Unit 19: A New Government

The Signing of the Constitution

Unit 19 High School

Unit Overview

Subjects Covered
Grammar, Literature, Composition, History
Time Period
Reformation and Revolutions
Grade Level
High School: 9 – 12
English and American
A Tale of Two Cities – by Charles Dickens

The Signing of the ConstitutionUnit Description

The Constitution of the United States is the foundation of our government. It is vital that each American read and understand the Constitution so that they understand and can make decisions regarding their government based on the contents of the Constitution. “Numerous steps marked the creation of the Constitution and the movement toward union: the establishment of the United Colonies of New England in 1643, Franklin’s Plan of Union proposed at Albany in 1754, the Stamp Act Congress in 1765, the First Continental Congress in 1774, the Second Continental Congress in 1775, the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the adoption of new state constitutions by the several states from 1776 to 1980, the Articles of Confederation in 1781, the Annapolis Trade Convention in 1786, and finally the Constitutional Convention in 1787…Within two years after the inauguration of Washington, the first ten amendments to the constitution were adopted (1791). These became known as ‘The Bill of Rights.’…” – William M. Davidson

Leading Ideas and Biblical Principles

  • God’s providential hand governs and times all events and provides for His Creation according to His plan and purposes.
    • The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.- Acts 17: 24 – 27
  • Godly leadership and servanthood are necessary for one to be a true reforming influence.
    • Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many..- Matthew 20:26 – 28

Unit 19 Resources: High School

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Lesson 1: History

Lesson One Assignments:

  • Review the discussion questions and vocabulary, then read the article: The Development of the Constitution, pages 6-12.
  • Narrate about today’s reading using the appropriate notebook page. Be sure to answer the discussion questions and include key people, events, and dates within the narration.
  • Define the vocabulary words in the context of the reading and put the word and its definition in the vocabulary section of your history notebook.
  • Conduct additional research on Shay’s Rebellion. Based on your research, do you believe Shay’s Rebellion was right or wrong? Why? Be willing to present and defend your position in class. Remember to base your position on principle and not emotion.
  • Be sure to visit www.ArtiosHCS.com for additional resources.

Lesson One Discussion Questions:

  • List and describe the steps that led to the development of a national constitution.
  • Describe the national government during the Revolution.
  • Describe the states government during the Revolution.
  • Which state was the first to abolish slavery?
  • What was the purpose of the Articles of Confederation? Why did they work during the Revolution and then lose their effectiveness afterwards?
  • List and describe the weaknesses inherent in the Articles of Confederation.
  • What was The Ordinance of 1787?
  • What was its significance?
  • Where did the Constitutional Convention take place?
  • What were the three great areas of compromise made in the Constitution so that it could be ratified?
  • Who were two notable individuals who were against the ratification of the Constitution?
Lesson 2: History

Lesson Two Assignments:

Lesson Two Discussion Questions:

  • How did the British Parliament and King George react to the defeat at Yorktown?
  • What was the Treaty of Paris and what provisions did it contain?
  • What were the financial effects of the war on the United States?
  • Who composed a plan to eliminate the debt from the war?
Lesson 3: History

Lesson Three Assignments:

  • Read the article: The Bill of Rights, pages 25-26.
  • Read through the entire Bill of Rights and choose one amendment that you would like to do further research on. Be prepared to share the amendment that you have chosen with your parent or teacher so that you can be involved in a special assignment that they have designed for you.
  • Be sure to visit www.ArtiosHCS.com for additional resources.

Literature Assignments

  • Read the background information about types of characters.
  • Read all of “Book the First,” in A Tale of Two Cities.
  • Using 5 x 7 index cards, make one card for each character listed by writing their name on the front of the card.


Additional Maps:

Complimentary Sources: