Social Studies Week 14: 12/2-12/6


Human Timeline

We created a human timeline with students standing in the order of the events which their characters participated in during the American Revolution.  Part of the challenge was students figuring out where they should go on the timeline.  After checking the accuracy, it turned into a talking timeline, with students briefly describing their event to the rest of the class.


We watched the last 6 minutes of the Crash Course: U.S. History Episode called Tea, Taxes, and the American Revolution. We stopped to discuss the key assertions: 1) That the Revolution started way before the first shot, and 2) That a lot of  important things did not actually change as a result of the revolution, especially who had much of the money and power.

Group Analysis of the Declaration and Articles of Confederation

Groups of 4-5 worked together to discuss causes of the Revolution, to read over and discuss the Declaration of Independence (again), with focus on the list of grievances, and to read about the Articles of Confederation Articles of Confederation Readings . Groups then made a two-column chart on butcher paper. One column listed problems with British Rule, the other listed corresponding ways the Articles of Confederation attempted to address these problems. Students then did a gallery-style browsing of the different posters and discussed the similarities and differences. They finished by discussing potential limitations/weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.

HW – Nothing new. However, the Create a Character Part 2 is due on 12/9. Students who have a ways to go to finish this could spend their social studies homework time working on this. We will not spend any more class time working on this, and there will be other homework later in the week. Students need to share this in a drive document with me and the title must include their name, their hour, and the words “at war.”



We reviewed/wrapped-up the Poster Browse from the last class, and emphasized the key problems of the Articles of Confederation. The main point was that this set of Rules intentionally made for a very weak national government (out of fear of tyranny). The following succinct list is borrowed from AmericanHistory.About.com:

  • Each state only had one vote in Congress, regardless of size.
  • Congress did not have the power to tax.
  • Congress did not have the power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce.
  • There was no executive branch to enforce any acts passed by Congress.
  • There was no national court system.
  • Amendments to the Articles of Confederation required a unanimous vote.
  • Laws required a 9/13 majority to pass in Congress.

We also reviewed where the Articles of Confederation fit in with the rest of everything else we have studied chronologically. Here is a (somewhat sloppy!) chart I drew on the board during this discussion. Chartimeline of key events


Introduction to the Mock Convention

Having established the problems of the Articles, students then were introduced to the Mock Constitutional Convention, which is a role-play we will prepare for this week and next week, then conduct in class the week of Dec. 16-20. The overview, as well as many of the specific requirements, are contained in this hand out: Constitutional Convention Instructions . Essentially, each student will play the role of a delegate at the convention, participating in the key debates and voting on various issues. They will research this person and develop a delegate portfolio. This next document contains all of the delegates and their states. The final page of this document is a reduced list of the characters to be played in our mock convention (James will be George Washington). This will ensure that certain key players are included and that various viewpoints and geographies are represented, since we obviously won’t have 55 delegates. Constitution Convention Delegates

Note: This Convention Lesson Plan is adapted from the one on the Congresslink Website.

After going over the role play directions, we did a lottery pick to assign students their delegate. Students then began researching their delegate.

HW: Continue research for Delegate Portfolio part 1



Continued research on part one. Began Delegate Portfolio part 2 (some students didn’t get this far). Students briefly meet with other delegates from their state to discuss their progress and introduce themselves.

HW: Continue working on Delegate Portfolio Part 2.

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