Unit 4 Building Block 1

The Constitution

Big Idea:

  • The US government is outlined by the principles of the constitution.
  • Individuals influence government in a variety of ways
  • .Groups of people are connected by shared cultural traits.

Building Block Overview:

Students will compare the government set up by the Constitution to a three-legged stool to learn how the government is strong and balanced. In the Preview, students with differing opinions work out a compromise. In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students play a game in which they are presented with a series of situations that the government might face and determine which branch or branches of government will resolve each situation. In Reading Further, students identify issues on which the delegates at the Constitutional Convention agreed and disagreed.

Student Outcomes:

  • I can summarize the events that led to the creation of the U.S. Constitution.
  • I can explain the functions of the U.S. Constitution by examining the Preamble.
  • I can explain and identify the basic functions of the three branches of government.
  • I can describe and explain our system of checks and balances.
  • I can explain the duties individuals have to participate in civic affairs at the local, state, and national levels.
  • I can distinguish between national and state governments and compare their responsibilities in the U.S. Federal system.

1.  Lesson Guide Preview, p. 173 - This is a very delightful experience for the students.  They think they are going to try to change their classmates minds about a topic.  Instead, they end up having to compromise on their ideas.

2.  Lesson Guide Building Background Knowledge

3.  Lesson Guide Skill Builder, p. 174-176

Note: Use this method instead of using the handout shown below.   To extend the meaning or support struggling students, create a 3 page foldable (each branch has 4 sections: Main Responsibility, Members, Key powers, and Location, i.e. White House, Capitol, Supreme Court.) This foldable follows the student reading notes and makes the learning more tangible. Some form of manipulative is highly encouraged for this lesson.

4.  Lesson Guide Skill Builder Phase 2, p. 175

5.  Lesson Guide Reading Further:  Inside the Constitutional Convention, p. 176

6.  Checkpoint Assessment