Lesson: Week 1, Day 2 (12/22): The Articles of Confederation

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Lesson Objective

• SWBAT use Montesquieu’s theory to explain the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation

Lesson Plan

   AF History Lesson Planning Template                                                                                                                         “Revolt in Balance.”

Teacher:  Wood

Date: Wed., 12/22/10

Subject: History

Class: all


Aim(s):  Is this scholar friendly?

·         SWBAT use Montesquieu’s theory to explain the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation


·         Exit Slip:  What made the articles of confederation so weak, how long did they last, what was the event that caused them to give up the articles, etc.

Power Standard:

·         Constitutional Foundations

Essential Question:

·         When, if ever, are people justified in rising up and overthrowing their government?

Student Needs to Focus On:

·         Background knowledge, particularly if they didn’t do the homework

·         Also recognizing all that America accomplished with the AOC

·         Setting students up to


·         Image: p. 96

·         Student Work Packet (Do Now, Reading from We The People, Discussion Questions)



Do Now: How can I keep this as brief and efficient as possible? 5 Min

·         IA Short Answer Review (1 Blast from the Past question: adaptation)

Engage: How can I engage students and activate prior knowledge as quickly as possible? 2 Min

·         Show image of big states, small national presence—how does this summarize the most important feature of the AOC? (What)



10 Total Min



Pair Reading

·         HOW:   Strengths & Weaknesses T-Chart

Student Action/Differentiation:


MU & NCSU: Pair Reading pg. 97-99, strengths & weaknesses T-Chart



Pair Reading pg.  95

Pair Reading pg. 96



5 Total Min

Direct Instruction/Key Points/Core Vocab: What’s the most essential info/vocab?

·         Group discussion: What were the strengths of this constitution?  What were its weaknesses?

·         UNC:  Reviewing  WHAT & WHY of AOC

o    What: a constitution that gave states significant power

o    WHY: afraid of a strong government that could become like the king of England

Student Action/Differentiation:


Common Misunderstandings/CFU: How can I anticipate and prevent confusion?

·         What is the difference between national government and local government?

·         Autonomy of StatesèMessage it like each state was its own country, could work with its neighbors, but had the choice not to.

·         Analogy:  Imagine that we have all these school rules, but we can’t give detention to enforce it. 

Planned Questions/CFU: How will I know I can move on?

·         Michigan & NCSU: identify strengths (states power, passed northwest ordinance, all states were equal) and weaknesses (taxation, no balance between states & federal).

·         Define Montesquieu’s Theory of Separation of Powers.  Did the Articles of Confederation separate powers?

·         Define Montesquieu’s Theory of a Balance of Power.  Did the Articles of Confederation balance power?



10 Total Min

How are students going to apply content in a way that is directly aligned to the aim, power standard, and essential question?


Student Action/Differentiation:

Ø  Skill Application

Guided: * Min


MU & NCSU:  Group discussionèShould we have a new constitution?  (Split class half & half)


UNC:  Pair Reading

Check for Understanding:

·         MU & NCSU:  The debate is the CFU

·         UNC:  Pair Reading Chart

Student Action/Differentiation:


UNC: Pair Reading pg. 97-99, strengths & weaknesses T-Chart

Evaluate: How will I know they mastered the aim? 5 Min

Exit Slip Questions:

1.     Why did the people in the newly independent states fear a strong national government?

2.     What were the Articles of Confederation?

3.     How did the articles organize government to address the fears of the states?

4.     Did the Articles of Confederation separate power?

5.     Did the Articles of Confederation balance power?


Share/Close/Extend: What key points should I drive home? What misconceptions should be addressed? Why does this matter? Where are we going from here? * Min

·         If time allows, review exit slip questions


Homework: What do they need to do to be ready for tomorrow?

·         Reading: separate branches (lesson 5/elementary: 95-97)



Post-Lesson Reflection








Lesson Resources

1 Wed ArticlesofConfederation  
1 Wed StudentWorkPacket  


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