Petitions to the King

We’ve read this week how the Declaration came to be, through a series of events proving peace was no longer an option, and military events that filled the Americans with confidence.  Before we go headlong into the Declaration for the next week, it’s important to know how we got here.   To do that, we’ve read pages 168- 173, completed 1-14 on this Vocab Chart, a Guided Reading WS, and are in the process of completing a newspaper article that explains how these events inspired Revolution.

Today’s homework is simple: write a newspaper article that describes a historical event and explains why that event is so inspiring.  Students should have a 5-7 word headline (something attention grabbing), write at least 200 words, and include a drawn picture (no web pics).  The article should cover the Declaration of Independence, Green Mountain Boys, Lexington and Concord, or the Battle of Bunker Hill.


Before the Revolution Notes

You’re notice a few things are different about these notes, as they are from last year. However, the few changes are not worth the hours of waiting for Slideshare to get this thing formatted.

Here are the Notes WS for section 1. Section 2 will be coming soon.

British Colonies in America

As we move towards the Revolution in the next few days, we must first remind ourselves how the colonies grew in America.  Yesterday, students were responsible for reading and outlining a particular section of the text covering this.  Today, they will meet in groups with students that did the same section and “teach” it to the class via skit, song, poster, or other creative measure.  Students will need to complete this worksheet during these presentations.  This is likely to take up not only class today, but a bit tomorrow as well.


It’s 4:36 and there are already 115 page views.  I’m assuming that lots of you are checking out the blog, so I’ll reward you:  if want 10 points extra credit, watch part of the debate tonight (8:00 pm, virtually any news channel, ch. 2, ch. 5, ch. 7, etc.).  You need to write 2 things (6-8 sentences, minimum):

  1. What idea/policy that was discussed (by Obama or McCain) are you most interested in?  Even if you’re not an Obama or McCain supporter – which one were you MOST interested in?
  2. Support why you think so with a few sentences.  Not what mom and dad (or brother or sister, or your friends) think, but why do YOU think that this idea/policy is so important, so interesting.  Do you want more information?  What do you want to know?

Keep this positive, and keep them your OWN thoughts!

Write/type your paragraph (6-8 sentences) and turn it in with your quiz tomorrow.  Do it secretly, if you want! Or – post a comment below that fits the criteria listed above!  I understand that some may have a need for privacy, so a paper copy is fine if you’d like.

Quiz Wednesday – 10/8

This Wednesday will be our next Constitution Quiz covering the Preamble goals, articles of the Constitution, and principles of the Constitution.  We’ve covered these on many levels – independent student reading and homework, notes in class, class discussions and activities, a “pop quiz” that acts as a study guide, and a review game.  That’s quite a bit of work (over nearly 2 weeks of class) covering just 20 points to know, but this is the frame which our Constitution is laid upon.  Very important stuff to know; failure to memorize, master it will make it very difficult to study the rest of the Constitution over the next 6 weeks.  We’ll review study guides in class tomorrow – Tuesday 10/7 – and I’ll answer any questions students have.

Which Goal of the Preamble do you think matches each of these statements?

1.      A Mexican-American hoping to gain equal rights and good job. 

2.      States giving up a law they would like passed to achieve unity.

3.      The military executing an attack on a foreign enemy who has attacked us.

4.      Somebody steals your car.  The cops catch him, arrest him, and put him in jail.

5.      The government creating a food pyramid to educate us about healthy foods.

6.      Peace in your community and neighborhood.

Define the following Principles of the Constitution:

1.      Separation of Powers:

2.      Checks and Balances: 

3.      Popular Sovereignty: 

4.      Federalism:

5.      Limited Government:

6.      Individual Rights:

7.      Republic:

What does each Article of the Constitution cover?








Bart and Lisa’s Lessons on Government

Today in class, we watched (an edited) part of the Simpsons (Season 9, “Das Bus”). The episode leaves the students of Springfield Elementary stranded on an island with no adults, thus simulating a State of Nature, something we’ve talked about all week. Here you can find the Simpsons Worksheet students completed while we discussed and watched it in segments. Below are scenes from the episode, each of which capture Locke’s ideas of why we need government. Understanding this is critical as we begin to discuss our government (Constitution). Locke’s ideas are seen throughout it.

First, everyone thinks a "State of Nature" means absolute freedom and fun.  They'll have monkey butlers, coconut nintendos and feasts.
At first, everyone thinks a "State of Nature" means absolute freedom. They dream of monkey butlers, fabulous treehouses and feasts...
However, reality sets in and the students realize they must survive...
However, reality sets in and the students realize they must survive...
The weak are taken advantage of...
The weak are taken advantage of...
And "the people" riot against the erroneous actions of a government they did not give consent to...
And "the people" revolt against an erroneous "government" they did not give consent to.
And a "social contract" reminds them of the rules of society.  The students eventually survive by eating a wild boar!
A "social contract" reminds them of society's rules and actions.

The episode ends with students eating a wild boar to survive, but our lessons of the weak are illustrated beautifully within the rest of the episode:

  1. State of Nature (SON) fails because even if most people are good, one or two bad people (Nelson) change everything.
  2. SON fails because since nobody has rights, and we’re all in danger (lack of food, shelter).
  3. SON fails because the weaker (Millhouse) are abused, with few to stand up for them.
  4. SON fails because the government was not chosen or agreed to by the people – without consent – and the people revolt at it’s failure (end scene – “MEOWWW!”).

Since a SON cannot exist, people must create governments. And to do that, they must:

  1. Give that government permission to rule them via consent (i.e. Constitution, elections, etc. ).
  2. A social contract must be written to form an agreement between the people and the government. Since people cannot protect all of their rights without one, the government agrees to protect their natural rights (life, liberty, and property), even if it means giving up absolute freedom (driving 100 miles per hour).

This pretty much summarizes our class discussions and activities for the week. Please see “We the People,” pages 13-19 for more information.

And finally… for fun:


Go Banana!!!!