Lesson Plan: Philosophers

Philosopher Montesquieu

Author Michael Oreskes talks about Montesquieu's view on democracy and his influence on the framers of the U.S. Constitution.

Description

Throughout history, philosophers have questioned the fundamental principles of knowledge, religion, nature, science, and reasoning. They developed ideas that shaped society and our relationships within them. View the videos below to learn about some of the philosophers whose ideas influenced the founders of the U.S.

Procedures

  • STEP 1.

    Assign background reading from textbook or another appropriate source relating to philosophers.

  • STEP 2.

    Break students up into groups and have each group view the following video clips. Students should take notes using the handout below, or complete the individual questions on each Bell Ringer page, and then share their findings with the rest of the class.

  • VIDEO CLIPS

    • Montesquieu (4:17) Author Michael Oreskes talks about Montesquieu's view on democracy and his influence on the framers of the U.S. Constitution.

    • Thomas Hobbes (6:07) Author A.P. Martinich explains Thomas Hobbes' political philosophy.

    • John Locke (3:38) Professor Andrew Burstein discusses John Locke's philosophy and his influence on the founders.

    • Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine (7:51) Yuval Levin talked about the philosophies of Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine as they relate to nature and society.

Additional Resource

Vocabulary

  • Edmund Burke
  • John Locke
  • Philosophers; Montesquieu
  • Thomas Hobbes
  • Thomas Paine

Topics

U.S. HistoryWorld History

Grades

Middle SchoolHigh School