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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 1.0 Political Science

Topic A. The Foundations and Function of Government

Indicator 2. Analyze the impact of historic documents and practices that became the foundations of the American political system during the early national period

Objective b. Identify the principles in European historic documents and show their connections to the development of American political ideology such as Magna Carta and English Bill of Rights

Prior to beginning this lesson, be sure the students understand the terms limited government and rule of law, and can provide examples of each.

First, create a two-columned graphic organizer with two rows. The top row will represent the Magna Charta and the second row will represent the English Bill of Rights. Have students cooperatively interpret excerpted versions of the original text of each, listing major provisions the two documents in the first column of the organizer. In the second column the students will explain how, taken together, the provisions they described in the first column are examples of limited government and rule of law. (As needed, it is best practice to provide students with excerpts of each document that include modern day translations alongside the original text). Next, have the students play a matching game in which prominent quotations from the Magna Charta and English Bill of Rights are to be paired with quotations from Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, or founding documents that either have the same meaning or that illustrate the same principle of government. This activity can be structured so there are no incorrect responses, as long as students can justify the connections they find. Finally, have the students complete a quick-write or journal writing adding details to this topic sentence: “The Magna Charta and the English Bill of Rights were precursors for America’s system of government.”

Resources for Objective 1.A.2.b:
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