L11 - The Constitutional Convention - Lessons on American Government
L11 - The Constitutional Convention - Lessons on American Government


To study the events which led to the framing and ratification of the Constitution.

1 class period

L11 - The Constitutional Convention - Lessons on American Government
Item #:AGL11     
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The lesson begins by reading with the class background information about the Constitutional Convention. This includes information about the most well known delegates who attended, including George Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Gouverneur Morris, and Benjamin Franklin.

Class members are then given a chart showing the main points of disagreement between Convention delegates. They will start with the conflict between the large states and small states over representation in Congress. In column 1, each student reads what each side had to say, then writes their own compromise in column 2 that both sides might have thought was a fair agreement. After students have finished working on the first compromise, ask a few volunteers to read their proposed agreement. Then, give students the actual compromise which can be written in column 3.

Continue in the same way with the other four compromises on the chart (Great Compromise, Three-Fifth Compromise, Slave Trade Compromise, and Commerce Compromise).

Next, read with the class the section on the ratification of the Constitution. Give the kids time to write an answer to the Thought Question pertaining to Federalists and Anti-Federalists. This helps develop critical thinking skills. You can then have a few volunteers read their response to the class. 

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.