Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Making Civics Real Workshop 4: Constitutional Convention  
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Workshop 4

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Lesson Plan: Teaching the Lesson: Overview, Goals, and Planning

This program shows an AP comparative government class participating in a simulation in which students create a constitution for the hypothetical country of Permistan. The lesson--which is designed to help students review a great deal of information prior to taking their final exam--was videotaped over three class periods near the end of the semester. You will see students discuss and debate issues relating to the executive branch and the legislative branch. A worksheet on the judicial branch was assigned for homework; students’ deliberations on this topic are not seen in the workshop program.

The goal of the lesson is for students to develop a constitution for a hypothetical country called Permistan. To do so, students will need to review all the materials they have studied over the course of the semester, pull together their ideas, and analyze what works and what doesn't work as they attempt to craft an ideal government. Students have a wide range of constitutions to look at and procedures to examine. The teacher expects that they will draw from all five countries they have studied, as well as the United States, in putting together a new constitution.

Since this is an end-of-the-year activity, students have participated in numerous cooperative learning activities in the past and Matt Johnson has learned enough about how individual students interact with one another to give him a fair degree of confidence in assigning students to cooperative learning groups. Students are accustomed to being in charge of their own learning, talking in front of the class, and being held individually responsible for work, even when it has been done with a group. Prior to the start of the simulation, students have been asked to access and bring to class the resources on different constitutions they have gathered and/or used in prior study (e.g., notes, articles, and presentations).

Overview, Goals, and Planning     |     Introduction     |     Activity 1
Activity 2     |     Activity 3     |     Activity 4     |     Scheduling and Adaptations


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