See how advocates for — and against — change in the civil rights era leveraged the five freedoms of the First Amendment to make their voices heard. Students will also examine how news outlets’ choices on how to present a story can influence public opinion.
History is the chronicle of choices made by actors/agents/protagonists in specific contexts. This lesson places students at a critical moment in our nation’s founding, when Americans considered whether to ratify the Constitution. Should they agree to the document as-is, without making any changes? Students will examine and evaluate numerous amendments proposed at state ratifying conventions. Only by looking at the full sweep of amendments offered by the states can students understand the historical context of the Bill of Rights.
History is the chronicle of choices made by actors/agents/protagonists in specific contexts. This simulation places students in the midst of the Constitutional Convention, after the Committee of Detail has submitted its draft for a new Constitution on August 6. With that draft’s concrete proposals on the floor, students will ponder questions such as: Is this the Constitution we want? Are the people adequately represented? Are the branches well structured? By engaging with these questions mid-stream, before the Convention reached its final conclusions, students will experience the Constitutional Convention as process, a supreme example of collective decision-making.
History is the chronicle of choices made by actors/agents/protagonists in specific contexts. This simulation places students at the Constitutional Convention and asks them to explore one of the fundamental quandaries faced by the framers: how to create an executive branch that lacked monarchical prerogatives yet could make the government function more efficiently. By discussing and debating the various options, students will gain a deeper understanding of the choices the framers faced and why they opted for particular structures, ones we live with today.
The Choosing to Make a Nation Curriculum Project developed by award-winning author Ray Raphael is a student-centered, primary source-rich approach to teaching about American history and our nation‘s founding documents. The lesson plans are based on the idea that history is the chronicle of choices made by actors/agents/protagonists in specific contexts. Students understand choices – they make them all the time. These lessons involve students by placing them in the shoes of historical people and asking: “What might you do in such instances?”