L10 - The Critical Period - Lessons on American Government
L10 - The Critical Period - Lessons on American Government

OBJECTIVE:
To understand the shortcomings of the Articles of Confederation and the reasons for writing a new constitution for the United States.

TIME:
1 and 1/2 class periods

L10 - The Critical Period - Lessons on American Government
Item #:AGL10     
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You can begin this lesson by reading with the class the introductory paragraphs about the Critical Period. 

This is followed by a section on the Articles of Confederation. Students read an outline and underline or highlight the weaknesses in this plan of government. 

Next, there is series of yes/no questions about events that did or did not occur during the Critical Period, along with a Thought Question to develop critical thinking skills.

Three short reading sections with follow-up questions can be assigned for homework. They are entitled:

  • Land Ordinance of 1785
  • Northwest Ordinance
  • Constitutional Convention

Questions about the Land Ordinance of 1785 are based on a diagram illustrating how Western lands were to be divided and sold. Ten true/false statements accompany information pertaining to the Northwest Ordinance. To conclude the lesson, as part of the section entitled Constitutional Convention, each student writes 100-150 words while pretending to be an American citizen living in Boston, MA, in 1787. They have decided to write a letter to the editor of the Boston Gazette to convince others a new constitution is needed to replace the Articles of Confederation. More details are provided on the lesson pages.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.