Sunday, September 23, 2007

Traveling with Lewis & Clark

In preparation for Wednesday and Thursday's study of the Lewis and Clark expedition, peruse the companion website for the documentary Lewis & Clark: A Great Journey West here. The famous documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, whose most recent production is The War, also made a film on the Lewis and Clark story. Read more about it here, and listen here to Burns discuss his film.

View this interactive map to answer the questions from the class handout as you prepare for discussion on Thursday, September 27.

[Photo credit: here]

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Classroom Quest: Finding the Constitution

1. Independence Declared
__________Before the American colonists could form their own government, they needed to win their independence from Britain. In what year was American independence declared?

2. Declaration of Independence Written by A Young Patriot
__________Here’s a brief biography of Thomas Jefferson. Read all three (short) pages. How old was Jefferson when he wrote the Declaration of Independence? What were Thomas Jefferson’s occupations? How did Jefferson contribute to the Library of Congress? What school did Jefferson start?

3. Thomas Jefferson's Address
__________Jefferson is honored on the nickels you carry around every day. When was Jefferson placed on the back of the nickel? What was the name of Jefferson’s home?

4. Sign On The Dotted Line
__________Here’s a copy of the Declaration of Independence. Which Massachusetts patriot was the first to sign, with a signature so bold that King George wouldn’t miss it?

5. Name That Government
__________Once independence was declared, the colonies needed to form a new government. What was the name given to the plan of government they adopted on November 15, 1777? Be sure to answer the last question and explain why you answer the question as you do. (Read both pages)

6. Home of the 76ers
__________After the Revolutionary War, the Articles of Confederation needed to be improved. In what city did colonial delegates meet to plan a better form of government? Take the tour, and answer the following questions.
Where was the first Supreme Court?
What was once home of the U.S. Congress?
When did it meet here, and why?
Where is the U.S. Constitution currently held? When was it built?
Who is Richard Allen and why is he important?
Who is Betsy Ross? At the Betsy Ross homepage, click on the picture gallery for U.S. flags. Describe the flag in 1775, the "Betsy Ross" flag, and the "Grand Star" flag.
Who proposed the idea of having a national bank? Why?
What happened at Carpenter’s Hall?

7. The Hall of Documents
__________Here’s a map of old Philadelphia. Click on Independence Hall for some photographs. Besides the U.S. Constitution, what other important document was signed there?

8. Name That Delegate
__________ Scroll down to this famous painting of the Constitutional Convention. Hold your pointer over each delegate to identify him. Who is the tall figure standing on the platform? Find Rufus King. Where is he from?

9. Father of the Constitution
__________ Sometimes called "The Father of the Consitution," this influential delegate went on to become our fourth president. What was his name?

10. Ben Franklin Runs Away from Home
__________Here’s a brief story about Ben Franklin’s life as a kid in Boston. What caused him to run away to Philadelphia, where he later helped to create the Constitution? What did Franklin purchase in 1729?

11. A Duel Between Men
__________One of the most influential delegates to the Convention was Alexander Hamilton. In 1804, this brilliant man was killed in a duel. What was the name of the man who killed him?

12. Imagine The Constitutional Convention in Boston Today
__________Massachusetts sent 4 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787: Elbridge Gerry, Nathaniel Gorham, Caleb Strong, and _?_.

13. Three Small Words That Shaped A Nation
__________The Constitution begins with a “Preamble” and three words which are the foundation of our government and our democratic way of life. What are those three words? What do they mean?

14. Keeping It Legal
__________Delegates at the Constitutional Convention believed the legislative branch was the most important. Which article in the Constitution outlines the makeup of this branch? What is the structure of the legislative branch? What is the branch's job?

15. Which Plan to Choose?
__________Regarding representation in Congress, there were 2 main plans. The “Virginia Plan” called for ____?____. The “____?____ Plan” called for _______?_______.

16. A House Divided
__________In order to reach agreement about representation in Congress, the delegates made a “Great Compromise.” They created 2 legislative houses. There would be equal representation of big and small states in the _?_, but there would be representation by population size in the House.

17. The Texas Delegation
__________Like all states, Texas has two senators. Enter your zip code at the top of the page. Locate the 2 senators from Texas and name your representative(s).

18. The Executive Branch
__________Article II of the Constitution outlines the duties of the executive branch. According to Linda Monk, what is the main duty of the executive branch? What does this mean?

19. The Power of the Bench
__________Article III outlines the duties of the judicial branch. What is the term for the power the judiciary has to declare acts of the President or Congress unconstitutional?

20. You Have The Right......
__________The Constitution also gives the judiciary the power to interpret the laws. What was the name of the 1966 Supreme Court case which defended the rights of those being arrested? Discuss the events that led to this case.

21. Know Your Rights
__________Many delegates demanded that a “Bill of Rights” be added to the Constitution before they would sign it. Do you know your “Bill of Rights”? Test yourself with this match game!

22. All Those Opposed?
__________During the ratification process, two factions emerged. The ________ supported ratifying the Constitution. What was the name of the faction which opposed ratifying the Constitution?

23. Ninth in Line
__________(Scroll down to “The Order of Ratification”) Nine of the thirteen states had to ratify if the Constitution was to become the law. Which state was the ninth to ratify?

24. New From The Old
__________Article V outlines the amendment process. According to Linda Monk, how many amendments were ratified under the old Articles of Confederation?

25. Partners in Governing
__________ What is the term for the system by which the federal government and the state governments share power? This is a key feature of American government.

26. Free At Last
__________Not including the “Bill of Rights”, the Constitution has been amended only 17 times in its entire history! The 13th Amendment was added in 1865. What did it outlaw? What does the most recent Amendment address?

27. Women Get Their Rights
__________Another amendment to the Constitution gave women the right to vote. Alice Paul was a suffragette. Which amendment gave women the right to vote in 1920?

28. How many delegates actually signed the Constitution? _________________

29. How many words are in the Constitution? Which word is misspelled? Who once recited the entire Constitution by memory?

30. Who was the oldest and youngest to sign the Constitution?
Oldest: ________ Youngest: ___________

31. Who were the only two presidents to sign the Constitution?
________ and ________

32. Which 3 freedoms does the first amendment grant?

33. What does the preamble of the Constitution state?

**Search for answers and complete hard copy of e-scavenger hunt questions. Happy hunting.**

[These questions adopted and adapted from this on-line scavenger hunt, as well as this one. A special thanks to the educators whose work formed the basis of this investigative excercise. Photo from here.]