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LESSON 8.11 Political Developments in the Early Republic

Learning targets

(clear, understandable versions of standards in student friendly language)


History Alive! lesson plan

Understand that different factors influenced change in American history from 1787 through the 1900.  Those factors include the influence of individuals, issues and events.

  1. Students first read about the differences between the Federalists and Republicans (Hamilton & Jefferson) and record opposing ideas in their ISNs. Act-It-Outs are also included during the reading activity.(2-3 days)

  2. Experiential Exercise - Students then participate in a political conference/debate between Jefferson and Hamilton and argue which political party is best suited to lead the U.S. (2-3 days)

  3. Lastly, students complete the Processing Activity in the ISN – creating a storyboard for a political commercial for one of the political parties (1 day or homework)

Recommended Changes to HA! lesson plan
If time is an issue skip Act-It-Outs during reading
TO SAVE A WEEK OF CLASS TIME, here is a suggested paring down of this lesson…

  • Break up class into groups of 4

  • Assign half the groups “Jefferson” and the other half “Hamilton”

  • Have students complete the appropriate chapter 11 ISN notes

  • When finished, have two students from each group switch with another group and teach/share their notes about other person

  • Finally, each group creates a T- chart poster about the Federalists vs. Republicans (model how to make a t-chart since this comes early in the school year)

  • Students could complete processing task in ISN after this.

Supplemental Video Selections

Video clip from “John Adams” TV mini-series (4:34)

Shows dramatized conversation/debate between Hamilton and Jefferson about roles of government and national bank
Video Clip: “The National Bank, the Nation's Capital, and the Beginnings of Political Parties” (6:31)

Overview summary of differences between Hamilton and Jefferson (a bit dry, but good factual rundown)

Flexible grouping pattern of the lesson

  • Partnered-reading and notetaking

  • Mixed-ability groups of four for Political Conference/Debate

Language objectives

(identified cognitive functions correlated to the learning targets, such as sequence, compare/contrast, cause/effect, infer, and argue, as well as the signal words to be deliberately taught/used in discussion and writing; sentence frames in support section)


Orally and in writing, use the signal words below to show contrast between the political ideas of Jefferson and Hamilton (or Federalists and Republicans).

  • Unlike

  • However

  • But

  • Yet

  • In contrast

  • Differences between

  • As opposed to

  • Whereas

  • On the other hand

  • A distinction between

History Alive! Preview activity

(builds background; links to student experience)

The preview activity (music analysis) as described in the HA curriculum does not do a very good job of connecting material to the students’ lives, but student recognition of the songs will potentially be helpful later during the Experiential Exercise
The preview activity is basically listening to two songs and students try to figure out what type of person this song would represent – the elite or the common man/farmer.
ALTERNATE PREVIEW: project pictures of two presidents (example: George W. Bush & Barack Obama).

  • Ask students (in groups?) to generate ideas about different views of the role of government they represent

  • Then introduce the images of Jefferson and Hamilton. (as part of Graphic Organizer image on Introduction reading – page 145).

Pre-assessment activities/documents

(serves as self-assessment for students; informs instruction for teachers; charts or documents may be used as a place to gather concepts/information throughout lesson through debriefing; may include visuals, lesson questions, lesson vocabulary, language objectives, and/or learning targets)

Recommend using “Knowledge Rating Chart” with the key content vocabulary below

Lesson questions

(drive instruction; may create links to previous learning; may be included in pre-assessment)


  • How did Thomas Jefferson’s ideas about government differ from Alexander Hamilton’s?

  • How did these different political ideas lead to the rise of the Federalist and Republican parties?

Additional background building

(streaming video segments, DVD, map review, read aloud of a related piece of fiction, etc.)

Video clip from “John Adams” TV mini-series (4:34)

Video Clip: “The National Bank, the Nation's Capital, and the Beginnings of Political Parties” (6:31) Available through PPS multi-media streaming

Key content vocabulary (italicized words assessed)

Political party


Republican (also referred to as “Democratic-Republican”)

Whiskey Rebellion

Alien and Sedition Acts

Thomas Jefferson

Alexander Hamilton

French Revolution


Lesson-specific instructional supports

* see Enrichment Plan for Compacting/Extensions

Suggested Strategies for Introduction Interactive Read-Aloud

Focus pages/paragraphs for guided reading group

Thinking or Process-Related Words

(for example: Bloom’s, etc.)

Image Analysis on page 144 is not very engaging
Instead focus on Graphic Organizer: Character Collage (bottom right corner on page 145))
Discussion Questions:

What differences do you notice in the men’s clothing?

Elegant and formal vs. plain-clothed
How do clothes reflect on a person or their background?

Reflection of social status, attitude, etc.
How might someone’s background influence their political beliefs?

Answers will vary

Whiskey Rebellion and the need for a stronger central government (2 paragraphs)

Page 147 – “Hamilton and Washington saw the Whiskey Rebellion…”

On the Hamilton’s Personal Background

Page 149 – “Hamilton grew up to be…”

On Hamilton’s view of human nature

Page 149 – “Hamilton’s view on human nature was…”

On Hamilton’s Best Form of Govt.

Page 150 – “Federalist believed…”

On Hamilton’s Ideal Economy

Page 150 – “Hamilton’s dream of national greatness..”

On Hamilton’s Relations with Britain and France

Page 151 – “When war broke out between France and Britain…”

On Jefferson’s Personal Background

Page 152 – “Jefferson was born in Virginia…”

On Jefferson’s View of Human Nature

Page 152 – “Jefferson’s view of human nature was much more hopeful…”

On Jefferson’s Best Form of Govt.

Page 153 – “Republican’s believed that the best government…”

On Jefferson’s Ideal Economy

Page 153 – “Like most Americans in the 1790’s…”

On Jefferson’s Relations with Britain and France

Page 153 – “Another issue that sparked heated arguments…”







Lesson-specific instructional supports

* see Enrichment Plan for Compacting/Extensions

Sentence frames for parts of the lesson

REVIEW lesson 11 Sentence Frames:

Jefferson believed _________ (contrast word) Hamilton thought __________.

The Federalists’ ideas about ______________ However, the Republicans ___________
A difference between the Federalists and the Republicans is that the Federalists believed __________, but the Republicans said ___________.


Lesson-specific instructional supports

* see Enrichment Plan for Compacting/Extensions

Sentence frames for parts of the lesson

REVIEW lesson 11

See Writing Support

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS (for student and teacher use)

Check for understanding”

points during activities

Checkpoints in Interactive Student Notebook

Questions for

exit and entrance slips

  • Make observations

  • Listen in during discussions and group activity for misunderstanding or misconceptions

  • Multiple opportunities during reading/note-taking activity


Name one belief or political idea that you learned about that you agree or disagree with. Explain why.


Cite one historical political idea that still exists in our society today. Which modern political party relies on this ideology?


Processing Assignment

(also serves as a formative assessment)



Students create a storyboard for a political commercial for one of the political parties using the language and ideas of the chosen party.
To help get the students started…

Digital library of all past presidential campaign commercials:




Modified from History Alive! June 2010

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