By Dawn Boyer
 
 

 
Table of Contents
Introduction  
How  to  Use  this  Curriculum    
Goals  of  the  Study  
Tools  
Lessons  1-­‐15:  
➢ Lesson  1:    The  Beginnings  
➢ Lesson  2:    The  Strength  of  our  Voices  
➢ Lesson  3:    The  Great  Compromise  
➢ Lesson  4:    Article  1  –  The  Congress  
➢ Lesson  5:    Article  2  –  The  President  
➢ Lesson  6:    Article  3  –  The  Judges  
➢ Lesson  7:    Articles  4-­‐7:  Rights,  States  and  the  People  
➢ Lesson  8:    Amendments  1-­‐10:    The  Bill  of    Rights  
➢ Lesson  9:    Amending:  Change  and  the  Early  Amendments  
➢ Lesson  10:    Defining  Liberty  
➢ Lesson  11:    The  Great  Division  
➢ Lesson  12:    Extremism  
➢ Lesson  13:    A  New  Direction  
➢ Lesson  14:    World  Changing  Decisions  
➢ Lesson  15:    Era  of  Information  
 
Appendix:    Tools  to  help  you  learn  more.  
➢ Books/Videos/Websites  
➢ How  to  use  the  Resource  Suggestions  
Outlines  
Maps  and  Diagrams  
Murals  of  Freedom  
Glossary  
Timeline  
Suggested  American  Literature    
Constitution  Quotes  
Bibliography  
 
 
 
 
 
 

Introduction
God  grants  liberty  only  to  those  who  love  it  and  are  always  ready  to  defend  it.  ~  Daniel  Webster  
 
Liberty  is  a  word  synonymous  with  freedom.    Freedom  is  a  symbol  proudly  characterized  by  America’s  long  history  which  
reflects  the  fight  for  lives  free  from  the  chains  of  bondage.    Purpose,  vision  and  determination  propelled  our  nation  to  a  
status  unparalleled  to  that  of  her  contemporaries.    This  curriculum  attempts  to  highlight  this  gift  of  posterity,  which  was  
handed  to  down  to  future  generations  by  a  provident  hand.      
In  200  years,  a  single  document  has  withstood  the  test  of  time.    The  significance  that  it  represents  is  evidenced  in  the  
fact  that  it  is  still  relevant  today.    Our  Constitution  is  a  document  that,  while  often  declared  non-­‐religious,  was  
established  on  the  foundations  of  both  religion  and  morality.    John  Adams  is  quoted  as  saying,  “We  can  plan  for  liberty  
but  religion  and  morality  establish  the  principle  on  which  freedom  can  stand.”    The  guiding  tool  used  to  draft  the  
Constitution  was  forged  in  the  educational  tenet  of  the  colonial  period  and  before,  such  as  the  writings  of  John  Locke,  
Cicero,  Baron  Montesquieu  and  William  Blackstone.      The  most  widely  read  book  at  the  time  was  the  Bible  with  The  New  
England  Primer  coming  in  second.    This  gives  much  credence  to  the  concept  of  a  Biblical  basis  for  the  start  of  our  
government.    These  men,  while  often  in  disagreement  about  policy,  were  in  full  agreement  that  that  human  nature  was  
flawed.    Because  of  this,  they  aimed  to  write  a  document  that  would  stand  the  test  of  time  and  be  flexible  enough  to  
adapt  to  the  needs  of  future  generations.  
The  Bible  tells  us  that  history  repeats  itself.  (Ecclesiastes  3:15)  Any  student  of  history  can  tell  you  that  that  is  absolutely  
true.    Proverbs  4:7-­‐9  reminds  us  that  we  are  to  get  wisdom  and  understanding.    Over  and  over  throughout  scripture,  
especially  in  the  book  of  Proverbs,  we  are  admonished  to  find  wisdom.    The  foundations  of  our  government  are  set  upon  
the  premise  found  in  Isaiah  33:22,  “For  the  Lord  is  our  judge,  the  Lord  is  our  lawgiver,  and  the  Lord  is  our  king.”    It  is  in  
this  verse  we  can  see  the  paradigm  for  the  structure  laid  out  in  the  Constitution  and  our  republican  form  of  government.    
This  guide  is  an  invitation  to  walk  along  on  a  journey  of  discovery.    Step  inside  the  hallowed  halls  and  sitting  rooms  of  
the  individuals  who  were  responsible  for  the  culmination  of  what  would  become  a  precedent  for  the  world.    The  
Declaration  of  Independence  declared  that  all  men  were  created  equal  and  had  the  right  to  seek  after  life,  liberty  and  
the  pursuit  of  happiness.    We  are  going  to  explore  the  depths  of  insight  found  in  the  annals  of  history  at  the  hands  of  
some  of  the  best  of  America’s  greatest  writers  and  debaters.    
Sifting  through  the  pages  of  history  is  where  we  will  find  the  gems  which  will  unlock  for  us  the  hidden  beauty  of  our  
blessed  nation.    Perhaps  you  will  renew  your  love  for  this  nation  or  maybe  deepen  your  gratitude  for  the  privilege  to  call  
America  home.    To  appreciate  the  blessings  we  have  been  given,  we  must  also  learn  what  it  could  have  been  like  to  lose  
them.    The  men  who  labored  and  birthed  this  new  nation,  I  believe  at  the  hand  of  the  Almighty,  built  it  upon  the  solid  
foundation  of  liberty.    They  did  this  looking  forward  into  the  future  knowing  then  as  we  should  now,  that  freedom  is  not  
free.    It  is  a  privilege.  Rights  are  not  handed  down  by  governments,  but  by  God.  Liberty  is  not  a  word  we  throw  around  
lightly,  but  it  is  earned.  
Providence  and  virtue  were  not  just  words  that  were  merely  spoken  and  forgotten;  these  were  character  traits  that  
symbolized  this  generation.    Education,  the  art  of  leading  one  out,  was  not  taken  for  granted.    Individuals  valued  the  
chance  to  learn  and  to  articulate,  with  esteemed  honor,  the  hope  that  resided  within  their  hearts.    The  principles  that  
began  the  process  of  our  early  government  are  still  there  waiting  to  be  unearthed.    The  foundations  which  built  the  
cornerstone  of  all  we  represent  as  the  “Land  of  the  Free  and  the  Home  of  the  Brave”  have  not  been  buried.    Are  you  
willing  to  look  for  them?  
 
   

How  to  Use  this  Curriculum:  
 
I  had  the  privilege  of  teaching  an  American  Government  class  for  the  last  four  years  as  a  Classical  Conversations  Tutor  
and  then  teaching  this  specific  curriculum  you  now  have  to  the  homeschooling  families  in  my  community.    The  students  
ranged  in  age  from  Jr.  High  to  High  School  and  even  the  adults  joined  in  on  the  learning.    What  a  joy  to  spend  time  with  
these  amazing  families!    The  class  was  taught  over  a  series  of  two  semesters,  every  other  week  for  eight  weeks.    You  
may  find  that  you  won’t  need  as  much  time  on  certain  lessons  and  perhaps  want  to  take  more  time  on  others.    The  
lessons  are  written  so  that  you  can  stop  and  explore,  taking  as  long,  or  as  little,  as  you  would  like.  
You  have  the  option  of  reading  a  few  or  all  of  the  documents  suggested;  the  thing  I  want  to  encourage  you  to  remember  
is  that  this  is  YOUR  time  and  your  learning  experience.      There  are  activity  suggestions  throughout  each  lesson  that  will  
give  you  more  depth  as  you  learn  but  they  are  merely  a  suggestion.      At  the  end  of  each  lesson  will  be  an  optional  writing  
assignment  for  the  students  with  directions  included  to  complete  the  assignment.    
The  exercises  and  assignments  can  be  compiled  into  a  credit  for  American  History  and  Government,  as  well  as  
composition  for  your  high  school  student.    (Note:  you  need  to  make  sure  that  you  are  in  accordance  with  your  state  
requirements  for  credits.    Typically,  it  is  decided  based  on  the  number  of  hours  the  student  spends  studying  a  subject.)    
In  the  index  I  have  added  some  American  Literature  titles  which  will  help  to  round  out  your  student’s  curriculum  for  the  
school  year.    For  those  of  you  who  like  to  put  it  all  together  and  use  your  time  well,  you  may  find  this  a  beneficial  option  
for  your  secondary  student  to  use.    
Through  the  lens  of  original  documents,  the  students  will  see  the  many  changes  that  took  place  through  the  history  of  
our  government.    The  students  will  not  only  be  reading  the  Constitution  in  its  original  language,  but  they  will  also  study  
the  literature,  documents,  policies  and  speeches  which  preempted  multiple  dynamic  changes  occurring  during  the  last  
200  years.    Most  of  these  documents  are  online  where  you  can  access  them  for  free.    Many  historical  documents  are  
available  online  for  free.    Most  of  the  links  to  these  documents  are  included  in  the  lesson  plan;  however,  there  are  a  few  
books  which  have  almost  the  entire  documents  nicely  organized  and  kept  in  one  place.    This  is  not  a  requirement  but  it  
may  make  your  life  easier  to  have  the  documents  nicely  bound  and  printed  for  easier  access  and  reading.  
 
 
You  can  go  onto  Amazon.com  and  find  a  used    
version  of  many  of  these  books  listed  to  the  right.    
The  Federalist  and  the  Anti-­‐Federalist  are  available    
as  e-­‐book  editions,  which  are  relatively  cheap  (you    
may  even  find  them  for  free).  
 
 
 
Using  primary  documents  gives  us  the  opportunity  to  read  the  original  intent  of  the  author  and  teaches  us  to  think  for  
ourselves.    One  of  the  primary  goals  of  this  particular  study  is  to  teach  our  children  how  to  think  logically  and  to  
establish  their  own  ideas  regarding  the  formation  of  our  Government.    The  best  part,  I  believe,  is  they  do  this  all  the  
while  having  the  protective  covering  of  their  parents  walking  alongside  of  them.    Many  of  the  parents  who  sat  in  on  the  
classes  were  amazed  at  the  ideas  and  concepts  which  were  new,  even  to  themselves,  concerning  our  nation’s  history  
and  the  policies  which  formed  our  government.    I  encourage  you  to  make  this  a  learning  process  for  both  your  children  
and  yourself.    I  promise  that  you  won’t  regret  the  extra  time  and  effort  you  have  put  into  the  study.    
Optional  Book  Resources:  
▪ A  Patriot’s  Handbook  by  Caroline  
Kennedy  
▪ Words  Aptly  Spoken:  
A  Collection  of  American  Documents    
by  Jen  Greenholt  
▪ A  History  of  US  Source  Index  
▪ The  Federalist  Papers  
▪ The  Anti-­‐Federalist  
 

Resources:  
The  items  I  have  listed  below  are  resources  I  used  to  add  depth  to  the  classes  taught.    I  found  using  the  videos  along  
with  other  visual  displays  were  a  huge  benefit  to  the  students.    The  videos  listed  below  are  titled  appropriately  to  tie  in  
easily  with  the  lessons.  I  will  include  a  list  in  the  appendix  which  will  coordinate  the  videos  and  the  lessons  together.    
You  don’t  have  to  use  the  resources  to  complete  the  lessons;  however,  I  would  encourage  you  to  pray  and  consider  
buying  a  set  to  include  in  your  study  if  possible.    
 *  A  note  of  caution:  The  History  Channel  videos  and  The  Story  of  Us  have  graphic  elements  that  may  not  be  suitable  
for  young  children.    There  were  times  when  I  would  stop  the  videos  or  pass  over  areas  that  were  not  favorable  to  watch.    
This  happened  infrequently  and  I  felt  that  the  videos  were  quite  enlightening.    As  with  everything  you  watch,  be  careful  
to  be  sensitive  to  the  material  and  point  out  any  areas  that  may  require  extra  discussion.    
             Our  Most  Utilized  Videos  were:  
▪ A  More  Perfect  Union    
▪ The  American  Heritage  Series  
▪ The  Story  of  US  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Video  and  Multimedia  Resources  
▪ A  More  Perfect  Union    from  www.nccs.net  
▪ The  American  Heritage  Series  by  
wallbuilders.com  
▪ America:  The  Story  of  Us  from  The  History  
Channel  
▪ Monumental:    In  Search  of  America’s  
National  Treasure  
www.monumentalmovie.com  
▪ Growth  of  Nation  CD-­‐  ROM  by  Peter  Mays,  
www.animatedatlas.com  
▪ Biblical  Foundations  of  the  Constitution  by  
Christian  Liberty  Press  
 
Other  Resources  
▪ Picturing  America  from  NEA  (  National  
Endowment  for  the  Humanities)  
o http://picturingamerica.neh.gov/  
▪ Picturing  America  supplement  from  Vision  
Forum  
▪ C-­‐Span  Teacher  Resources  
www.ushistory.org  –  primary  documents  
▪ Our  Federal  and  State  Constitutions  by  AJS  
publications.  www.ajspublications.com  

Class  Schedule  and  Organization  Suggestions:  
The  following  ideas  are  just  suggestions  that  have  worked  for  others.    Please  use  only  those  ideas  which  work  out  best  
for  you.    If  you  are  familiar  with  the  concept  of  Notebooks,  you  will  appreciate  the  binder  suggestions  below.      
In  all  of  my  classes,  I  encouraged  each  of  the  students  to  obtain  a  3-­‐ring  binder  to  hold  their  lesson  plans,  extra  paper,  
maps,  notes  and  assignments.    Look  through  each  lesson  with  the  student,  reading  the  summary  first  to  get  an  idea  of  
what  you  will  be  studying,  and  plan  out  the  week’s  work.    There  is  a  “Lesson  Worksheet”  included  on  the  next  page  to  
help  you  both  be  accountable  to  the  plan  you  are  setting  up.  
Below  is  a  suggested  schedule  that  takes  the  lesson  over  two  weeks.  You  can  take  as  much  time  as  you  need  to  cover  
the  material  suggested  in  each  lesson.    
Example 2 Week Schedule:
Week  1  
Week  2  
I.
Read  through  the  lesson  to  become  
acquainted  with  the  material.    Most  of  the  
document  suggestions  are  listed  at  the  
beginning  of  the  lesson  and  in  the  actual  
lesson  with  the  notes.    The  students  should  
be  able  to  ‘read  as  they  go’.  
 
I.
Create  a  running  timeline  to  add  with  each  
lesson  and  add  any  maps  that  will  enrich  the  
subject  which  is  being  studied.  
II.
Watch  the  video  lesson.  
 
II.
Begin  assigned  activities  
III.
Decide  which  activities  need  to  be  
completed.  
 
III.
Review  your  notes  and  complete  assigned  
activities,  making  any  changes  or  corrections  
necessary.  
IV.
Write  out  the  vocabulary.  
 
IV.
Add  all  work  to  the  binder.  
V.
Begin  reading  the  material  and  make  notes  
as  you  go.  
V.
Share  what  they  have  learned  with  someone.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

(Suggested
Schedule)
R
ead
Lesson
S
u
mmary
an
d
P
rimary
D
ocu
men
ts
C
omp
lete
V
ocab
.,
Timelin
e
& M
ap
W
ork
R
esearch
M
aterial for
A
ctivities
Read
Ad
d
ition
al
Resou
rces
& A
merican
Lit.
W
ritin
g
A
ssign
men
t
W
atch
V
id
eos
A
rt H
istory
Q
u
estion
s
O
u
tlin
e
C
on
stitu
tion
Monday  
X
X
X
Tuesday  
X
X
X
Wednesday  
X
X
X
Thursday  
X
X
Friday  
X X
❑ 1-­‐2  weeks  prior  to  the  lesson,  look  over  the  lesson  and  make  a  list  of  the  primary  documents  which  will  
be  necessary  to  complete  the  lesson.  
❑ Print  out  any  maps  or  worksheets  that  will  be  required  for  the  lesson.  
❑ Go  to  the  Library  and  check  out  any  books  or  videos  that  you  think  would  be  helpful  to  complete  the  
study  of  this  lesson  (Not  a  requirement,  but  a  suggestion.)  
❑ Make  a  Plan!  
❑ Have  the  student  get  acquainted  with  the  material  by  reading  the  summary.  
❑ Write  out  the  vocabulary  with  the  definitions  and  add  the  timeline  dates  to  your  growing  timeline.  
❑ Look  over  the  primary  documents  to  see  which  documents  you  will  be  reading.  
❑ Determine  which  activities  are  a  requirement  for  completion  and  which  are  ‘extras’.  
❑ Make  a  check  list  for  your  student’s  accountability  
❑ Have  the  student  present  what  they  have  learned  from  this  lesson.  
❑ Add  any  work  to  the  notebook.  
 

 
Teaching  as  a  Class  or  Independently:  
This  class  can  be  done  independently  or  as  a  group  setting.    If  you  are  purchasing  this  resource  for  your  family,  you  may  
make  copies  for  all  your  students  from  this  text.    However,  if  this  guide  is  being  used  in  a  group  setting,  each  family  will  
need  to  purchase  their  own  book.  Group  discounts  are  available.  Write  to  orders@kqpublishing.org.  Thank  
you  for  your  consideration  in  this.  
 
 Additional  text  included  in  lessons:  
There  is  a  book  that  I  have  suggested  the  students  read  along  with  the  lessons  and  exercises.    It  is  available  at  
www.ajspublications.com.    This  website  offers  a  State  and  Federal  Constitution  Text  Book  along  with  tests  for  the  
student.    If  you  want  your  homeschooler  to  take  quizzes  or  tests  for  their  transcripts,  this  may  be  a  very  practical  
resource  for  you  to  use.  There  are  different  books  available  for  each  state,  so  make  sure  you  are  specific  when  ordering  
from  their  website.    If  you  are  doing  this  class  as  a  group,  you  will  be  able  to  purchase  the  books  in  bulk  for  the  class.  
 
 
 

 
Goals  of  the  Study  
The  ability  to  reason  and  logically  debate  a  subject  is  a  skill  which  tends  to  be  acquired;  however,  it  will  serve  us  well  to  
take  time  to  refine  these  skills.    With  a  thorough  study  of  materials  which  cause  us  to  stretch  our  vocabulary,  our  
knowledge  and  eventually  our  understanding  the  ability  to  articulate  the  ideas  well,  both  shape  and  benefit  our  society.      
Specifically,  the  study  of  history  shows  us  a  perspective  that  highlights  both  the  victories  and  the  sorrows  of  the  
generations  past.    History  is  relevant.    Studying  the  history  of  our  Constitution  and  the  formation  of  our  government  is  
imperative  as  we  move  forward  in  the  future.    
The  initial  goal  of  this  study  is  to  encourage  you  and  your  children  to  study  one  of  our  most  important  documents.    The  
far  reaching  impact  is  that  not  only  will  you  become  aware  of  the  history,  but  that  you  will  become  inspired  to  be  
educated  and  involved  in  the  politics  that  affect  your  life.  
Skills  to  work  towards:  
It  is  my  fervent  hope  that  you  and  your  student  will  be  able  to  have  begun  to  master  the  following  concepts  with  the  
completion  of  this  course.  
1) Student  is  able  to  outline  the  Constitution  with  understanding.  
a. Memorization  of  the  outline  secures  a  knowledge  base  from  which  students  can  study  more  and/or  
discuss  material  intellectually.  
 
2) Student  can  know  and  understand  the  principles  behind  the  formation  of  our  government.  
a. The  knowledge  of  data  helps  to  relate  eras  and  dates  to  events,  people  and/or  policies  relevant  to  the  
past,  present  and  future.  
 
3) Student  increases  their  knowledge  of  individuals,  philosophies  and  ideas  through  history.  
a. Gaining  rhetorical  insight  to  see  and  understand  the  transition  in  the  government  though  the  lens  of  the  
culture  in  which  it  exists  provides  a  structure  to  hang  the  information  on  and  pull  from  each  time  you  
become  acquainted  with  the  subject  again.  
 
4) Student  gains  skills  in  research  and  composition  through  the  reading  of  the  documents  and  the  analysis  of  
materials.  
a. Increasing  vocabulary  and  written  communication  through  practice  of  composition  skills  adds  to  the  
cognitive  ability  of  each  individual  exponentially.  
 
5) Student  learns  to  appreciate  history  and  the  art  of  thinking  logically.  
a. By  choosing  to  do  hard  things,  our  students  grow  in  virtue  and  grace  for  His  Glory.  
 
                                       Whatever  you  do,  in  thought,  word,  or  deed,  do  it  all  for  the  glory  of  God.  1  Corinthians  10:31  
 

The  Key  to  the  Lesson  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Introduction/  Lesson  Summary  
Each  lesson  will  start  with  a  brief  introduction  and  outline  of  the  upcoming  lesson.  
Tool  #3:    Maps  
Start  your  study  with                                              
two  general  maps:  
▪ A  World  Map  
▪ A  Map  of  North  America  
You  will  add  to  these  with  each  
lesson.    If  you  want,  you  can  
make  special  maps  to  highlight  
what  you  have  learned  with  each  
lesson.  
 
Get  a  3  Ring  
Binder  and  
make  a  section  
for  all  your  
tools.  
Tool  #1:  Vocabulary  
Know  your  vocabulary;  it  is  
the  grammar  of  your  study.  
Each  lesson  has  a  list  of  
vocabulary  that  will  help  you  
understand  the  content  of  
the  documents  you  are  
reading.  
There  is  a  glossary  at  the  back  
of  the  book  to  aid  you  in  
creating  your  own  glossary.  
Feel  free  to  look  the  
definitions  up  on  your  own,  
though.    
Add  any  words  that  you  don’t  
know  to  your  glossary  as  you  
are  reading.  
Tool  #2:  Timeline  
 
It  is  important  to  know  when  
things  happen  in  the  context  of  
other  events.    Keeping  a  timeline  is  
one  way  to  accomplish  that  goal.    
Each  lesson  will  have  suggestions  
of  dates  and  events  to  add  to  your  
timeline.    You  can  make  your  own  
timeline  pages,  build  one  on  your  
computer  or  use  a  timeline  book.  
It  is  all  up  to  you.  
Tool  #4:  Primary  Documents  
The  main  resource  for  this  study  will  be  the  actual  documents  written  by  the  
original  authors.    Read  them  thoroughly  to  interpret  and  understand  the  history,  
laws  and  direction  of  the  US  from  its  origin  to  the  current  day.  
Additional  Resources:  
Videos  -­‐  Each  lesson  will  have  a  video  suggestion  that  will  accompany  the  topics  studied.  
Art  –  The  art  study  section  provides  a  popular  art  piece  which  highlights  the  concepts  presented  in  the  Constitution.  
Literature  -­‐  Adding  the  study  of  American  Literature  to  the  curriculum  gives  you  another  level  of  learning  about  our  
government  and  nation  through  the  words  of  those  who  wrote  about  it  in  story.  

Use the Tools
“For  the  tools  of  learning  are  the  same,  in  any  and  every  subject;  and  the  person  who  knows  how  to  use  them  will,  at  any  age  get  the  
mastery  of  a  new  subject  in  half  of  the  time  with  a  quarter  of  the  effort  expended  by  the  person  who  has  not  the  tools  at  his  
command.”Dorothy  Sayers  –  The  Lost  Tools  of  Learning  
 
Primary  Documents:  
Many  of  the  articles,  speeches  and  documents  are  the  primary  text  of  this  course.    By  reading  the  original  work  of  the  
author,  we  are  able  to  decide  for  ourselves  what  we  think  it  meant.    Always  encourage  the  use  of  primary  sources  when  
researching  to  ascertain  the  highest  level  of  understanding.  
One  way  to  get  the  most  out  of  the  reading  is  to  have  the  student  narrate  what  they  have  read  back  to  you;  especially  
with  the  younger  student,  you  may  find  this  more  helpful  than  assigning  some  of  the  composition  exercises.  You  can  
have  them  dictate  it  to  you  and  then  type  it  out  for  them  or  have  them  do  it  themselves.      Older  students  can  take  notes  
as  they  read,  either  by  highlighting  the  text  in  the  book,  (Ask  Mom  first!)  or  by  using  post-­‐it  notes,    a  notebook  or  sheet  
of  paper.    It  is  important  to  ‘translate’  the  notes  after  you  have  written  them,  preferably  soon  after,  so  that  they  make  
some  sort  of  sense.    
The  key  point  in  summarizing  is  to  get  the  main  idea  of  the  document  and  be  able  to  relate  that  back  to  
someone  else  in  your  own  words.  
 
 
Extra Reading:
The suggested books listed above are exactly that...a suggestion. The students will have an
abundance of work to read and digest with the primary documents. If, however, you want to
include some additional history studies and even American Literature to this course, try to
incorporate some of the suggestions listed in both the Appendix and the Introduction (Core
History Readers). You can choose your own literature books as well! It is all up to you.

Map  Work:  
By  using  maps,  we  will  give  the  student  a  visual,  concrete,  idea  of  an  abstract  concept.  Make  a  copy  of  the  suggested  
maps  for  all  the  students  and  keep  a  master  for  yourself  so  that  you  can  make  more  if  necessary.    Perhaps  enlarge  a  map  
of  North  America  at  your  local  office  supply  store  so  you  can  add  to  it  over  time  while  completing  this  course.    One  
simple  suggestion  that  I  use  in  my  classes  is  to  fill  a  3-­‐ring  binder  with  page  protectors  and  as  the  students  progress  
through  the  course  they  are  adding  new  maps  and  working  on  their  main  map  with  each  lesson.    The  page  protectors  
keep  them  safe  and  clean,  but  even  more  important,  easily  accessible.    
There  is  a  map  of  the  United  States  in  the  appendix  section  of  this  text.  Use  the  outline  maps  in  the  websites  suggested  
on  the  previous  page  or  find  a  book  or  CD  that  your  children  can  use  to  create  their  own  maps.    We  love  the  books  by  
Geography  Matters  and  Knowledge  Quest  Maps  (Both  of  which  are  available  by  e-­‐book  and  CD  to  make  printing  options  
easier).      I  also  like  the  Historical  outline  maps  from  Archiving  Early  America  and  Eduplace.  (See  websites  above  or  the  
appendix  section.)  
It  is  always  a  great  idea  to  invest  in  a  good  atlas  when  studying  the  geography  of  an  area.  We  really  like  the  book  
Compact  Atlas  of  the  World  by  DK.    Take  time  to  consider  how  important  the  geography  of  a  region  was  when  
considering  the  historical  and  political  value  of  that  region.    Integration  is  a  phenomenal  teaching  tool  to  incorporate  in  
every  subject  or  lesson.  
 Timeline:
The  timeline  creates  yet  another  visual  concept  that  ties  events  and  ideas  together  in  one  location.  Not  only  does  it  
provide  a  visual  tool,  but  a  logical  one  as  well.    It  is  great  to  hear  your  children  relate  one  event  in  the  West  to  another  
event  in  the  East,  both  occurring  at  the  same  time.  It  connects  people  to  events  and  locations  in  a  practical  way,  and  
helps  us  to  keep  from  having  tunnel  vision  making  us  and  our  children  more  mission-­‐minded.  You  may  choose  to  keep  a  
timeline  in  a  binder,  on  your  computer  or  on  the  wall.    Whatever  you  decide  works  best  for  you  is  great.
Each  section  will  have  some  dates  listed  for  your  timeline,  but  I  encourage  you  to  add  to  it  anything  you  have  found  or  
already  know.  The  concept  of  the  timeline  in  this  book  is  not  inclusive,  it  couldn’t  be.    There  are  plenty  of  important  
dates  I  know  I  have  missed;  however,  I  hope  it  will  encourage  you  to  start  the  process  of  chronologically  ordering  
historic  events.  It  is  one  more  tool  to  add  to  our  arsenal  of  educational  advancements  which  will  help  us  to  pull  from  
what  we  know  with  each  new  topic  we  encounter.  
 
 
 
Research  Activities  and  Writing  Assignments:  
The  assignments  and  projects  listed  within  the  lessons  are  meant  to  help  the  student  dig  deeper  into  the  material.  Be  
thrifty  with  your  time  and  help  your  student  pick  the  most  sensible  options  for  their  level.    I  encourage  you  to  push  them  
if  you  think  they  can  do  more,  though.    Each  assignment  will  have  a  writing  activity  or  project  included.  By  completing  
the  composition  work  you  can  add  that  to  your  students  language  arts  requirements  for  the  year  and  utilize  their  time  
well.    
Projects  are  a  great  way  for  our  students  to  grow  in  their  research  and  presentation  skills.  Whenever  possible  allow  your  
students  to  present  and/or  teach  the  material  to  someone  else.    This  “owning”  of  the  information  is  one  of  the  highest  
forms  of  learning  and  retention  there  is.  
Apply  what  you  have  learned!  

Outlining  and  Rewriting:  
The  students  will  be  encouraged  to  outline  the  actual  Constitution  in  their  own  words.    An  outline  is  provided  in  the  
documents  section  of  this  guide.    One  of  the  best  ways  to  ensure  our  children  are  actually  processing  what  they  read  is  if  
they  can  repeat  what  they  have  learned  either  in  writing  or  presentation.    
Outlining  Process:  
When  you  begin  the  process  of  outlining  the  constitution  take  each  section  one  at  a  time.      
1) Read  through  the  section  and  then  decide  whether  you  want  to  summarize  the  entire  section  or  the  whole  
article.    
A. Depending  on  age  and  ability,  I  often  encourage  the  students  to  outline  the  whole  article  or  amendment.    
So,  for  example,  there  will  be  one  line  for  the  Preamble,  7  Articles  and  27  amendments.      
B. For  the  student  who  is  more  advanced,  break  the  outlining  down  into  the  following  pattern:  
a. Article  
b. Section  
c. Clause  
2) Have  the  students  try  to  summarize  in  eight  words  or  less  what  that  particular  section  means.    
A. For  Example:    the  Preamble  can  easily  be  summarized  as  “A  More  Perfect  Union  .”    
As  you  continue  to  study  the  Constitution,  section  by  section,  have  your  student  keep  a  continual  outline  until  you  have  
finished  summarizing  the  document.    You  can  encourage  memory  skills  by  having  them  copy  the  outline,  as  if  making  the  
outline  copy  work.  
 
Extra  Study:  
American  Literature  and  Art  History  
This  section  of  the  lesson  is  completely  optional,  but  teaching  American  Literature  in  the  context  of  History  and  
Government  seems  almost  too  easy.    American  Literature  started  with  the  inception  of  our  nation’s  beginnings,  though  
the  true  American  Novel  didn’t  arrive  till  the  Romantic  Period  around  1820’s  and  up.      There  is  a  rich  history  of  bright  
thinking,  transcendent  minded  individuals  with  a  gift  for  words  and  ideas  that  represent  all  that  was  going  on  in  the  
culture  around  them.  Studying  our  culture  through  the  lens  of  the  written  word  gives  one  more  layer  of  learning  to  our  
study.  
Just  like  the  outward  expression  of  story  in  word  form  from  the  literary  minds  of  the  American  Authors,  Art  has  a  way  of  
portraying  the  changes  in  our  culture  through  the  visual  expression  and  the  feelings  it  creates.    Art  has  always  been  a  
personal  form  of  expression  for  both  the  artist  and  the  art  appreciator.    Round  out  your  study  of  the  constitution  with  a  
brief  study  on  the  manifestation  of  one  of  our  most  cherished  freedoms,  The  Freedom  of  Speech  and  The  Press,  as  you  
look  at  Art  in  American  History  and  thoughts  and  ideas  expressed  in  the  Literature  of  America.  
 
The  National  Center  for  Constitutional  Studies  has  a  phenomenal  outline  available  for  download.  I  encourage  you  to  
visit  their  sight  and  see  what  is  available.  The  video  they  have  produced  entitled,  A  More  Perfect  Union,  is  my  favorite  
movie  on  the  Constitutional  Convention  and  I  use  it  in  my  class  as  a  teaching  tool.  If  you  invest  in  only  one  video,  this  
is  the  one  I  would  encourage  you  to  buy.    

The  Appendix  has  a  list  of  all  the  suggested  books  and  masterpieces  along  with  general  guideline  of  how  to  incorporate  
this  into  your  study.  
Lesson  Questions:    
Finally,  there  is  a  section  for  those  of  you  who  love  the  worksheets!    A  series  of  questions  that  will  help  to  determine  
whether  or  not  the  student  (or  even  the  parent)  was  able  to  pull  key  pieces  of  information  out  of  the  material.  There  is  
not  an  answer  key  to  the  questions,  though.  This  is  primarily  focused  on  learning  what  the  ‘student’  knows,  not  whether  
or  not  they  are  passing  a  quiz.    Use  the  questions  as  a  springboard  for  discussion.  
The  Lesson  Summary  provides  ample  starter  questions  and  material  to  help  you  move  from  the  grammar  stage  of  the  
study  (gathering  the  information  by  reading),  into  the  dialectic  stage  of  asking  questions  and  thinking  logically  about  
what  you  have  read.    This  is  when  you  and  your  student  can  ask,  “Why  did  they  do  that?”,  “How  did  that  happen?”,  
“When  did  this  occur?”  etc.    Dig  deep  and  ask  questions,  write  down  what  you  are  learning  and  enjoy  this  Journey  to  
Liberty.      
The  Research  and  Activity  Sections  provide  the  research  opportunities  to  grow  in  skills  of  organization,  reading  and  
taking  notes.    All  of  this  prepares  the  student  for  the  Rhetorical  stage  of  applying  what  they  have  learned  and  
communicating  their  discoveries.    
Socrates  is  remembered  for  his  ability  to  encourage  his  students  with  the  art  of  discourse.    This  is  a  skill  that  will  help  our  
students  to  think  logically  about  the  material  they  are  reading.    I  want  to  encourage  you  to  take  time  to  discuss  the  ideas  
and  the  concepts  within  the  documents  they  will  be  reading.    This  gives  you  the  chance  to  discuss  policies  and  ideas  and  
the  consequences  that  result  from  the  legislative  procedure.  
Most  of  all  have  fun  learning  about  the  history  of  our  nation’s  government  and  our  Amazing  Constitution.      
 
** Each section is appointed its own special bullet. As the lessons proceed, sometimes there will be a
document listed right in the middle or a suggestion for an activity, map, or thought question. I have
included the bullet symbol to help the student and teacher recognize when to stop and consider the
suggestions listed.

Studying  the  US  Constitution  
Lesson  1  
The Beginnings: The  Road  Leading  to  the  Noble  Experiment.  
America  has  a  rich  and  often  colorful  history  as  her  foundation.  A  history  significantly  set  apart.  When  we  take  time  to  
study  the  steps  which  lead  to  the  formation  of  the  one  of  the  most  influential  and  freedom  loving  nations  there  has  ever  
been,  we  can  see  the  path  of  God’s  grace  on  America.  Clearly  this  path  was  built  on  the  Christian  principles  which  not  
only  guided  but  guarded  our  country  as  we  found  our  feet  standing  on  firm  and  level  soil.  
Our  government  was  established  based  on  the  principles  of  liberty  and  freedom.  These  principles  set  the  stage  for  the  
world’s  most  noble  experiment:    A  New  Government,  a  republic,  created  for  the  people,  by  the  people.    There  was  a  
fervent  passion  rising  in  our  nation  in  the  middle  to  late  1700’s.    The  historic  changes  which  led  up  to  the  initial  shots  
fired  at  Concord  and  Lexington,  the  shot  heard  round  the  world,  are  just  as  important  as  the  documents  that  declared  
America  a  new  nation,  united  and  free  from  tyranny.  
 
Let’s  start  back  in  the  early  13th  Century  with  an  English  King  named  John  and  a  bunch  of  noblemen  who  chose  to  claim  
their  rights.    The  Magna  Carta  was  written  in  an  effort  to  give  rights  to  the  common  man  and  keep  the  rule  of  an  unfair  
King  from  forcing  the  ruin  of  his  people.    Now,  look  forward  towards  the  1600’s  to  John  Locke,  Baron  Montesquieu  and  
William  Blackstone,  whose  writings  on  the  rights  of  man,  government  and  law,  respectively,  were  the  primary  
documents  of  influence  for  the  Founding  Fathers.    Forging  ahead  into  the  early  1700’s,  the  path  of  American  
independence  and  freedom  is  visible.    Colonists  are  no  longer  content  with  a  limited  voice  in  parliament.  Trade  
disagreements,  unfair  laws  and  restrictions  are  a  few  of  the  ‘injustices’  that  are  listed  in  the  Declaration  of  Independence  
against  the  King  of  England.    Ideas  of  equal  rights,  liberty  and  freedom  to  govern  ignited  the  passion  that  led  our  young  
nation  to  fight  the  War  for  Independence.  
Before  we  can  jump  into  reading  and  analyzing  the  text  of  the  US  Constitution,  it  is  important  to  know  how  we  arrived  at  
that  auspicious  event  in  Philadelphia  in  May  of  1787.    Take  time  to  look  at  some  of  the  documents  listed  in  the  lesson  as  
you  take  the  first  step  on  the  journey  to  the  Constitutional  Convention.    Look  over  the  timeline  and  make  a  mental  note  
of  the  events  that  happened,  just  had  to  happen,  in  order  for  the  colonists  to  throw  up  their  hands  and  demand  justice.  
Timeline  Tip:  
Begin  making  a  timeline  of  your  own.    Add  the  dates  and  the  location  of  the  documents  you  are  reading  or  studying,  
along  with  the  names  of  the  individuals  and  ideas  that  were  represented  so  passionately  in  the  literature  pieces.    Early  
colonial  documents  such  as  sermons,  speeches  and  newspaper  articles  were  the  beginning  of  American  Literature.  
Included  in  each  lesson  will  be  suggested  American  Literature  selections  to  compliment  the  study.  Look  at  the  Appendix  
for  a  complete  schedule  with  suggested  American  Literature  books  and  Timeline.      
 As  we  see  the  focus  of  American  thought  changed,  from  primarily  political  with  the  birth  of  the  country  into  more  of  an  
expression  of  culture,  you  will  see  the  transition  in  the  policies  of  our  government  as  well.    Something  I  often  repeat  to  
my  classes  is  the  quote,  “As  goes  the  culture…  so  goes  the  government.”    There  are  similar  versions  of  this  ‘idea’  in  many  
articles,  sermons  and  literary  opinions.  While  the  quote  included    was  a  statement  I  made  while  teaching,  probably  
pulling  from  material  I  have  read  in  the  past  and  thought  about,  I  did  actually  find  a  quote  upon  researching  more  
directly.    This  quote  is  from  Pope  John  Paul  the  II  which  was  delivered  in  Australia  in  November,  1986.  

“As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole
world in which we live”
1  
The  primary  reason  to  study  The  Constitution  and  the  policies  the  American  Government  should  be  to  become  
responsible  civic  duty  and  to  be  a  wise  partaker  of  the  privileges  of  a  free  individual.    The  nation  which  is  governed  by  
the  people,  whose  hearts  are  turned  toward  TRUTH,  will  be  a  nation  which  will  prosper.      Be  encouraged  to  read  the  
following  scriptures  and  take  to  heart  the  importance  of  being  wise  with  your  own  civic  duty,  but  to  also  pray  for  the  
leaders  of  our  nation  as  we  are  directed  to  do  in  scripture.  
2  Timothy  2:1-­‐3    -­‐    I  exhort  therefore,  that,  first  of  all,  supplications,  prayers,  intercessions,  and  giving  of  thanks,  be  
made  for  all  men;  For  kinds,  and  for  all  that  are  in  authority;  that  we  may  lead  a  quiet  and  peaceable  life  in  all  godliness  
and  honesty.  For  this  is  good  and  acceptable  in  the  sight  of  God  our  Savior.    
2  Chronicles  7:14  –  If  my  people,  which  are  called  by  my  name,  shall  humble  themselves,  and  pray,  and  seek  my  face,  
and  turn  from  their  wicked  ways;  then  will  I  hear  from  heaven,  and  will  forgive  their  sin,  and  will  heal  their  land.  
 
 
 

 
Tools  for  Lesson  1  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Map  Work:  
Please  make  sure  you  have  one  of  the  each  of  the  following  maps  
in  your  notebook.  You  will  use  these  for  the  entire  course.    
Map  of  the  World
Map  of  North  America(  located  in  the  appendix)
Map  of  the  13  Colonies
You  can  find  free  maps  online  at  the  following  websites:  
http://www.eduplace.com/ss/maps/  
http://www.worldatlas.com  
http://www.geography.about.com  
 
 
Vocabulary
Freedom  
Liberty  
Justice  
Sovereignty  
Habeas  Corpus  
Divine  Law    
 
Providence  
Government  
Unalienable  Rights  
 
Primary  Documents  
The  US  Constitution  (use  this  for  the  entire  study)  
The  Magna  Carta  
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_c
arta/  
Apologia  by  Christopher  Columbus  
The  Mayflower  Compact  
http://www.ushistory.org/documents/mayflower.htm  
The  Declaration  of  Independence  
http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/  
The  Articles  of  Confederation  
http://www.usconstitution.net/articles.html  
 
Video Suggestion:
The History of Us: Disc 1
Rebels and Revolution
Audio CD Suggestion:
Biblical Foundations of our
Constitution

@2012dawnboyer  
 
Tools  for  Lesson  1,  continued  
Timeline:  
Document:
1215 - Magna Carta
1620 - Mayflower arrives/
Mayflower Compact is signed
1639 - Connecticut Constitution
1660 - John Locke writes “Writs
of Assistance”
1763 - Peace Treaty of Paris;
Proclamation of 1763 (limited
colonial settlement)
1775 - Patrick Henry’s famous
Speech “Give me Liberty or Give
me Death” (March 3, 1775)
1776 - The Virginia Declaration
of Rights is written.
1781 - Articles of Confederation
Ratified
1783 - Treaty of Paris- peace
treaty to end Revolution
1787- Northwest Ordinance
1787 - September 17th,
Constitution is completed and
signed by Founders and sent to
the states to ratify.
1787-1789 - The Federalist and
Anti-Federalist Papers are
published.
Events:
1492 - Columbus sails to New
World
1497 - Cabot sails the coast for
Britain
1607 - Jamestown Settled
1619 - House of Burgesses (Va.)
1754-1763 - French and Indian
War
1764 - Sugar Act
1765 - Stamp Act.
1766 - The Declaratory Act
(gave king power to make laws
in America)
1767 - The Townshend Acts
1770 - Boston Massacre
1772 - Sam Adams organizes
the Sons of Liberty
1773 - The Tea Act
1773 - Boston Tea Party
1774 - First Continental
1774 - The Intolerable Acts( aka.
Coercive Acts)*
1775 - December - Prohibiting
Acts.
Congress meets in Pa.
1775 - Paul Revere’s Famous
Ride
1775 - (May) Second
Continental Congress meets
1775- (April) “The shot heard
round the world”. First shot of
the Revolutionary War at
Lexington
1775-1783 - Revolutionary War
1776 - John Hancock Drafts the
Declaration of Independence
1787 - Constitutional Convention
1789-1790 - Constitution is
Ratified
1790 - 1st Supreme Court
1791-1792 - Bill of Rights is
ratified
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Digging  into  the  documents  
Reading  the  words  of  the  original  authors  will  open  up  a  whole  new  avenue  of  understanding  for  any  
student  of  history.  The  best  way  to  learn  about  the  past  is  to  read  firsthand  accounts,  primary  
documents,  about  that  period.    Read  about  the  ideas,  the  arguments,  the  policies  and  the  issues  in  the  
words  of  those  who  penned  then  and  think  for  yourself  about  the  implications  of  the  material.    
I  will  give  some  guiding  points  with  each  article  along  with  some  suggested  activities  for  each  lesson  but  
I  would  encourage  you  to  spend  most  of  your  time  reading  and  processing  the  articles,  speeches  and  
literature  which  shaped  the  founder’s  principle  beliefs,  and  ultimately,  the  supreme  law  of  our  land,  The  
US  Constitution.    
This  class  will  not  only  look  at  the  constitution,  but  it  will  dig  into  
the  documents  which  helped  ‘write’  it.  So,  let’s  first  go  to  The  
Constitution  itself  and  inspect  it.    Just  to  know  the  basics  is  more  
than  the  average  US  Citizen  knows  about  our  Constitution.  
There  is  a  Preamble.  
➢ The  preamble  gives  us  the  purpose  
There  are  7  Articles  
➢ The  articles  outline  how  the  government  works  
There  are  27  Amendments  
➢ The  Amendments  describe  the  rights  of  the  governed,  
 the  federal  government  and  the  states.  
We  will  make  the  outline  a  year  long  activity.    With  each  section  of  the  Constitution  that  
we  come  to,  take  time  to  write  down  the  main  idea  of  each  section  on  your  Constitution  
Outline  Worksheet.    Keep  it  in  your  binder  to  add  to  throughout  the  year.    
See  the  handout  or  appendix  for  the  “Outline  Worksheet”.    Look  below  for  a  quick  
introduction  to  the  art  of  summarizing.  (Plus,  you  can  get  a  head  start  on  your  outline!)  
First  look  at  the  text  of  the  Preamble:    
We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect union,
establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense,
promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and
our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of
America.  
What  do  you  think  would  be  a  great  summary  for  the  Preamble?  
~History  Note~  Before  we  can  look  at  the  Constitution,  we  must  start  with  the  events  that  led  up  to  the  Revolution  and  shortly  
thereafter.  So,  we  will  begin  examining  the  actual  Constitution  in  the  next  lesson.  
Keys to
Summarization:
In eight words or
less, summarize the
Preamble to the
Constitution.
What is the main
idea of the
paragraph?
Use “key words” to
help you.
Get  to  know  the  Outline  of  The  US  Constitution  
✓ Preamble  
✓ Articles  1-­‐7  
✓ Amendments  1-­‐27  

@2012dawnboyer  
 
 
17th  and  18th  Century  America  
The  colonies  did  not  have  a  foundation  of  ignorance  when  they  arrived  on  the  shores  of  an  untamed  
wilderness  in  the  early  1600’s.    The  men  and  women  who  bravely  traversed  unknown  territory  brought  
with  them  England  traditions  of  British  rights,  liberties  and  customs  in  their  language  and  their  laws.  
The  influence  of  England  was  seen  in  the  following  areas:  
1) The  principle  of  Civil  Liberty    
a.  This  was  a  legal  code  based  on  the  Ten  Commandments.  
2) Church  Law  which  contributed  to  Common  Law.  
a.  Common  Law  versus  Natural  Law  has  a  great  effect  on  the  economic  stability  of  a          
nation.  
3) The  Parliament  and  Court  System  
a.    This  method  of  court  extends  from  William  the  Conqueror  
4) A  Jury  System  
a. Set  in  place  by  Henry  II  
One  of  the  most  important  documents,  which  led  to  the  formation  of  our  Constitution,  was  The  Magna  
Carta,  which  was  signed  into  existence  in  1215  by  King  John  of  England.    This  document  finally  put  the  
people’s  rights  into  writing  and  recognized  that  citizens  deserved  to  be  treated  as  people,  not  as  
inhabitants  in  a  layer  of  society  which  does  not  change.  The  Feudal  system  is  very  similar  to  the  caste  
system  in  which  no  one  can  ever  rise  above  their  station  in  life,  to  some  extent.    
Research  the  Feudal  System,  Caste  System,  Monarchies,  and  Republics.    
List  the  differences  of  each  system.    
o Which  system  has  more  liberty?    
o Which  system,  in  your  opinion  is  the  best?    
List  their  order  in  history  on  your  timeline.  
 
 
The  Magna  Carta  instituted  the  following  laws:  
▪ Trial  by  jury  
▪ Community  Leaders  make  laws  for  their  community  
▪ No  unfair  taxes  
Influential writings are the
beginning of our government, so
that is where we will start our
lesson.

@2012dawnboyer  
 
Important  Historical  Documents:  
English  Documents  which  were  of  importance  to  the  drafting  of  our  Constitution  include:  
➢ The  Petition  of  Right  (1628)  -­‐  In  this  document  King  Charles  reaffirmed  the  Magna  Carta.  
➢ The  Habeas  Corpus  Act  (1679)  -­‐  A  person  cannot  be  held  unlawfully  for  a  crime  unless  convicted  
by  a  court.  
➢ The  Bill  of  Rights  (1689)  –  Restricting  Monarchies  hold  and  jurisdiction  over  parliament.  
➢ The  Tolerance  Act  (1689)  –  Religious  toleration  towards  Protestants  
The  abundance  of  written  material  in  the  new  colonies  affected  the  mindset  and  the  education  of  
the  early  American  Colonists.  These  New  Americans  were  influenced  by  scientists,  politicians  and  
philosophers.    It  is  surprising  that  during  that  time  there  was  little  specialization  or  segregation  of  
learning.    People  realized  education  was  a  privilege  to  take  seriously  and  they  did.    Greek  thought,  
fundamentally  republic  based  idea,  contributed  to  the  education  of  Colonial  America.  Think  about  what  
types  of  books  a  typical  family  had  on  hand  to  read,  or  even  the  fact  that  reading  and  discourse  
(discussing)  was  their  main  form  of  entertainment.    
The  most  influential  books,  documents  or  works  of  literature  in  the  lifetime  of  the  framers  of  the  
constitution  included  but  were  not  limited  to:  
1) The  Bible  
2) The  writings  of  John  Locke:  Two  Treatises  on  Government  and  the  Rights  of  Man.    
a. Locke’s  work  added  people’s  rights  to  liberty.  
3) Writings  of  William  Blackstone:    Commentaries  on  the  Laws  of  England.    Incidentally,  his  books  
were  the  required  text  at  law  school  for  well  over  100  years.    His  book  influenced  every  Harvard  
Law  class  till  1869.*    
a. What  do  you  think  happened  at  this  point  in  history  to  cause  this  sort  of  change?  
b. Blackstone  also  published  “The  Law  of  Nature”  which  denoted  that  all  law  was  founded  
upon  God.  (http://www.blackstoneinstitute.org/sirwilliamblackstone.html)  
4) Baron  de  Montesquieu  wrote,  The  Spirit  of  Laws,  on  the  providence  of  the  Republic.  
a. The  Baron  gave  us  the  separation  of  powers  in  Government  which  is  also,  incidentally,  
found  in  the  Book  of  Isaiah  Chapter  33:2.  
 
Digging  into  the  Documents  
 Spend  time  reading  the  Primary  Documents  along  with  following  Activities  to  help  you  prepare  to  
read  and  understand  The  Constitution.  
 
Read:  The  Magna  Carta:
Summary of the event: When English King John signed the Magna Carta, it limited the King’s power over
the people. (More truthfully it was the Nobility, but it was a start). The effect this document had on future
articles and documents led to the definition and necessity of securing the idea of unalienable (or
inalienable) rights.

@2012dawnboyer  
 
Map Work:
➢ Draw or print a map of England. (Or add to your world map.)
▪ Locate the following cities/towns. London, Runnymede and Normandy (Now France). Normandy
was at one time a part of England.
▪ This series of maps helps you see the transition of "ownership" over time.
http://homepages.wmich.edu/~hega/PSCI340/ps340map.html
Question  for  Thought:  After  you  research  the  Magna  Carta,  what  influence  
do  you  think  it  had  on  the  formation  of  the  policies  which  govern  our  
nation?    
➢ Additional Book Suggestion: :The Magna Carta By James Daugherty
Read:  Apologia  by  Christopher  Columbus  
Written by Christopher Columbus in 1501, it was included in his, “Book of Prophecies” which contained
his thoughts regarding the voyages he made across the Atlantic. One of the most poignant aspects of
this work is the glory he gives to the Lord in his calling. He writes from a humbled heart with thanks for
the purpose of his voyage and ultimately his life, which was to travel forth in the name of the Lord. A
reflection of his own name, Christopher (Cristoforo) means “Christ-bearer”. Even when Columbus arrived
on the Caribbean shores rather than glory in his own ability, he first fell to his knees in worship to God.
Timeline: 1492 – 1st Journey; 1501- Essay
Map Work: On your world map, draw the routes Columbus took to North America.
o If you google this online you can find an interactive map of exploration to help you.
o If the hyperlink doesn't work go here
(http://www.eduplace.com/kids/socsci/books/applications/imaps/maps/g5s_u2/index.html)
Question for Thought: Why was Columbus' discovery so important to history, both American and
World?

@2012dawnboyer  
 
Read:  The  Mayflower  Compact
This document set a precedent for the concept of giving up some individual rights in exchange for the
protection of a governing body over a citizen or individual. The ‘Mayflower Compact” was signed as an
agreement that stated everyone would work together for the good of the colony. In return, an
authoritative body of leaders would decide the direction of the colony and the laws which governed it. This
was very important in the establishing of our nation in the next century. It is also representative of the
concept of contractual governing.
The society which flourished from the early colonies descended from a basis of compacts and
agreements, all stemming from the early English system. This history of contractual governing flowed
over into the early government of the colonies and it is apparent in the design of the articles and
amendments of the Constitution.
Timeline: 1620 - The Pilgrims story is one that starts much earlier. Feel free to spend time
researching that if you are interested in it.
Mapwork - Follow the journey from Plymouth, England to Cape Cod, MA. on the world map.
http://www.mayflowerhistory.com/History/voyage3.php  
Questions  for  Thought:    
o What  would  have  happened  if  they  had  not  constructed  this  
"contract"?  
o What  is  the  difference  of  a  compact  and  a  law?  
 
Read  The  Declaration  of  Independence  (1775-­‐1783)  
The Declaration of Independence stands alongside the Constitution as one of the most brilliantly crafted
pieces of literature ever written. In the context of American Literature, it fills the role of one of the most
important pieces ever to be penned on our shores. Though it is lengthy and difficult to read, take time to
process and digest the specific concepts listed in the document.
Jefferson had a way with words and was asked to draft this document because of his eloquence and skill
with the written word. As you read this document, consider the risk of even thinking of doing what these
men did, especially Thomas Jefferson. Treason was a capital offense in the Colonies and this document
was, in essence, exactly that. It is clear that the men who were passionate about pursuing freedom did
so with much thought and consideration. In the document, the attitude was grim with a serious tone of
censure upon the authority neglected by the King towards the Colonies. Jefferson penned the
Declaration in 17 days. The 1,337 words blend together in a harmonious display of an art crafted by one
who loved words. Pay close attention to the first two paragraphs and consider what they are saying. As
you continue to read the document, you will find a comprehensive list of arguments against why this step
should be taken with much conviction and why a country should endeavor to endure hardships as long as
possible.

@2012dawnboyer  
 
Jefferson uses the pen to defend the stand the colonies had to take. Listing a series of injuries and
abuses by the English King, 27 in total, Jefferson persuades that there was no other choice to be taken. A
man had the inalienable right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, which the King had not
afforded to the colonists. Take notes as you read this list and consider which one is the most significant
injury or offense with which Jefferson indicts the King of England. Once you have made your list, decide
which you feel was the biggest offense or most significant and then explain why.
After the war for Independence, before the drafting of the Constitution, the level of civil unrest in the new
United States was heightened. America’s ports were in chaos, the economic system was in a shambles,
and there was little unity. Unlike before the war, people had limited rights but similar issues with the ports
and money.
Leading up to the war, the topic of the ports and sea travel was a serious issue between Britain and the
Colonies. Among the reasons which instituted the "dissolution of political bands", as Thomas Jefferson
writes in the document, alongside of taxes and threatened liberties, the despotic control of the navigable
ports by England was a chief concern.
Research  some  of  the  Taxation  Arguments  below:
Sugar Act of 1764 - This act changed taxes on imported sugar
Stamp Act of 1765 - This act levied a tax on every printed paper or legal document. This
is where the term “Taxation without representation.” was coined.
o Both of these documents were meant to raise revenue, not regulate commerce.
o The Colonies began to protest and boycott English goods.
Declaratory Act of 1766 - This act gave the King of England the power to make and
enforce any laws in the American Colonies.
Townshend Act of 1767 - This act brought forth taxes on tea, glass, paper, etc., which
eventually led to the protests which became known as the Boston Massacre in 1770
The Tea Act 1773 - An unfair tax on tea which led to the Boston Tea party.
The Coercive Acts of 1774 (Intolerable Acts) - This law was passed in England as a
means of controlling American ports. It increased Britain’s hold and control over political
and judicial power in the colonies. It also denied colonists the right to have meetings or
hold public gatherings. The passing of this law in England led to the formation of the
First Continental Congress in America.
The Prohibiting Act 1775 - Britain removed its protection from the American Colonies
with the passage of the Prohibiting Act of 1775.
Timeline: The American Revolution 1775,Declaration signed 1776, the various Acts listed
above.
Map Work: If you are using ONE map, include new additions in different colors.
o Add the 13 Colonies to your map. Mark Philadelphia on the map.
o Optional: Make a map of Pennsylvania and even a map of the town of Philadelphia, since
this is where most of the major meetings and decisions were made in regards to our
nation and its policies in the beginning.
o
Don’t forget to make a KEY for your map.
Use
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@2012dawnboyer  
 
Questions  for  Thought:  
o When  you  read  the  Declaration  make  note  of  the  "injuries  and  
usurpations"  committed  by  the  King  of  Great  Britain.    
o What  are  the  Rights  that  are  suggested  as  free  to  every  man?  
The  Articles  of  Confederation:  1781-­‐1789  
“The  Articles  of  Confederation  were  America’s  earliest  form  of  government.”  
 
Timeline: Written in 1777; ratified in 1781
Considered a political experiment by most "organized nations", it was scoffed at as a bunch of rag-tag
ruffians in the wilderness who were trying to become civilized. The Articles of Confederation was
America’s first government, established during the Revolution, it was the legislation which directed the
Continental Congress through the War for Independence.
It worked for what it was intended, a temporary form of government to give the colonies the start they
needed. It was not structured to last indefinitely, because it was rigid and unable to grow. The Articles of
Confederation was another contract between vested parties willing to unite and band together for a
common cause, but it wasn’t strong enough to order those independent states and bring about the
necessary ruling which destiny required.
Strengths:    
It was significant in the winning of the war and coordinating the peace treaty.
It began the process of unification and the providence of planting the seeds of our new
government.
Passed important legislation such as: Northwest Territory Land Ordinance of 1785 and 1787.
Ignited the fires started with the revolution for independence and recognition of value to the world.
Set into motion some of the most amazing speeches, debates, arguments and articles our nation
has ever known.
It gave courage to those who opposed tyranny and helped them stand up for what they believed.
Weaknesses:    
It couldn't enforce treaties with other nations
It couldn't raise money for the government because it did not have the power to imposing taxes.
It did not establish or guarantee a court system to rule.
It couldn't regulate trade
It couldn't form a militia/army.

@2012dawnboyer  
 
Optional  Writing  Activity:  
Since  this  is  the  first  lesson,  I  rarely  give  my  students  a  large  writing  assignment  at  first  because  I  want  
them  to  get  used  to  the  process  of  studying  documents  that  have  difficult  language  to  discern.    
However,  if  you  would  like  the  option  of  a  writing  assignment,  try  one  of  the  following  options.  
❖ 1. Outline and Rewrite the Declaration of Independence or the Articles of Confederation in your
own words.
❖ 2. Memorize the first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence.
o Make a strategy to memorize the paragraphs by copying the document each day.
o Read it out loud so you are using all the different learning gates:
▪ You are seeing it with your ‘eye-gate’, hearing it with your ‘ear-gate’; and saying it
with your ‘mouth-gate’. All these avenues help to cement it into your memory.
▪ Make up hand signals to go along with the words, to help you remember.
❖ 3. Make a series of timeline cards which tell what you have learned in this lesson. You can carry
the timeline cards through each lesson and when you are done, you will have an entire set of
unique and individual history note cards for you to review over and over again.
▪ Things to include would be:
• Dates
• Locations
• Names of Important or Interesting Individuals
• Events
• Documents
Take a 4 x 6 note card, on one side draw a picture of whatever you are representing and on the other
side include the facts with a brief summary of the subject. Don’t forget a title for your notecard! You can
use your timeline to help you make the note cards.
There are 2 websites I want to encourage you to utilize in your studies.
To learn more about the Early American Experience go to www.earlyamerica.org
To research the documents that existed before the Constitution, and they providentially had a
weighty influence upon its creation, go to the following websites:
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration.html
http://www.heritage.org/initiatives/first-principles/primary-sources/the-declaration-of-
independence

@2012dawnboyer  
 
Extra  Reading  
Φ If  you  would  like  to  include  some  American  Literature  suggestions  for  your  student  to  study  
along  with  the  Constitution  studies,  below  are  a  few  ideas  for  you  to  add  to  your  curriculum.  
American Literature:
American  Literature  found  its  beginnings  in  the  early  sermons  and  diaries  of  the  Colonists  living  in  the  
New  World  Settlements.      Preachers  like  John  Wesley,  Cotton  Mather,  and  Jonathon  Edwards  added  to  
the  depth  of  social  life  with  their  passionate  sermons  and  zealous  contributions  to  early  America.      
The  daily  living,  as  chronicled  by  those  who  endured  both  joys  and  sorrows,  highlights  the  many  journals  
we  have  from  this  time  in  history.    Literary  pieces  like:      William  Bradford’s,  Of  Plymouth  Plantation,  
giving  us  a  worth  accounting  of  the  lives,  the  loss  and  the  victory  of  the  Pilgrims.  John  Smith’s,  General  
History  of  Virginia,  recounts  his  time  spent  as  a  leader  of  Jamestown.    
 Poetry  was  an  essential  tool  of  expression  during  this  time.  Words  themselves  taking  on  a  mastery  of  
images  meant  to  portray  what  the  author  either  saw,  hoped  for,  or  even  sometimes,  feared.  The  
colonial  years  existed  from  the  late  15th  to  early  late  16th  century.        
 
Here  are  a  few  selections  to  choose  from:  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Once  you  have  chosen  one  piece,  or  several,  to  read.  Take  time  to  either  write  a  review  of  one  
of  the  histories  or  sermons  or  create  a  poem  of  your  own,  similar  to  one  of  the  poems  above  in  
style  and  content.  
Histories  
 
Of  Plymouth  Plantation    
         by  William  Bradford  
The  General  History  of  Virginia  
         by  John  Smith  
A  History  of  New  England    
         by  John  Winthrop  
Captivity  and  Restoration    
         by  Mary  Rowlandson  
Poems  
Five  Kernels  of  Corn  
         by  Hezekiah  Butterworth  
The  Courtship  of  Miles  Standish    
         by  Henry  Wadsworth  
Longfellow  
Pocahontas  
         by  William  Thackeray  
Any  Poem  by  Anne  Bradstreet    
         (1st  American  Poet)  
Sermons  
 
A  Model  of  Charity    
         by  John  Winthrop  
Essays  to  Do  Good    
 
         by  Cotton  Mather  
Bay  Psalm  Book    
     (1st  book  published  in  America)