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 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 e. Describe the major debates and compromises that occurred during the Constitutional Convention and interpret their effects on the ratification process

Prior to the class actually learning about the details of each constitutional compromise, provide “committees” of students with background information framing the major issues debated by the Framers (this might be accomplished through analysis of primary and/or secondary sources). Then, have the students complete organizers defining and identifying the major perspectives/stakeholders for the debates, and explaining each perspective’s position. Verify the accuracy of each student’s work. Then have each “committee” deliberate to propose a compromise solution to the constitutional issue they have been assigned and outline that solution in formal presentation to the class. As groups present their proposals, have members of the audience act as stakeholders from various 1787 constituencies and ask critical questions.

After the presentations, share with the students the details of each actual constitutional compromise. Have students complete their information organizers with a description of each solution. Engage the class in a discussion of whose compromise was better: the Framers’ or the student committee’s. Finally, ask the students what they think might have happened with the Constitution had the Framers not been able to compromise on each issue.

Resources for Objective 1.A.2.e:
Clarifications | LESSON SEEDS | Sample Assessments | Resource Links