Articles of Confederation vs. The U.S. Constitution

Lesson Plan


Created by Tamie Sprang

 

Constitution
 
 
 
Theme:
Creating the Nation: The Revolution & Constitutional Development
 

Grade Level:

4th Grade
 

Duration:

Three 55-minute class periods
 

Content Standard:

Government: Rules & Laws 19.) The U.S. Constitution establishes a system of limited government and protects citizen’s rights; five of these rights are addressed in the First Amendment
History: Historical Thinking and Skills 2.) Primary and secondary sources can be used to create historical narratives.
 

Primary Resources:

 

Lesson Summary: 

Students will be introduced to the primary documents of the Articles of Confederation and US Constitution. They will figure out the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation and compare it to the US Constitution. Students will be able to explain four improvements made in the US Constitution and write an essay.
 

Instructional Steps:

Day One: Half of the students will examine the primary resources of the Articles of Confederation and the other half will examine the US Constitution using a PDF icon document analysis worksheet. Students will share their information they collect to the class. Students should have the basic knowledge that both are government documents and the Articles of Confederation was the first form of government and it came before the US Constitution.
 
Pass out Articles of Confederation VS US Constitution handout to students and explain the "I Can Statement: I can explain the weaknesses of the Articles of confederation and how the US Constitution created a stronger government." Explain to the students that their job is to write down four weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation found in the PowerPoint "Wanted: A Just Right Government."
 
Day Two: Finish the PowerPoint "Wanted: A Just Right Government" and continue to discuss and take notes on the Articles VS Constitution chart. Remind students that today they are focusing on how the US Constitution fixed the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. By the end of the PowerPoint presentation students should have their charts filled out. Give students 5 to 7 minutes to discuss their answers in a small group. Explain to students that they are going to write an essay about how the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation were improved in the US Constitution. Discuss with the class key words that should be in their introductory sentence and have a few students attempt to create an introductory sentence. Reintroduce transitional words and list some on the Activboard and discuss why these words are important when writing an essay. Finally discuss how the conclusion sentence completes the essay and lets the reader know that the writer is finished.
 
Day Three: Students will review the components of an essay before writing essay on how the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation were improved in the US Constitution. (Introduction sentence, Body with at least 4 details, Transitional words, & Conclusion sentence)
 

Post-assessment: 

Students will write an essay on how  the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation were improved in the US Constitution.
 

Teacher Materials: 

Board  & PowerPoint "Wanted: A Just Right Government" found on SlideShare. Note: for all the effects to work, needs to be downloaded from Slideshare. 
 

Student Materials: 

Document Analysis Worksheet, Copy of Articles of Confederation and US Constitution, Articles of Confederation vs. US Constitution hand out, paper, pencil
 
 
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