This handout includes a week to two week's worth of materials to support students in answering the essential question, "Did the Constitution strengthen or weaken democracy in America?" It includes excerpts of a lecture defining democracy from a leading expert in the field, clips from the Constitution, a graphic organizer to help students organize their thoughts, sentence starters to support students in crafting arguments to answer the question, an "upgrade" list of low-level vocabulary with replacement words that are higher level, a sample paragraph, and a checklist with parts of a DBQ essay if you choose to have students write one. There is at least a week's worth of materials here, depending on how you choose to utilize them to best serve your students. I am planning to put up a follow up lesson that engages students, using this knowledge, to debate the current government shutdown. All very fun stuff!