Objective: Introduce students to the writers of the Constitution
Books: Zinn, Howard - A Peoples’ History
Aten, Jerry - Our Living Constitution
Bennett, Lerone - Before the Mayflower
Photocopy for students pages 16-20 (Jerry Aten, 1987)
These pages contain a brief biography on each one of the individuals who signed the Constitution. Howard Zinn’s and Lerone Bennett’s books will provide you with additional information on the authors of the Constitution.
Questions for discussion:
Define the word Constitution?
What should a Constitution do for a society?
At that time, how representative of the population were these individuals?
What was the status of each individual (i.e. wealthy, poor, male, female, slave owner, etc.)
For whom was the Constitution written? Do you think these individuals would be able to speak for all people?
Who might not have been included in their consideration to be covered by the Constitution? Why?
Divide the class up into teams of seven. Each team is charged with writing a Constitution for the class. Brainstorm some points to be considered?
After each group completes its Constitution, each group must present their work to the class. Afterwards, engage the group in a discussion around the pros and cons of each groups work. Each group will then reassemble, and re-evaluate their products. Have each group make changes as they deem necessary.
Each groups’ work should be posted on poster board.