Unit 1 Foundations: Background to American History (3 weeks / should go up to Constitution Day) Big Picture Questions / Details: In what ways did the Declaration of Independence establish our beliefs about American freedom?



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Unit 1 Foundations: Background to American History (3 weeks / should go up to Constitution Day)

Big Picture Questions / Details:

In what ways did the Declaration of Independence establish our beliefs about American freedom?

French and Indian War

American Revolution

Second Continental Congress

George Washington

Committee of Five

Thomas Jefferson

July 4, 1776

John Locke

Unalienable Rights

Text of the first 3 paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence

Describe the contributions of significant individuals who aided in the independence of the American colonies.

Founding Fathers such as:

Benjamin Rush

John Hancock

John Jay

John Witherspoon

John Peter Muhlenberg

Charles Carroll

Jonathan Trumbull Sr.

In what ways did the designers of the Constitution think that this document would protect the survival of the American nation while still protecting individual and state rights?
Articles of Confederation

Constitutional Convention

1787

U.S. Constitution



Text of the Preamble

Principles of the U.S. Constitution

John Jay

Federalist papers


Why was the Bill of Rights added to the Constitution, and how does it protect Americans? How have these rights expanded to be more inclusive?

Amendments 1-10

Other Amendments protecting America's freedom - Amendments 13-15

How does each of Alexis de Tocqueville 5 American characteristics; Egalitarianism (equality), populism (popular sovereignty), liberty, individualism, and laissez-faire; influence who we are as Americans? Are these still relevant today?

Hector St. John de Crevecour Letters to an American Farmer

Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America

Egalitarianism (equality)

Populism (popular sovereignty)

Liberty


Individualism

Laissez-faire

“E Pluribus Unum”

“In God We Trust”


Instructional Focus: Although there is a lot of content that could be covered in this unit, students simply need a refresher of this information. The focus of this unit is a background to U.S. History since 1877 and meeting the state requirements of Constitution week. Instruction will focus around three key documents that influence and shape who we are as Americans and the development of our nation – the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. As we study these documents we will also introduce various learning strategies that will follow the students throughout the year (optics, soaps, quick writes, etc…). Students will also learn about key individuals who participated in the American Revolution and the values forged during these years that continue to guide us into the future. This unit will culminate with students being introduced to essay writing in history by writing an essay about these American values during constitution week that will reflect back on these three documents to prove their assertion to the prompt.

Suggested Resources:

Alexander Hamilton- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNFf7nMIGnE

Too Late to Apologize (Declaration of Independence)- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZfRaWAtBVg

Hamilton-Burr duel - Orignial "Got Milk" commercial (http://youtube.com/watch?v=OLSsswr6z9Y)



1776 the Musical (excerpt)

Youtube video of Barney Fife reciting Preamble
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