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 1. Examine and explain the role of religious, social and political institutions in America at the end of the American Revolution

Objective b. Describe the evolution of the American system of government from a confederal to a federal system of government

First, have students compare major provisions of the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution. Provide students with a table with a column for the Articles and a column for the Constitution and rows for important elements of government such as “right to tax,” “type of Congress,” “existence of executive,” “right to issue currency,” “requirements for passing laws,” “requirements for amendments,” “power to manage foreign affairs,” and/or other elements you deem important. Direct students to fill in the table. Next, explain to students the debate over ratification between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. Assign one-half of the class the identity of Federalists and the other half the identity of Anti-Federalists. Have students conduct research to determine the arguments offered by their assigned group. More advanced students can actually read excerpts from the Federalist Papers and essays by the Anti-Federalists (; Once students understand the primary arguments of their group, conduct a classroom debate about whether to ratify the Constitution. For assessment, ask students to decide whether they would have supported the Federalist or Anti-Federalist position, and write a persuasive essay in the manner of the Federalist papers to explain their point of view.

Resources for Objective 5.C.1.b:
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