an original summary statement. Share these with the whole class and record them on chart paper or another method for recording class responses.
  12. When this quotation analysis is complete, return to the list of questions and words. Guide the students in answering the questions based on the text; find the meanings of any undefined words. Record any additional questions. These could be answered later in the unit, or could be used for further class or independent study.
  13. Complete the above procedures with the remaining Madison quotations (28 and 49 words). Continue modeling for students, as needed. By this time more students will be able to work independently in their groups. Word definition will most likely be the biggest hurdle. Students should use their good reader skills for determining the meaning of words in text.
  14. Wrap-up: Ask students to work with their group to respond to the prompt below in writing. Use student responses to check for understanding. Keep the class-generated lists of questions, words, and summaries for use at a later time.

    Prompt for student response:
    In these three quotations James Madison speaks about the power held by the federal government. Using your analysis of these quotations, summarize Madison’s views on keeping the federal government’s powers in check.

Lesson 5 – Final Activity

Objective

Students will use their analyses completed in previous lessons to respond to a writing prompt comparing the views of the Founding Fathers.

Introduction

In this culminating activity students will use what they have learned to respond to a writing prompt. Students may use their notes, summaries, and student responses with feedback from previous lessons to draft their response. The teacher may choose to combine this activity with a lesson on paragraph and/or essay writing.

Materials

Procedure

Tell students that in this final activity they will be reviewing their analysis of the Founding Fathers’ quotations to identify similarities and differences. Their discoveries will be used to write a short essay in response to the following prompt. Encourage students to use graphic organizers or mind maps as they organize their thoughts before writing.

Prompt for student response:

Benjamin Franklin said, “both sides must part from some of their demands in order that they may join in some accommodating proposition.” This suggests Franklin knew compromise was necessary as the new United States government was formed because everyone had his own ideas about government. As you think about the quotations from these Founding Fathers, what are the similarities in their thinking? What are the differences? Where will compromise most likely be necessary?

Additional Resources

Further Reading

Berkin, Carol. A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution. New York: Mariner, 2003.

Berkin, Carol. Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence. New York: Vintage Books, 2005.

Young, Alfred F., Gary B. Nash, and Ray Raphael, eds. Revolutionary Founders: Rebels, Radicals, and Reformers in the Making of the Nation. New York: Vintage Books, 2011.

Benjamin Franklin

The Electric Ben Franklin, A Quick Biography. http://www.ushistory.org/franklin/info/. A comprehensive biography with illustrations and more links. Kid friendly.

Benjamin Franklin: Glimpses of the Man. http://www.fi.edu/franklin/. The Franklin Institute, Resources for Science Learning. This site explores the more scientific side of Franklin.

The Papers of Benjamin Franklin. http://www.franklinpapers.org/franklin/. Sponsored by The American Philosophical Society and Yale University. Digital Edition by The Packard Humanities Institute. Franklin’s papers, including the Dogood letters can be found at this site.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. http://www.monticello.org/. Biographical information, video tours of Monticello, etc.

The Monticello Classroom. http://classroom.monticello.org/kids/resources/profile/81/Brief-Biography-of-Thomas-Jefferson/. Lots of kid-friendly information, images, and activities.

Alexander Hamilton

History: Alexander Hamilton. http://www.history.com/topics/alexander-hamilton. Biographical information for Alexander Hamilton and links to other topics of interest.

Social Studies for Kids: Alexander Hamilton. http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com/wwww/us/alexanderhamiltondef.htm. Kid-friendly site with links to other topics related to the American Revolution and Founding Fathers.

James Madison

The White House: James Madison. http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/jamesmadison. The official site for presidential biographies.

James Madison’s Montpelier. http://www.montpelier.org/james-and-dolley-madison/james-madison/bio. Biographical information, video tours of the Montpelier estate, etc. This site has links to the Center for the Constitution, located on the Montpelier estate.

Teaching Resources

Graphic Organizers - http://www.eduplace.com/graphicorganizer/

Thoughts on grouping students for learning - http://www.edutopia.org/blog/student-grouping-homogeneous-heterogeneous-ben-johnson

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