Author and professor, John Ferling discussed the history and significance of the Declaration of Independence.
This lesson provides students with an opportunity to review the concepts and assertions of, and connections between, the nine foundational documents selected for inclusion in the redesigned AP United States Government and Politics course (see list below). While the document selection is aligned with the Advanced Placement course, this content is suitable for use in any social science course or unit focusing on key United States founding documents. Foundational Documents: The Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, The Constitution, Brutus No. 1, Federalist Paper No. 10, Federalist Paper No. 51, Federalist Paper No. 70, Federalist Paper No. 78, and Letter from a Birmingham Jail.
Students, working either individually or in jigsawed groups, peruse the short video clips for each document, as well as their textbook, class notes, and any other teacher-provided resources, to fact-find about each of the nine Key Foundational Documents from the redesigned AP Government exam, sharing and comparing information with one another.
NOTE: Copies of each document are hyperlinked within the Founding Documents Quick Overview and Analysis Chart also linked below. Each document is embedded within a GoogleDoc designed to facilitate annotation. Tips for approaching challenging text are linked in the "Resources" section below
Enhancing Knowledge & Connections:
Students complete the Founding Documents Quick Overview and Analysis Chart, using the video clips above and/or the more extensive lesson plans and document texts hyperlinked within the chart, to extend and enhance their understanding of each foundational document and the connections between the documents.
Using the Key Foundational Documents Game Cards, students play any of the below games as directed, or a variation of your class's creation, in small groups (sized as works best for your particular classroom).
NOTE: Each set of directions is repeated twice on the first sheet to facilitate creation of class sets of game cards. There are also five variations for review card gameplay in the C-SPAN AP Government Landmark Supreme Court Cases Review lesson that can be adapted for these document cards!
Variation Four (play in pairs!):
Reviewing Knowledge VIRTUALLY:
The below Key Foundational Documents Virtual Review Games gameplay options were designed as variations of the above that could be played via Zoom, FaceTime, etc. to allow students to review virtually with one another. Students would use the Virtual Review Games link to print out and assemble their own set of game cards at home and then choose one or more variations to play with each other at their discretion or as assigned/moderated by you.
There are also variations for review card gameplay in the C-SPAN AP Government Landmark Supreme Court Cases Review lesson that can be adapted for these document cards!
Variation Four (for pair play):
Students engage in one or more of the below activities, either working individually or in groups, to reflect their understanding of the documents.
MIND MAP IT: Create a mind map or similar infographic detailing the key facts and assertions of your selected document.
MEANING IN THE MEME-ING: Create two memes for your selected document(s) that convey main ideas.
CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT: Choose a famous person whom, in your view, would be an active proponent of the ideas/assertions in your selected document(s) because of the way(s) the main ideas might apply to his/her life. Print a picture of your celebrity with a thought bubble indicating and explaining your rationale.
TWITTER WAR: Generate a hypothetical Twitter war [at least four back-and-forths (eight total)] between Publius and Brutus arguing over the wisdom of adopting the Constitution, using main ideas from the Federalist papers and Brutus No. 1. Don’t forget to include some opportune hashtags! Then find a news article from the past year that relates to an issue discussed in your Twitter war - print the article and explain the connection!
PRESS PLAY: Create either a Netflix queue or a song playlist that in your view pair well with your selected document. Your list should have 6-8 entries, each an actual film/TV show or song (depending on which option you choose) that, in your view, connects to a significant theme or component of your document, accompanied by an explanation of that connection.
Students respond to:
This 35-question Kahoot contains excerpts from each of the 15 key SCOTUS cases and 9 founding documents for students to identify. It can be played in class, over Zoom via a shared screen, or independently by students.
This 40-question [Blooket}(https://www.blooket.com/set/6075adeb828359001b969bc1) contains excerpts from each of the 15 key SCOTUS cases and 9 founding documents for students to identify. It can be played in class, over Zoom, or independently by students.
This Quizlet set contains excerpts from each of the 15 key SCOTUS cases and 9 founding documents for students to use as flashcards or for Quizlet gameplay.