Grade: Elementary

#3398. Constitutional quotes

Social Studies, level: Elementary
Posted Mon Feb 21 05:29:47 PST 2005 by Rebecca Banks (
AR Lewis Elem., Pickens SC, USA
Materials Required: journal, pencil, What Made Them Say That - The System Series by Harcourt (2004)
Activity Time: 45 min.
Concepts Taught: U.S. Constitution and frameworkers

Name: Rebecca Banks

Grade Level: 4th

Subject: Social Studies

Theme: Revolution and the New Nation (1754-1820's)

Standard: 4.1.8 Describe the development of the U.S. Constitution and explain its significance. 4.1.9 Identify the framers of the Constitution and the roles they played in framing the Constitution.

Analyze the factors involved in calling the Constitutional Convention.
Analyze the fundamental ideas behind the distribution of power and the system of checks and balances established by the Constitution.
Analyze the features of the Constitution which have made this the most enduring and widely imitated written constitution in world history.

What Made Them Say That?--The System Series by Harcourt Publishers (2004)
overhead projector and overhead pens

1. Introduce the lesson by reading the passage "Talking About a Revolution" on pp. 164-165 in the book entitled, What Made Them Say That?.
2. Put the two quotations on the overhead:
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of freedom of the people by gradual silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." --James Madison (1788)
"Freedom of speech may be taken away and, dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter!" --George Washington (1783)
3. As a class read the quotations aloud and discuss what the forefathers may have meant. Do the bold statements still apply today?
4. TTW remind the students that it would be hard to implement the high ideals. TSW review the systems of "check and balances" and "distribution of power" in the U.S. Constitution, and determine if these men were effective to living up to the standards set forth. TSW record their thoughts in their individual journals.

Extended Activity:
TSW examine current newspapers and find similar statements about freedom as those given by Madison and Washington. Compare and contrast the people with the forefathers of long ago using a Venn diagram or a double bubble map (thinking map). TSW determine whether or not they had the same sincerity or not.

Assessment: TTW review and record the completion of the journal entries. TTW check double bubble maps or Venn diagrams for accuracy and understandi