Little did William Penn know that his plans for a “Great Towne,” set up in rectangular form between the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers, would become the site of some of the most important meetings in our nation’s founding, including the meeting that formed our national government. The Constitutional Convention was held in the Pennsylvania State House during the hot summer of 1787. The windows were kept shut and guards posted so that outsiders could not hear the discussions.
To what extent does the Bill of Rights provide a “blanket of protection” for American citizens?
Why do many Americans believe that the Bill of Rights is especially relevant today?
Students will be able to:
Identify the parts of the Constitution and their purposes
Explain the first ten amendments and how they affect people today
Describe the rights and responsibilities of American citizens
On the 200th anniversary of the ratification of the US Constitution, Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to sit on the Supreme Court, said that the Constitution was “defective from the start.” He pointed out that the framers had left out a majority of Americans when they wrote the phrase, “We the People.” While some members of the Constitutional Convention voiced “eloquent objections” to slavery, Marshall said they “consented to a document which laid a foundation for the tragic events which were to follow.”
The previous list of Essential Questionscan be downloaded as a pdf here.
A carefully crafted lesson has a well-defined focus and framework as well as a clearly stated purpose. The lesson should present students with an issue that is phrased as a problem to be solved or a thought-provoking question to be...