America's system of government and ideas of liberty were established over time by historic documents and influential philosophical leaders. This assignment is a two page document that has a short excerpt from the Magna Carta, the Mayflower Compact, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, and the English Bill of Rights as well as from philosophical leaders William Blackstone, John Locke, and Charles de Montesquieu.
Students are asked to carefully read, annotate, and interpret each excerpt and in their own words summarize each excerpt.
More standardized testing questions in social studies are comprised of excerpts in their original text that require the learner to use context clues and analysis to make interpretations and meaning.
This activity is not easy as it requires some modeling and teacher led assistance. Higher performing students will likely be able to make interpretations and summarizations on their own while lower performing students will need to be guided through the interpretations.