Constitutional Convention Lesson Plan

Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

In this lesson plan which is adaptable for grades 5-12, students use BrainPOP resources (including an online social studies game) to explore the Constitutional Convention.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Explain how the United States founders determined what should and should not be included in the Constitution.
  2. Identify the key compromises that the founders agreed upon.
  3. Compare and contrast primary sources from the Constitutional Convention.
  4. Explain how the Constitution continues to change even in modern times.

Materials:

  • Class set of the Vocabulary page
  • Computers with internet and BrainPOP access for students to access the primary source document (or print a copy of it and the Primary Source Activity)

Preparation:

You can use this lesson to introduce students to the Constitutional Convention, or use it to reinforce concepts they have already learned.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Use the Vocabulary page to ensure that students are familiar with the terms they will need to know as they explore this topic. Print the form out and have students discuss with a partner what they already know about the vocabulary words and write in their own definitions .
  2. Play the Constitutional Convention Movie. Allow students to revise their vocabulary definitions based on what they learned through the movie.
  3. Challenge students to play Time Zone X Game: Constitutional Convention and place the events in correct chronological order.
  4. Have students access the Primary Source Activity and compare and contrast Alexander Hamilton's version of the Constitution and the version that was passed at the convention. (Click on the images to see Hamilton's document and the transcription of it.) How might our country be different if Hamilton's version had passed?
  5. You may want students to use the Make a Map Tool to create a visual representation of what they've learned about this topic.