What if our Founding Fathers were around today? What would they think of the society we have become? Would we live up to their ideals or will we have fallen away from what they intended? How would they deal with the modern problems in current society?
Good questions that all historians have to ask themselves when dealing with current issues and trying to interpret how the Founders would see them today. How would they deal with issues that deal with individual rights and the division of government influence or responsibility?
The two sides at the time, the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists battled it out when it came to the structure of the government and how it should influence our daily lives. Should it be small and direct, or large and representative?
Using the lesson plans for "Federalists & Anti-Federalists" at Stanford History Education Group (http://sheg.stanford.edu/federalists-antifederalist) as a basis, I developed a basic graphic organizer to help students explore modern issues from the two points of view of the Founders.
Students research each issue (abortion, same sex marriage, universal health care, etc) from both sides of the argument and decide who would support it. Then, based on their research and what they found out from the lesson, they explain using evidence why they decided the way they did.
This could be a group project or done as individuals.