Lesson Plan


Lesson Plan dealing with media literacy and the Founding Fathers at the Constitutional Convention.


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Civics Civic Education Media Literacy



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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
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Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 3, as of 2011-06-29.

Component Ratings:

Technical Completeness: 3
Content Accuracy: 3
Appropriate Pedagogy: 2

Reviewer Comments:

This resource gives students the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the views of specific Founding Fathers. Students work cooperatively to research an assigned Founding Father and then create a video project that highlights the views on key issues of the Constitutional Convention. In conclusion, students are asked to make connections to current issues. The lesson plan is well-organized and thorough with detailed procedures, relevant links, and materials. As mentioned at the beginning of the lesson plan, it is important that students have strong background knowledge prior to beginning the activity. Also, Internet access is necessary for the lesson as it is described, but adjustments could be made in its absence.
Kristina Grogan
June 18, 2011

Loved your lesson plan girls! From the looks of it, this lesson would be a lot of fun to try out in the classroom and what's great about it is it could easily cross interdisciplinary lines and be used in a variety of social studies classes, including American History and Civics and Government. It's also a lesson that serves dual purposes, which are my favorite kind of lp's. Not only do students learn about the founding fathers over the course of your lesson, but they also are given the opportunity to become familiar with being in front and behind the camera. In today's tech savvy world, knowing about and being comfortable with technology is an essential skill. The only thing I might say to enhance your lesson is you could (but don't have to) give students specific roles while in their groups. I think it really depends on your class and the level of the students you are teaching to determine what's best for them, but I've found this strategy works well with certain classes. Other than that, I just want to say, I hope I can use this lesson plan one day!

Joe Dickens
June 18, 2011

This was a very interesting and creative lesson plan that sounds like it would be a lot of fun to implement in the classroom. Also this lesson does a very effective job of engaging students in a topic that is usually overlooked or skimmed over too quickly. My only concern is that this lesson plan is heavily dependent on technology and unfortunately we will not all be so lucky to have the technological means to pull off this lesson plan. So I would have alternatives to the video if some students would not be able to work on it at home or if the school you end up teaching at does not have the necessary tools. A simple solution could be to have the students act out a skit in front of the class or even have the constitutional debates in class with students acting for each delegate. But overall this was a great lesson plan, good job.

Steven Johnson
June 17, 2011

I want to start off by saying that I really enjoyed your lesson plan and can clearly see that it is certainly a relevant lesson plan that could be used in a variety of different classes! In addition to its applicable nature in a social sciences classroom, I loved the analysis and assessment handouts that you created for your students to use, and agree with Dustin’s perspectives that not only will your handouts introduce students to the constitution, but more to the point the people and ideas that crafted such a resolute document. Furthermore, I enjoyed your video selections and video analysis handouts that I feel will undoubtedly act as an enriching teaching object for your students that correspondingly forces them to take responsibility for their own work and making sure they stay on-task during your lesson. I hate to “piggy-back” off of some other comments, but the only respectful, friendly suggestion I might make to enhance your lesson. Would be to devise an efficient way that would most effectively assemble your students into their cooperative learning groups, intended on assisting a teacher or substitute that might, for whatever reason, have to take over your lesson for that day. All in all, I loved the lesson plan you ladies have developed and I have great intentions of adapting your lesson plan to accommodate whatever prospective social sciences class I might be teaching in the future!

Tully Clark
June 16, 2011

I love that you have students creating videos. This sounds much more fun and interesting than any lesson I ever had about the founding fathers in school. I really like how your discussion focuses on the real-life outcomes of the decisions made at the Constitutional Convention. I also really like that students are constantly asked to brainstorm, to think independently, and to really develop their own opinions about history. These are great skills to focus on developing in students. Something I might do differently is to have more explicit directions for students. I like your chart that guides the group research, I think that it might also be helpful to have each group member take on a different role in the group or fill out a slightly different chart so that they all stay on task. Overall, I really like this lesson and it is something I would like to try in my own classroom.

Dustin Rodgers
June 16, 2011

I think that your brainstorming session will work well to get student s thinking about the topics before jumping into the activity. It also allows for student to come up with ideas and questions about the different topics so that they feel as though they are taking part constructing the content for the lesson. The next thing I really like about your lesson is the worksheets, great job. Even if you did not do this entire lesson the worksheets along with a research activity would be a great activity on its own. I agree with Liz that putting students into groups without prior instructions can cause issues. With some of my more difficult classes if students did not have direct instructions at every turn, group work quickly got out of hand and become unproductive. Great lesson, great worksheets and overall a very good way to introduce students not just to the constitution but the people and ideas that that make it such a powerful document.

Emily Ann
June 16, 2011

Amy and Stephanie,
This is a great lesson! Students are told about the Founding Fathers as a whole but they are not taught much about them as individuals. I agree with giving the students responsibility by allowing them to divide whole will do what within the groups. When teachers assign everything it gives students very little personal responsibility for the project. Having each student turn in an individual packet is a great assessment because it keeps each student responsible. I really like how you use media by creating the videos in groups from the individual packet information. That allows the students to use critical thinking but I agree with Liz that I might ask the students to answer some of the questions you asked them to consider. That way you are sure the students are still engaged. But other than that I love the lesson and will absolutely be using this in my classroom!

Liz Raasch
June 15, 2011

Your lesson is great! I'm going to comment on the small things, since you guys have everything else under control! First thing I want to talk about is your choice of placing instructions. In my middle school placement, if the students were let go (i.e. got into groups) before I gave them the instructions, there was no bringing them back. (Of course, this is nit-picky, but the rest of your lesson is superb, so there's nothing else to critique :p). I love the approved website idea! Its easy for students to get off-track while searching (especially when given the opportunity of the internet). I also like the individual questions each student must answer while watching the videos. That ensures that the students are participating! Another nit-picky thing: at the end of the student packet, I'd suggest changing the terms "consider the following questions" to "answer." I found that when students (middle school especially) saw an opportunity to not answer a question, they wouldn't. Changing the term to a command will ensure that there is no wiggle room.

Awesome lesson! I will be stealing this for myself :)

Sara Thompson
June 15, 2011

Amy and Stephanie ~ I think this is a great lesson plan! I could totally see this happening in a variety of classrooms. I loved that you have the packet included for students to not only to help scaffold but also to count as their individual grade for the assignment. Also, I really liked the whole activity in general; I think it is a very unique idea and love that students are to interactively assess other groups' work. I think one thing that could've made the lesson stronger was to actually show some political ads today for students to replicate and/or base their ads off of. I think you did a good job talking about the various parts of the videos needed and I really liked your rubric; I just thought that maybe you could work in a little bit more with media literacy by using examples. Other than that, I really REALLY liked the lesson :))))

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