Title: Introducing the Founding Fathers
NC Essential Standards- Social Studies
5.H.1.2 Summarize the political, economic and social aspects of colonial life in the thirteen colonies.
5.H.1.3 Analyze the impact of major conflicts, battles and wars on the development of our nation through Reconstruction.
5.H.2.1 Summarize the contributions of the “Founding Fathers” to the development of our country.
5.H.2.2 Explain how key historical figures have exemplified values and principles of American democracy.
Common Core State Standards- Reading & Writing
5.RL.2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.
5.SL.2 Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
5.SL.4 Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
5.W.1.1 Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
5.W.1.2 Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
Purpose: Students will learn basic facts about the 6 traditional Founding Fathers (plus George
Washington in a separate lesson). Students will reflect upon the contributions of the Founding
Fathers by writing “Thank You” letters to each of them.
Materials: Books listed below, paper, pencils, Founding Fathers Info Sheets
Focus- 3 minutes
Teacher Input- 30 minutes
Guided Practice- (20 minutes- same time as Teacher Input)
Independent Practice- 15 minutes
Closure- 5 minutes
Day 4- Explain why we are looking at these 7 individuals as the Founding Fathers. Explain where the term “Founding Fathers” comes from.
“Founding Fathers” coined by president Warren G. Harding while a senator in Ohio- became more widely used term after he used it in his inaugural address.
7 Founding Fathers determined to be the most important by historian Richard B. Morris who wrote, Seven Who Shaped Our Destiny: The Founding Fathers as Revolutionaries .
He was president of the American Historical Association.
Day 4-6- Begin the lesson by sharing quotes from the Founding Fathers and asking students what they think the meaning is.
John Adams- “Fear is the foundation of most governments”
Benjamin Franklin- “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.
Alexander Hamilton- “He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.”
John Jay- “No power on earth has a right to take our property from us without our consent.”
Thomas Jefferson- “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
James Madison-“ Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”
Teacher reads a children’s picture book about one of the Founding Fathers. The teacher may need to shorten the books or mark specific sections to read depending on length.
Day 4 o Lesson 4= John Adams- The Revolutionary John Adams , by Cheryl Harness o Lesson 5= Ben Franklin- Benjamin Franklin: Inventor and Patriot , by Carin T.
Day 5 o Lesson 6= Alexander Hamilton- The Alexander Hamilton You Never Knew , by
James Lincoln Collier o Lesson 7= John JayJohn Jay (Founding Fathers), by Stuart A. Kallen
Day 6 o Lesson 8= Thomas Jefferson- Thomas Jefferson: Let Freedom Ring , by Rebecca
Aldridge o Lesson 9= James Madison- Father of the Constitution: a Story About James
Madison , by Barbara Mitchell
Guided Practice: As the teacher reads the story for each Founding Father, students fill out
Founding Father Info Sheets to gather information.
Independent Practice : Students write “Thank You” letters to the Founding Father presented in the particular lesson highlighting their contributions to the country and their example as models of principles of American democracy.
Closure: Students will share their letters with the rest of the class.
Assessment: Letters will be assessed as per a rubric to determine the student’s comprehension of biographical and historical information. Information sheets will also be reviewed with a checklist for needed information.
If gathering information is difficult for students because of an attention deficit issue or other issue which makes listening to the story an ineffective way to obtain the information, students may do individual research, listen to videos or documentaries, read the book themselves, etc. If writing the letter is a stumbling block to success, students may record their “thank you” letter.
If students need more challenging material or wish to go more in depth, they may research the founding father on their own, watch a more advanced documentary, ore read a more advanced book.
Similar accommodations as those made for struggling students can be made. However, issues such as pre-teaching vocabulary may be needed.