A series of lessons incorporating literacy strategies for Mt Diablo Unified School District



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Teaching

American History

For All

A series of lessons incorporating literacy strategies for



Mt Diablo Unified School District

5th, 8th, and 11th grade teachers,

in partnership with

University Of California- Berkeley

History-Social Science Project

8th Grade Lesson:

Articles of Confederation

Brendan Hurd, UCBH-SSP 8th Grade Teacher Leader

Angela La Torre, MDUSD 8th Grade Teacher Leader

Candace Chen, UCB History Graduate Student

Lauren Weaver, MDUSD Grant Coordinator

Teaching American History for All

MDUSD/UCB H-SSP

8th Grade Lesson: Articles of Confederation

Developed by: Brendan Hurd, Angela La Torre, Candace Chen, and Lauren Weaver
Teaching American History Grant Focus Question:

How did definitions of citizenship change from the 17th century to the 20th century?


8th Grade Yearlong Focus Question:

How did federalism shape the roles of the national and state governments?

How did the rights of citizens expand and contract during the 18th and 19th centuries?
Unit Focus Question:

How did the problems with the Articles of Confederation force the early American leaders to write the US Constitution, and what issues between the states ensured the protection of individual rights?



Unit Working Thesis:

The challenges in the development of the US government forced the founding fathers to develop a stronger national government with a system of checks and balances between the branches, to establish guidelines for citizen participation, and to create the Bill of Rights to protect individual rights.


Unit focus: Early Republic/Founding Documents
Lesson Focus Question/Writing Prompt:

Did the Articles of Confederation succeed or fail to create a good national government?


Lesson Working Thesis:

The Articles of Confederation were weak because:



  • Equal, but not fair voting. State power over people power.

  • 9 out of 13 states to approve a law- hard to agree

  • No taxes collected by the National government

  • Weak national currency and competing state currencies

  • Only one branch, no President or national court system


Reading Strategy:

Sentence Deconstruction

Graphic Organizer
Writing Activity:

Structured summary paragraph with a thesis statement, evidence, specific

evidence and analysis
Suggested Amount of Time:

90+ minutes, 1 block class or 2 class periods


Textbook:

HOLT, Independence to 1914. pages 115-116
Lesson Plan Procedure:

90+ minute Period

  • 1 min - pass out books and materials




  • 5 min lesson Intro: Review the point of the Revolution: to create a republic-where the people are the authority over the government instead of a King or a ruler. How do we exert that authority? Stress the importance of voting and the structure of our democracy.




  • 30-45 min Reading exercise: Page 115-116

    • Front load vocabulary.

    • Review hard to pronounce words in paragraph.

    • Class reading by close style.

    • Read through each paragraph once.

    • Choose more advanced readers to re-read each sentence and then mark up the sentence by subject and verbs.

    • After the whole paragraph has been reread and marked up, the class fills out the structural grammar chart as a class one sentence at a time.




  • 30-45 minutes: Articles of Confederation Simulation. TCI activity

    • Students formed into 13 groups that are named after states.

    • Students debate what is the most important aspects of life to young people today following Roberts Rules of Order and the voting scheme laid out in the Articles of Confederation.

    • Each group vies to get the other groups to approve of their views in order to get points.

    • Once four aspects of life have been nominated and approved, the class votes on the whole slate.

    • To pass this final approval requires 9 groups to vote for the slate.

    • The group with the most points from the slate wins. However, the game is rigged. Each group has different point values attached to the different aspects and thus will never achieve the 9 out of 13 state majority required by the Articles.

    • Discussion afterward. Why was this frustrating? Why didn’t it work? Who was powerful in this system? Use a map of the U.S. to see that small states with small populations had great power to defeat laws. Also point out how sections of states could work together to defeat proposed laws.




  • 15 min Group paragraph writing

    • Groups use the paragraph outline with sentence starters to write a response to the question: Did the Articles of Confederation succeed or fail to create a good national government?

    • Each student writes their own sheet. Each student gets a colored marker and has to write one sentence of a group version of the paragraph on an overhead to be presented by one member of the group.




  • 10 minutes: groups report out to the class. The teacher criticizes and praises paragraphs.


History-Social Science Content Standards:
8.1 Students understand the major events preceding the founding of the nation and relate their significance to the development of American constitutional democracy.

  1. Describe the nation's blend of civic republicanism, classical liberal principles, and English parliamentary traditions.
8.2 Students analyze the political principles underlying the U.S. Constitution and compare the enumerated and implied powers of the federal government.

  1. Discuss the significance of the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, and the May-flower Compact.

  2. Analyze the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution and the success of each in implementing the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.


Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills:

Chronological and Spatial Thinking


  1. Students explain how major events are related to one another in time.

Historical Interpretation


  1. Students explain the central issues and problems from the past, placing people and events in a matrix of time and place.

  2. Students understand and distinguish cause, effect, sequence, and correlation in historical events, including the long-and short-term causal relations.

  3. Students explain the sources of historical continuity and how the combination of ideas and events explains the emergence of new patterns.


Reading/Language Arts Content Standards:

2.0 Reading Comprehension (Focus on Informational Materials)

2.1 Compare and contrast…

1.0 Written and Oral English Language Conventions

1.1 Use correct and varied sentence types and sentence openings to present a lively and effective personal style.
1.2 Identify and use parallelism, including similar grammatical forms, in all written discourse to present items in a series and items juxtaposed for emphasis.
1.3 Use subordination, coordination, apposition, and other devices to indicate clearly the relationship between ideas.

1.0 Listening and Speaking Strategies

1.1 Analyze oral interpretations of literature, including language choice and delivery, and the effect of the interpretations on the listener.

1.3 Organize information to achieve particular purposes by matching the message, vocabulary, voice modulation, expression, and tone to the audience and purpose.

1.8 Evaluate the credibility of a speaker (e.g., hidden agendas, slanted or biased material).

Vocabulary:

constitution~ a plan for a government

public office~ a position of responsibility in government

restored~ to have brought back or to have given back

appointed~ chosen for a job, task or duty

draft~ to create and write out

liberties of the people~ rights and freedoms that people deserve.

These might include:



treaties~ agreements or written promises
Right to Vote Page 115

Under British rule, only free, white men that owned land could vote. Many states constitutions expanded suffrage, or the right to vote, by allowing any white man who paid taxes to vote. In every state, however, only land-owners could hold public office. Some states originally allowed women and free African Americans to vote, but these rights were soon taken away. Suffrage would not be restored to these groups for decades to come.


Articles of Confederation Page 116

The Second Continental Congress was organized to create a national government. The Continental Congress appointed a Committee of Thirteen, with one member from each colony. This group was assigned to discuss and draft the Articles of Confederation, the new national constitution.

Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress would become the single branch of the national government, but it would have limited powers in order to protect the liberties of the people. Each state had one vote in the Congress. Congress could settle conflicts among the states, make coins, borrow money, and make treaties with other countries and with Native Americans. Congress could also ask the states for money and soldiers. However, states had the power to refuse these requests. In addition, the government did not have a president or a national court system.

Name

Date Per

Articles of Confederation Page 116

The Second Continental Congress was organized to create a national government. The Continental Congress appointed a Committee of Thirteen, with one member from each colony. This group was assigned to discuss and draft the Articles of Confederation, the new national constitution.



Time marker or connector

Subject

Verb phrase

Message: who, what, where

Questions or conclusions




The Second Continental Congress

was organized to create

a national government

What does Continental mean? Root word?









appointed

a Committee of Thirteen, with one member from each colony

Why 13? Is this fair?







was assigned to discuss and draft

the Articles of Confederation, the new national constitution

What does “this group” refer to?



1. Were all of the states equal in size? Did all of the states have the same amount of people?

2. Each state had one vote in the committee of 13 and in the Continental Congress. Is this fair for each state? Why or why not?


Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress would become the single branch of the national government, but it would have limited powers in order to protect the liberties of the people. Each state had one vote in the Congress. Congress could settle conflicts among the states, make coins, borrow money, and make treaties with other countries and with Native Americans. Congress could also ask the states for money and soldiers. However, states had the power to refuse these requests. In addition, the government did not have a president or a national court system.



Time marker or connector

Subject

Verb phrase

Message: who, what, where

Questions or conclusions

Under the Articles of Confederation




would become

the single branch of the national government




but




would have

limited powers in order to protect the liberties of the people










had

one vote in the Congress

Equal, but is this fair?








could settle

conflicts among the states










make

coins










borrow

money




and




make

treaties with other countries and with Native Americans










could also ask

the states for money and soldiers

Why are these two things important?

However,




had the power to refuse

these requests




In addition,




did not have

a president or a national court system

Why no president?

3. Did the Articles of Confederation create a strong or weak government?


Powers of government

Who had the power?

Strength or weakness? Explain why

Settle conflicts among states

U.S. Congress State Governments



Strength Weakness



Make coins and print paper money

U.S. Congress State Governments



Strength Weakness



Borrow money from banks and other countries

U.S. Congress State Governments



Strength Weakness



Make treaties with other countries

U.S. Congress State Governments



Strength Weakness



Make treaties with Native Americans or settle disputes with tribes

U.S. Congress State Governments



Strength Weakness



Collect taxes and money to pay for government projects

U.S. Congress State Governments



Strength Weakness



Create an army and navy

U.S. Congress State Governments



Strength Weakness



Create a system of courts

U.S. Congress State Governments



Strength Weakness



Had a leader who ran the government day to day

U.S. Congress State Governments



Strength Weakness



Create new states

U.S. Congress State Governments



Strength Weakness



Group Paragraph: Did the Articles of Confederation succeed or fail to create a good national government?


Topic Sentence: Turn the question into a topic sentence.
The Articles of Confederation created a (strong or weak) national government.
Evidence: Explain an example from today’s reading that proves the topic sentence.

One example of this was that the Congress


Additional evidence: Either give more detail on the example or give another example.






Analysis: Explain how the examples answer the paragraph question.

The Articles of Confederation was a (success or failure) because…



Name_____________________________________________Date Per

Right to Vote Page 115

Under British rule, only free, white men that owned land could vote. Many states’ constitutions expanded suffrage, or the right to vote, by allowing any white man who paid taxes to vote. In every state, however, only land-owners could hold public office. Some states originally allowed women and free African Americans to vote, but these rights were soon taken away. Suffrage would not be restored to these groups for decades to come.



Time marker or connector

Subject

Verb phrase

Message: who, what, where

Questions or conclusions

Under British rule

only free, white men (that owned land)

could vote




Poor people, women, or non-whites couldn’t vote.

Why?





Many states constitutions

expanded

suffrage, or the right to vote, by allowing any white man who paid taxes to vote

Not all tax payers own land. Now some of the poorer folks could vote. City people too.

In every state, however,

only land-owners

could hold

public office

Look at definition




Some states

originally allowed

women and free African Americans to vote

Originally- the door was open.

but

these rights

were soon taken away




Why couldn’t some let them vote and other’s not?




Suffrage

would not be restored

to these groups for decades to come

1865 for Blacks

1920 for women



Why is suffrage an important part of being a citizen in a democracy, a country run by the people?



Articles of Confederation Page 116

The Second Continental Congress was organized to create a national government. The Continental Congress appointed a Committee of Thirteen, with one member from each colony. This group was assigned to discuss and draft the Articles of Confederation, the new national constitution.



Time marker or connector

Subject

Verb phrase

Message: who, what, where

Questions or conclusions




The Second Continental Congress

was organized to create

a national government







The Continental Congress

appointed

a Committee of Thirteen, with one member from each colony

Why 13? Is this fair?




This group

was assigned to discuss and draft

the Articles of Confederation, the new national constitution




Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress would become the single branch of the national government, but it would have limited powers in order to protect the liberties of the people. Each state had one vote in the Congress. Congress could settle conflicts among the states, make coins, borrow money, and make treaties with other countries and with Native Americans. Congress could also ask the states for money and soldiers. However, states had the power to refuse these requests. In addition, the government did not have a president or a national court system.



Time marker or connector

Subject

Verb phrase

Message: who, what, where

Questions or conclusions

Under the Articles of Confederation

Congress

would become

the single branch of the national government




but

it

would have

limited powers in order to protect the liberties of the people







Each state

had

one vote in the Congress







Congress

could settle

conflicts among the states










make

coins










borrow

money




and




make

treaties with other countries and with Native Americans







Congress

could also ask

the states for money and soldiers




However,

states

had the power to refuse

these requests




In addition,

the government

did not have

a president or a national court system





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