Social Contract Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

In this lesson we help our students understand the concept of social contracts, help them recognize the social contract in our country, and encourage them to develop their own to more fully understand the concept.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Understand what a basic social contract is
  • Recognize the theoretical role of the social contract in revolution and rebellions
  • Understand some of the strengths and weaknesses of strong and weak social contracts

Length

50 minutes

Key Vocabulary

At the conclusion of this lesson, students should be able to identify and define the following vocabulary term:

  • social contract

Curriculum Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.

Instructions

  • Have students read the lesson What is a Social Contract? - Definition & Examples
  • Hold a class discussion (15-20 minutes) about what a social contract is, whether one exists in America, and what it entails. Be sure to write down main ideas and points made by the students on the board. Some example discussion questions include:
    • Now that you know what a social contract is, what do you think is included in America's social contract?
    • What should be included in a social contract? What shouldn't? Are there any limits?
    • At what point would you consider the American government to have broken its social contract with the people? Would this breach be repairable?
    • Have students take the quiz.

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