Lesson Plan

The Foundations of American Government ‖ Democratic Origins
Goals & Objectives
Students will learn about the governmental structure of ancient Athens, Rome and England as
well as the political philosophies of the Enlightenment. Students will be able to identify,
summarize and match the political philosophies of Locke, Montesquieu, Machiavelli, and
Blackstone as well as the governmental structures of Athens, Rome and England within their
guided notes and must correctly answer 7 out of 10 questions from their mini quiz.
California State Content Standards
12.1 Students explain the fundamental principles and moral values of American democracy
as expressed in the U.S. Constitution and other essential documents of American
12.1.1 Analyze the influence of ancient Greek, Roman, English and leading European
political thinkers such as John Locke, Charles-Louis Montesquieu, Niccolo Machiavelli, and
William Blackstone on the development of American Government.
Common Core Literacy Standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented
in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, and well as in words) in order to
address a question or solve a problem.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development,
organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Driving Historical Question
What and whom were the historical, social and political factors that lead to the development of
our American Democracy?
Lesson Introduction (Anticipatory Set/Hook/Accessing Prior Knowledge) ‖ Time: 15 min
Word Splash. The teacher will have a list of vocabulary words posted on the board. The listed
vocabulary includes terms, concepts, and people that will be covered in the lesson and Unit. The
teacher will instruct students to take out a sheet of paper and fold in halves. The teacher will
instruct students to write a paragraph no less then 5 sentences in length that incorporate four of
listed vocabulary words. Students must create a paragraph using those four words to the best of
their abilities and underline each vocabulary word used. Once completed the teacher will bring
class together for a whole group share and evaluate the level of understanding (prior knowledge)
students have on the vocabulary.
Vocabulary (Content Language Development) ‖ Time: 30 min (half in intro half at closing)
Here is the list of vocabulary that will be included in the WORD SPLASH activity and
Divine Right
Social Contract
Limited Government
Magna Carta
Direct Democracy
Content Delivery (Lecture) ‖ Time: 15 min
The Teacher will present a power point presentation that will cover the democratic origins of our
American government. The presentation will include the meaning and roles of government,
examples of a direct democracy and republic, political philosophies and thinkers of the
Enlightenment, and landmark English documents (i.e., Magna Carta, Petition of Right and
English Bill of Rights). Guided notes will accompany the lecture.
Student Engagement (Critical Thinking & Student Activities) ‖ Time:
The word splash introduction and closing will actively engage students because it is engagement
that leads to sustained interaction and it focuses on improving the student’s academic literacy in
writing. The activity also focuses on key vocabulary that will help students learn their academic
vocabulary. Since the vocabulary is intertwined with the content, it will improve the student’s
reading comprehension and improve their range and specificity in writing. This will help the
students develop a deeper understanding of words and concepts with which students are only
nominally familiar. Their history notebooks and guided notes will serve to guide the student
through the lecture and will require the students to actively lesson to the lecture as well as
demonstrate their understanding of key concepts.
Lesson Closure ‖ Time: 15 min
Word Splash Revisited. Students will now revisit their word splash activity and compose a new
paragraph on the bottom half of the paper. Students will incorporate the same vocabulary listed
earlier. The new paragraph must now include six required vocabulary words and the students
must demonstrate their understanding of the lecture by correctly incorporating the vocabulary in
a clear and coherent piece of original writing. This will be turned in at the end of class; teacher
will review and assess learning. Teacher will hand back word splash to students to be saved for
incorporation into a history packet that will be graded at the end of the unit.
Assessments (Formative & Summative)
Formative – During the lecture the teacher will stop and ask student both comprehension and
critical-thinking questions. During the prompt portion of the lecture teacher will roam around
room and assess student's handling/understanding of lecture activities.
Summative – Word splash activity and Lesson mini quiz. The mini quiz will be posted on the
class website (Edmodo) and will require students to answer 10 multiple choice questions, which
will be timed and covering the lecture.
Accommodations for English Learners, Striving Readers and Students with Special Needs
The guided notes will provide a scaffold to aid students with special needs. The
presentation was adapted to incorporate large text and imaginary to aid English learners.
English learners will also have access to an audio version of the mini quiz that is not timed.
Resources (Books, Websites, Handouts, Materials)
Magruder’s American Government (textbook)
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development