Perfect beginning of the year project to explore the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble of the Constitution!
Start any study of American history by challenging your students to explore the founding American values and the fight to uphold them, translating their learning gains to developing a two-part authentic product: a value-driven SMART Goal & Action Plan, accompanied by 3 persuasive letters to keep themselves motivated to uphold their Goal.
realizing a goal is useless without a detailed plan and committed actions.
No nation is founded more on the idea that constant improvement will make it stronger. The four simple words, “a more perfect Union” encapsulated this idea from the beginning, a time when its leaders were far from perfect. But the vision and the founding values were set. It became up to the disenfranchised, the oppressed, and the wholeheartedly patriotic American citizens to take that Goal and turn it into an Action Plan.
Take your students on a short thematic quest through the founding FORE values (Freedom, Opportunity, Representation, and Equality) as well as a look in at their own founding values to create a SMART Goal Plan of Action for themselves to become more perfect.
Leave the boring textbook behind and lead your students straight to engaging in real reflection and self-improvement by examining our past.
This mini unit can be done well in about three weeks!
Included in this complete resource:
- Unit Overview & 5 pages of Daily Lesson Plans from the unit hook to the final assessment
- Answer keys and rubrics (both CCSS-aligned and generic)
- 13-slide editable PowerPoint slideshow with images, links, and student directions
Student Materials & Activities
- Graphic Organizer & Concept Definition
for students’ unit-long note taking
analyze the founding values as seen through the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution.
analyze four American fighters who represents each of the FORE values (Frederick Douglass, Emma Lazarus, Henry David Thoreau, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton) as well as evaluate their use of persuasive techniques to make their case
- Skill Sheets:
Annotating a Text, Ethos / Logos / Pathos
- SMART Goal & Action Plan Project
with values inventory, project direction sheet, template, and rubrics (CCSS and generic)
- Ethos / Logos / Pathos Letter Project
to write 3 persuasive letters to themselves for delivery later in the school year to keep themselves motivated while also practicing effective writing techniques
Want to go deeper with the whole unit?
U.S. History PBL: Values & America's Foundations Unit
explore the men and women who have challenged the establishment to keep America accountable to its founding FORE values throughout 1700s & 1800s American history in this thematic, project-based unit.
Want more U.S. History PBL Units?
Six Degrees of Separation:
kick off a study of our country’s political and physical features with a “Flat Stanley” style project
1900s American Immigration:
explore the American story of diversity and hard work through the words and statistics of immigrants, Ellis Island to Angel Island, to create and preserve an oral history of their own
1900s Protest Movements:
be inspired by Silent Sentinels to Alcatraz Occupiers to develop one’s own statement of protest or support
1900s American Heroes:
explore what it means to be a hero from Madam CJ Walker to John Glenn in order to nominate one’s own hero for recognition