Thomas Jefferson called for a public-supported education system in 1779 through “A Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge” as part of a greater plan to create an ideal republic. Few people question the need for education, but growing numbers question the close relationship between education and government. These activities provide opportunities for students to examine Jefferson’s 18th Century call for public education and to choose sides in the public education debate:
1) a think/pair/share opening activity,
2) a primary source document interpretation activity,
3) two DBQ activity versions,
4) a scaffolded argument-building activity,
5) a persuasive-writing paragraph-response organizer,
6) a peer editing and revision activity, and
7) a grading rubric for persuasive responses.
The think/pair/share, primary source interpretation activity, and DBQ's can be used as a two-day examination of Jefferson's ideas, or all activities can be used in a more in-depth study over four days.
Modifiable Word and pdf versions of this ebook are contained in the zip archive.