Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.
By the conclusion of this lesson, students will be able to:
- describe the Articles of Confederation
- compare and contrast the Articles of Confederation and the US Constitution
- summarize the reasons the Articles of Confederation failed
Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.
- access to the related lesson, Articles of Confederation Lesson for Kids: Definition, Facts & Summary
- access to the Quiz
- copy of the Articles of Confederation for each student
- copy of the US Constitution for each student
- writing paper for each student
Begin by introducing the lesson to the class. Read through the description of the related lesson and ask students to share what they know about the Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and/or our country's government.
Next, begin reading through the lesson. Start with the first section, ''What Are the Articles of Confederation?'' Discuss:
- What did the Second Continental Congress develop?
- What was the purpose of this document?
- What does the term constitution mean?
Read the next section, ''Defining the Articles'' and discuss:
- How many articles were written into the document?
- What is a confederation?
- What are delegates?
- Discuss each article as it is read. Identify potential problems associated with enforcing each article.
Move on to the next section, ''Why Didn't the Articles of Confederation Work?'' Discuss:
- What were some of the problems with the Articles?
- What was the solution?
- What was the document that came about as a result of rethinking the Articles of Confederation?
Read the ''Lesson Summary'' and revisit the questions posed while reading each of the prior sections. Review the vocabulary words:
Check for Understanding
To check for understanding, have students take the related quiz.
To reinforce learning, have students complete the following activity.
- Give each student a copy of the Articles of Confederation as well as a copy of the US Constitution.
- Hand out at least two pieces of writing paper to each student.
- Organize students into groups of 3-4.
- Explain the activity to the class.
- Read through both the Articles of Confederation and the US Constitution.
- Groups should spend some time talking about each article of the Constitution and translate them into a couple of descriptive sentences like the lesson did with the Articles of Confederation. (depending on the needs of your class, this can also be a group activity you conduct to help them create one or two sentences to describe each article.)
- Discuss similarities and differences between the two documents.
- Discuss strengths and weaknesses of both documents.
- Create a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the Articles and the Constitution.
- Formulate a group essay explaining why you believe the Articles of Confederation had to be replaced.
- The essay must be at least two full paragraphs in length.
- The essay must give solid reasons as to why the group believes the Articles of Confederation failed.
- Groups must be prepared to share and discuss their Venn diagrams and essays with the class.
- Allow 25-30 minutes for the groups to work.
- Once all of the groups are finished, have each group present both their essay and their Venn Diagram to the class.
To extend learning, consider the following activities:
- Put students in groups and have them create a poster identifying and describing each of the articles in the Articles of Confederation.
- Hold a class discussion about the potential problems associated with each of the individual articles included in the Articles of Confederation.
- In groups, have students draft their own Articles of Confederation (avoiding the weaknesses identified in the original version).
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