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Lay a strong foundation for your U.S. History course with this mini project-based unit that examines the FORE American values (Freedom, Opportunity, Representation, and Equality) by exploring foundational documents of the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution as well as different activists voices of the 1800s who have all contributed to America’s thriving story of liberty, democracy, and success.
Featuring the voices of
Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson
Freedom Fighter Frederick Douglass
Opportunity Fighter Mary Lease
Representation Fighter Abigail Adams
Equality Fighter Chief Joseph
By the end of this 2-3 week unit, your students will be able to
- Analyze written primary sources using the effective HIPPOS methods
- Deeply define the concept value
- Evaluate sources for and write own persuasive work using ethos, logos, and pathos
- Develope value-based SMART Goal and Action Plan
Greatness is 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 was 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 3 weeks!
Included in this complete resource:
- Unit Overview & 4 pages of Daily Lesson Plans from the introduction to the final project
- Answer keys and rubrics (both CCSS-aligned and generic)
- 37-slide editable PowerPoint slideshow with images, links, and student directions
Student Materials & Activities
- Graphic Organizer & Concept Definition for students’ unit-long note taking
- Visionaries: analyze the founding values as seen through the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution.
- Fighters: analyze four American fighters who represents each of the FORE values (Frederick Douglass, Mary Lease, Abigail Adams, and Chief Joseph) as well as evaluate their use of persuasive appeals to make their case
- 3 Skill Sheets: Annotating a Text, Primary Source Analysis, 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 up to 3 persuasive letters to themselves for delivery later in the school year to keep themselves motivated while also practicing effective writing techniques
Note to Homeschoolers
Though the included teacher lesson plans and PPT slides are written to fully support a traditional classroom teacher, this unit is also a great fit for your teenage homeschooler:
- the inquiry, thematic structure of this unit is driven more by critical thinking, reading, and writing skills and a central high-interest question than any one set of state-specific, grade-specific content standards
- a wide age and ability range can easily access the rich variety of sources utilized in this unit, making it perfect for a multi-grade group
- your student’s voice is central to each activity, through talking out their learning, maximizing the one-on-one
- activities can be completed independently and aren’t solely reliant on group or whole-class work
- all utilized sources are included; nothing needs to be purchased to supplement
- this unit is independent of a textbook, though one could be used for greater background knowledge
- any activity can easily be left out to customize for your student’s skill level or personal interest
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 geography 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
What to go entirely PBL?
U.S. History PBL Course Mega Bundle: get all posted PBL resources in one download and save big!