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This Articles of Confederation resource is the GOOGLE DRIVE version of one of my best-selling resources!
Trying to find a way to explain the Articles of Confederation to your students without them drifting off into daydream land? This mini-lesson helps to make it real by connecting to their lives. Provided is a summarized story about the Articles of Confederation that I use with my 8th grade U.S. History students, which explains why the Articles of Confederation came about, as well as the powers delegated to the state and national governments.
Table of Contents
Page 1: Cover Page
Pages 2-4: Background/Federal Government/State Government
Pages 5: Parent-Teenager Comparison
Page 6: Writing Page: Reasons Why They Chose What They Chose
Pages 7: Federalist vs. Anti-federalist Explanation
Page 8: Federalist vs. Anti-federalist Survey
Page 9: "Keep Going"
Page 10: Who They Compare to in History
As a way for students to grasp the concepts, I have included an activity where students are given 15 issues that they have to decide if each one should be their parent(s) responsibility, their responsibility, or both of their responsibilities. Kind of like the national government was the "parent government" like their parents are to them, and they (the students/children) are like the state governments were, except they probably don't have as much power over their families as the state governments did over the national government under the rules of the Articles of Confederation.
At the end students look at how many issues they said should just be left up to them, how many should be their parent's responsibility, and how many should be shared responsibilities. A wonderful class discussion takes place afterward where students justify their reasons for their selections. I then have them compare those issues to issues that were faced when the Continental Congress was trying to set up a government.
For example, one of the issues is who should be able to decide who your friends are. Students always say that should be up to them, but when we compare it to the Articles of Confederation, only the national government was allowed to make peace or sign treaties, thus deciding who we would associate with. They were the parent government. Why wasn't this left up to the states? Isn't it the same? Then BAM! The discussion erupts again.
Also included is a summary of the Federalist vs. Anti-federalist, which were the groups that Americans associated themselves with when the Constitution was being constructed. A survey with 7 topics about government is included where students either answer with a "YES" or a "NO." The reason there are 7 is because they will not have a tie and it will place them as either being more of a Federalist or more of an Anti-federalist.
Both of these combined can be a one day class activity/discussion to get students thinking about how they think power should be distributed in regard to state vs. national government.
Here's the link to the paper version of this resource:
These activities have worked well for me in the past so I hope they help your students better understand where they stand in regard to power distribution in the United States government.
Here's my Articles of Confederation companion product:
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