Establishing a Need for Government

Last week began a return to content, however brief it might be. We’re introducing our Constitution Unit, another long-term unit that will culminate in THE Constitution Test sometime around May 1 (Date TBA once we determine spring PARCC schedule).

We are using two texts for this unit: our softcover “We the People” text (stays in the classroom) and the blue Constitution Workbook (must go home).

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photo 1

Our first discussion focused on John Locke’s state of nature. It’s a hypothetical world with no government. He uses this condition to hypothesize his need for government to protect all people’s natural rights because, without it, our rights would not be protected. Now that we’ve established a need for government, we outline the influences of our Constitution, and how it came to be: The Declaration of Independence, the Revolution, the (failed) Articles of Confederation, the Constitutional Convention, and the Bill of Rights. Sure, there are other influences, but the workbook focuses on these as direct historic context. Natives, Greeks, Romans, and an array of Enlightenment thinkers provided some influence, too, and we’ll explore those as we study the Constitution.

We used Lesson 2 in the WTP book to teach this, as well as Units 1-4 in the Blue Workbook. We’ll have a quiz over this material, as well as the principles, goals, and articles on Wednesday, 2/25.

Key Terms:

  • State of Nature
  • Natural Rights
  • Purpose of Government
  • Republic
  • Direct Democracy
  • Consent

Documents to Save:

  • We the People, Lesson 2
  • We the People, Lesson 3
  • We the People, Lesson 5
  • Mind Map from Friday, 2/12 (Blue Book Units 1-4)
  • Notes from Wednesday, 2/18
  • Blue Book Unit 5

Note: While we are not yet memorizing the Bill of Rights, we’ll be teaching their significance in reference Anti-Federalists brokering a compromise with Federalists, and their role in protecting our natural rights. The task of memorizing all 27 Amendments will come in April during the Constitution Unit.