Constitution Tree and In-Class Essay Due Wednesday, De



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Constitution Tree and In-Class Essay

Due Wednesday, Dec. 18

We have looked at several documents that have influenced our belief system. All of these documents have led to the foundation of our country and to our Constitution. When thinking of our Constitution, think of a tree. The documents and philosophers we have studied are the roots of that tree, the three branches of our government are branches of that tree, the leaves are the jobs of the members of each of the branches of our government, and the fruit of the tree is the resulting freedoms we enjoy today.


Your assignment is to create a tree that represents our belief system (30 pts), and to write an in-class essay about our system of government (20 pts)
ROOTS

At least FOUR roots will represent the roots of the constitution (all of the documents and philosophers that provided ideas and inspiration for our government). Each root must include name of a tradition, a philosopher or a document, as well as a brief description of the idea that we incorporated into our government. You might include our Judeo-Christian tradition, our Greco-Roman tradition, the philosophy of Locke, Montesquieu, or Rousseau, the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, the Mayflower Compact, or the Articles of Confederation.

BRANCHES

THREE branches will represent the three branches of our government. Each branch must include the name of the branch, as well as a brief description of its responsibility. (You may want to separate the two parts of the legislative branch into two smaller branches.)
LEAVES

FIVE leaves for EACH branch will represent the jobs and qualifications of each branch.

Each leaf must include a brief description of the responsibilities or qualifications of members of each branch.


FRUITS

TEN fruits will represent some of the rights that Americans enjoy as a result of our Bill of Rights . Each piece of fruit must have a brief description of each freedom or right (such as the freedom of speech or the right to trial by jury)

Only use rights that you UNDERSTAND!!


IN-CLASS ESSAY

What are the benefits of the American system of checks and balances? Please take notes for your essay on back side of this assignment sheet.
What are the benefits of the American system of checks and balances?

In your essay you will provide a detailed explanation of the advantages of having a system in which one branch of government can stop/check the actions of another branch. Be sure to include several examples of checks and balances.



RUBRIC FOR HISTORY WRITING





4

3

2

1

Details

Demonstrates an understanding of the topic by including numerous specific details

like names, dates, places, etc



Demonstrates an understanding of the topic by including some details like names, dates, places, etc

Shows only a limited understanding of the topic & does not include details

Shows a confusion about the topic and does not include any specific details

Maturity

Demonstrates mastery of mature vocabulary words and complex sentence structure. Minimal spelling & grammar errors

Uses some mature vocabulary words and complex sentences. Makes minimal spelling and grammar errors

Uses immature language and simple sentences. Has numerous spelling and grammar mistakes

Uses immature language & simple sentences; mistakes distract from the content of their writing

Addresses the question

Starts with a strong thesis and addresses the question that was asked throughout the essay

Starts with a thesis and addresses the question that was asked through most of the essay

Doesn’t have a thesis statement and does not connect their details to the question that was asked

Does not have a thesis and does not address the question of the essay


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