School Improvement in Maryland

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 5.0 History

Topic C. Conflict between Ideas and Institutions

Indicator 2. Analyze the effects of the American Revolution

Objective a. Analyze how the revolution altered colonial and national governments

Help students to understand the complexities the Second Continental Congress faced in governing during the American Revolution by having them try their hand at setting up a provisional government. Review with students the nature of colonial governments: royal governors with popularly elected assemblies, ultimate authority with Parliament and the King, and little cooperation or coordination between colonies. Have the students pretend that they are members of the Second Continental Congress. Circumstances demand that they set up some system for governing the colonies immediately. As a class, brainstorm some of the challenges the Congress faces in setting up a government: they are in the middle of a war, they haven't actually achieved independence yet, the colonies are not used to working together, there are no formal state governments yet, the colonists are nervous about strong central governments, etc. Then, brainstorm some of the powers and policies the new government will need: ability to raise an army, ability to get money from the states to support the war, ability to negotiate with foreign powers, etc. Divide students into small groups, and have them draft preliminary constitutions for the new country. Instruct students to draft 10 provisions for the new government. Finally, compare the governments the students created with the Articles of Confederation.

Resources for Objective 5.C.2.a:
Clarifications | LESSON SEEDS |