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An American Primer: The Founding Documents The curriculum, Being an American: Exploring the Ideals that Unite Us,

was made possible by a generous grant from the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation.

Being an American: Exploring The Ideals That Unite Us

Six core lesson plans with extension activities Understand the importance of the American experiment American HeroesCharacter Cards Declaration of Independence

Being An American: Exploring the Ideals that Unite Us Lesson Overview Quote Summary Objectives Materials List

Lesson Plan Background Warm-Up Activity Homework Extensions Handouts

Answer Key Founding Documents Suggested Readings

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies 8. Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses). 9. Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenthcentury foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincolns Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.

Which of these phrases is included as a purpose of the national government in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution?
1. to provide freedom from fear 2. to secure the blessings of liberty 3. to ensure the greatest happiness of the greatest number 4. to take from each according to his ability, to give to each according to his need 5. not sure

Being an American: The United States Constitution

Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, Howard Chandler Christy, (1940)

Being an American: The United States Constitution What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, an inviolable respect for the Constitution and the laws p. 9

Alexander Hamilton, 1794

Alexander Hamilton John Trumbull, (1806)

Being an American: The United States Constitution Page 9 Teacher-friendly lesson plan, p. 911.
See Handout A: Why do we have a national government? With a partner, take a few moments to jot down responses on your notepad. Share & discuss responses. Identify categories to classify responses.

Why do we have a national government?

Protect the country

Protect individual rights Protect property

What does this sound/look like?

Promote equal opportunity Provide order, rules, laws Settle disputes

The Preamble to the Constitution, of course!

We, the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the How are these purposes related to the common defence,government contained in the conception of promote the general Welfare, Declaration? and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Preamble Posters
Times UP! Please unfold the poster where you are & discuss the responses you see there. Please return to the poster where you started, and discuss the responses. Make a note of any comments that you think are especially interesting; share with the group. In what ways would this lesson be useful for your students?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If the Preamble can be considered the promise of what good government should be, how did the men who wrote the Constitution turn that promise into reality?
How do Articles I through VII fulfill the promise of the Preamble?

The United States Constitution Lesson 2


Please see page 11Wrap-up Part A LegislativeExecutiveJudicialStates AmendmentSupremacyRatification Memory Device: Lazy Elephants Jump Slowly And Sleep Regularly. See Homework & Extension ideas

Which of these phrases is included as a purpose of the national government in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution?
1. to provide freedom from fear 2. to secure the blessings of liberty 3. to ensure the greatest happiness of the greatest number 4. to take from each according to his ability, to give to each according to his need 5. not sure

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