Unit Introduction:

The U.S. Constitution

Unit Highlights

In this unit, students will analyze primary and secondary sources to the political principles underlying the U.S. Constitution and compare the enumerated and implied powers of the federal government. Students will be able to:

  • Classify the significance of the Magna Carta, English Bill of Rights, and the Mayflower Compact

  • Evaluate whether the Articles of Confederation implemented the ideas of the Declaration of Independence.

  • Evaluate whether the Constitution implemented the ideas of the Declaration of Independence.

  • Classify the major debates regarding the Constitution and their resolutions.

  • Classify the philosophies of the founding fathers in the Constitution

  • Classify the role of the Founding Fathers who ratified the Constitution

  • Explain the significance of Jefferson’s Statute for Religious Freedom.

  • Classify the origin, purpose, and differing opinions of the founding fathers on the separation of church and state.

  • Classify the powers set forth in the Constitution

  • Classify the freedoms ensured by the Bill of Rights

  • Evaluate and classify how the American idea of constitutionalism preserves individual rights.


Unit Vocabulary

  • 3/5ths Compromise

  • Anti-Federalists

  • The Articles of Confederation

  • Bill of Rights

  • Checks and Balances

  • Constitutionalism

  • Dual sovereignty

  • Elastic Clause

  • Executive Branch

  • Federalism

  • Federalism

  • Federalists

  • Federalists Papers

  • Freedom of Religion

  • Great Compromise

  • Judicial Branch

  • Legislative Branch

  • Majority Rule

  • Separation of Powers

  • The U.S. Constitution

Activity 1: The U.S. Constitution Pre-Test

Using your prior knowledge, brainstorm, list, and/or draw what you know about the U.S. Constitution in a thinking map. Complete this assignment on the Thinking Maps Learning Community or on paper. You may include:

  • Information you know or kind of know about the U.S. Constitution.

  • Guesses about the U.S. Constitution.

  • Questions you have about the U.S. Constitution.

  • Information you would like to know about the U.S. Constitution.

  • What comes to mind when you think of the U.S. Constitution.