AP Government & Politics / Boucher

AP Government & Politics / Boucher
Fishbowl Discussion – What Were the Motives of the Founding Fathers?
As a class, we will participate in a deep, thoughtful, and engaging
discussion on the motives and goals of the Founding Fathers. The discussion format
is an open fishbowl, which only allows certain students to participate but allows for
other students to bump out current participants. In preparation for doing so, you
are asked to read the three articles from the assigned packet. These articles are:
1. Charles A. Beard’s Framing the Constitution
2. Laurence H. Tribe and Michael C. Dorf’s How Not to Read the Constitution
3. Richard Stengel’s One Document, Under Siege
Rather than answer a series of questions for each article, you are asked to construct
the meaning of each article. For each article, you are to do the following:
1. Create a thesis or main point of the author for each article.
2. Identify three supporting arguments per article and include one piece of
evidence to back up each supporting argument.
3. Create two questions per article that you could ask during our class
4. Finish the following line for each article “In writing the Constitution, the
Founding Fathers created a document that….” Provide several sentences to
Your completion of this assignment will be graded per article:
Up to 3 Points: Author’s thesis or main point is relevant, thoughtful, and
accurate; elaboration is provided beyond a simple single statement
Up to 3 Points: Reader has identified a substantial supporting argument and
found a detail that provides merit to that supporting argument
Up to 2 Points: For each question, you should seek to construct a question
that either helps clarify a key point or provide potential for reflection from
the class; questions should not be answered by “yes” or “no” or have a
simple straight answer
Up to 2 Points: Provides a significant connection to the theme of the
discussion (intent of the Founding Fathers) by identifying another
perspective on the motives of the Founding Fathers; elaborates and does not
simply repeat what has already been written
An additional possible 10 points are available during the day of discussion. Total
assignment = 40 Points (Participation/Discussion Grade)