This reenactment package is designed to guide students through a debating three key issues at the Constitutional Convention. It is a 3-4 day simulation that your students will LOVE!
Included in the lesson package (.zip file):
.ppt and .key versions of slideshow
.doc and .pdf versions of graphic organizer
.doc and .pdf versions of delegate name list
.doc and .pdf versions of debate planning guide
.doc and .pdf versions of reflective summary
First, the stage is set by addressing who was there, what the convention was, when it occurred, where, and why the meeting was necessary. Students begin to take notes on a corresponding graphic organizer. Then students draw a delegate name (some with designated speaking roles) and research to know about their delegate and his state's needs and interests. I do this informally and have students take basic notes on a sheet of paper.
Next, students prepare for the debating by completing the state debate planning guide, which allows them to consider how to best represent their state. This also prepares students to participate more actively during the reenactment. Now they are guided through debating three major issues addressed by the delegates at the convention: how states would be represented in Congress (equally vs. by population), whether or not slaves would count toward a state's population, and how the chief executive would be elected. As students debate, a picture of George Washington's rising sun chair is displayed for the teacher to preside over the convention as Washington.
For each issue, the resolution is then presented (The Great Compromise, The 3/5 Compromise, and the Electoral College). I had students take notes as we progressed through each issue. The final slide includes reflection questions related to the reenactment. The reflection is also included as a separate handout.
I created this PowerPoint to help me with the reenactment, which is a TCI lesson that uses masks and biography cards for each of the delegates. The reenactment can easily be done without those supplies by following this plan.
If you want to get fancy you can wear a white wig, have students make masks, give them quill pens (pens with a feather taped on the end) and put out unlit candles on the desks. Make it fun!
*I used fonts called "US Declaration" and "A little sunshine" that are available to download for free at dafont.com.