Government. The student understands important ideas in historical documents of Texas and the United States. The student is expected to:
Identify the intent, meaning, and importance of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
Social Studies Skills TEKS:
Social studies skills. The student applies critical thinking skills to organize and use information acquired from a variety of valid sources, including electronic technology. The student is expected to:
Differentiate between, locate, and use valid primary and secondary sources such as computer software; interviews; biographies; oral, print, and visual material; documents; and artifacts to acquire information about the United States and Texas.
Analyze information by sequencing, categorizing, identifying cause-and-effect relationships, comparing, contrasting, finding the main idea, summarizing, making generalizations and predictions, and drawing inferences and conclusions.
Organize and interpret information in outlines, reports, databases, and visuals, including graphs, charts, timelines, and maps.
LRE-The Bill of Rights Match Game: http://www.texaslre.org/BOR/billofrights.html
Teaching Texas: www.teachingtexas.org
Become familiar with content and procedures for the lesson.
Refer to the Instructional Focus Document for specific content to include in the lesson.
Select appropriate sections of the textbook and other classroom materials that support the learning for this lesson.
Preview available resources and websites according to district guidelines.
Prepare materials and handouts as needed.
Each social studies class shall include: celebrate Freedom Week; appropriate instruction concerning the intent, meaning, and importance of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, in their historical context.
Getting Ready for Instruction Supplemental Planning Document
Instructors are encouraged to supplement and substitute resources, materials, and activities to differentiate instruction to address the needs of learners. The Exemplar Lessons are one approach to teaching and reaching the Performance Indicators and Specificity in the Instructional Focus Document for this unit. Instructors are encouraged to create original lessons using the Content Creator in the Tools Tab located at the top of the page. All originally authored lessons can be saved in the “My CSCOPE” Tab within the “My Content” area.
Provide each student with drawing paper and map pencils.
Display the word FREEDOM(whiteboard, projector, etc.).
Students draw a picture of what the word means to them and title the drawing Freedom.
In pairs or small groups, students explain their picture to each other.
Facilitate a discussion where students make connections to today by inviting students to talk about their freedoms in daily life. Lead students to understand that because of the Founding Documents, we have these rights – recognized the need for them in Declaration, set up in Constitution, and guaranteed in Bill of Rights.
Introduce the topic of this lesson: learning about the part of the Declaration of Independence that states Americans’ freedoms.
EXPLORE – Declaration of Independence.
Suggested Day 1 – 25 minutes
Distribute to each student the Handout: Declaration of Independence.
Students read the text on the attachment and underline key words and answer the questions about the text.
Project/display the Declaration of Independence. Review with students what they already know about the Declaration of Independence (it has been part of Constitution Week lessons since Kindergarten), including that it is a letter to King George VI to convey grievances about practices by the English government that the American colonists felt were unfair.
Facilitate a discussion about the key words students underlined, as well as other important terms/ideas in the Declaration of Independence in order to help them develop an understanding of the intent, meaning, purpose, and importance of the documents, including:
Truths, self-evident, equal, unalienable, rights, life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, instituted, consent of the governed
Handout: Declaration of Independence (1 per student)
EXPLAIN – Declaration of Independence
Suggested Day 1 – 10 minutes
Organize students into small groups (4 or fewer).
Distribute to each group the Handout: Pattern Puzzle.
Students work together to organize the cards in the correct order.
Students stand up and as a group recite the statement they just analyzed.
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness--That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.
Handout: Pattern Puzzle (cut apart, 1 set per group)
EXPLORE – U.S. Constitution
Suggested Day 2 – 20 minutes
Project/display the U.S. Constitution. Review with students what they already know about the Constitution (it has been part of Constitution Week lessons since Kindergarten); including that it is the document that set up the form of the government still in place today.
Distribute to each student the Handout: U.S. Constitution.
Facilitate a discussion about important ideas in the Constitution in order to develop an understanding of the intent, meaning, purpose, and importance of the document.
At some point during the discussion, focus student attention on the excerpt from the Declaration of Independence handout and the documents reviewed at the National Archives (primary source) and the statements on the U.S. Constitution handout (secondary sources). Emphasize the difference to help students make the distinction between primary and secondary sources.
Handout: U.S. Constitution (1 per student)
As an extension, there are video clips about the Preamble that are available online and could be viewed.
Primary source: document or physical object written or created during the time of the event. They offer an inside view of the event.
Secondary source: created later by someone who did not experience first-hand or did not participate in the event; often interprets and analyzes primary sources, but is one or more steps removed from the event
EXPLAIN – U.S. Constitution
Suggested Day 2 (cont’d) – 5 minutes
Distribute the attachment Handout: Bubble Talk.
Students use what they have learned about the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution to explain how the founding documents are important to Americans by writing in their own words that the founding documents guaranteed them their rights as Americans and explaining how our government is designed.
Handout: Bubble Talk (1 per student)
ELABORATE – Consent of the Governed
Suggested Day 2 (cont’d) – 5 minutes
Write the following phrase on the board:
Consent of the Governed
Students think briefly and then turn and talk with a partner about the meaning of the phrase, the relationship between the phrase and the founding documents studied, and the relationship between the phrase and their lives.
Student pairs share their thoughts with the class.
Continue the class discussion by encouraging students to answer the guiding questions and support their thinking about the Key Understanding:
The Declaration of Independence lists foundational rights important to American citizens.
What are the intent, meaning, and importance of the founding documents of the United States?
How do the “self-evident truths” named in the Declaration of Independence still apply to our life today?