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NYCDOE: Passport to Social Studies - grade 7, unit 3

This is the third unit of the grade seven scope and sequence, titled: A New Nation: The United States Constitution. It was developed by a team of NYCDOE staff and teachers, in collaboration with scholars of the humanities and social sciences as well as museum curators. Students will immerse themselves in the topic by discussing focus questions, reading and analyzing a rich collection of diverse primary and secondary sources, examining artifacts, and interpreting images, such as paintings and photographs, maps, and political cartoons.

This guide offers a multitude of perspectives on the development of the new American nation (1783–1803), and the challenges founding fathers faced in unifying a people and creating a form of government. Concepts and topics of representative lessons in this unit include: identify the limitations of the Articles of Confederation; study Shays’ Rebellion; analyze the Great Compromise and the differences of opinion on how to establish a legislative branch; discuss slavery in the Constitution; understand Federalism, Checks and Balances and the power of each branch of government; interpret The Bill of Rights, and compare and contrast the U.S. Constitution to the Magna Carta, the Mayflower Compact, and the Iroquois Confederacy; discuss Washington’s Legacy and Hamilton’s Economic Plan, and examine the role New York play in the early development of the United States.

To evaluate student mastery of content knowledge, cognitive processes, and critical thinking skills, this unit includes formative assessments, and a performance-based assessment activity, which has students annotate the constitution, develop a job posting for the president, draft and publish letters to congress, and create an essay that answers the essential question: Why do people create, structure and change their governments?

Please note: the complete set of NYCDOE K-8: Passport to Social Studies Core Curriculum materials include a wide-range of trade books and primary documents, in addition to this unit of study. In order to support rigorous social studies instruction and student inquiry, we recommend that teachers integrate these resources into their daily instruction and assessment plans.

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Quality Review Indicators 1.3 Leveraging ResourcesDanielson Framework for Teaching 1a: Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and PedagogyDanielson Framework for Teaching 1b: Demonstrating Knowledge of StudentsDanielson Framework for Teaching 1c: Setting Instructional OutcomesDanielson Framework for Teaching 1d: Demonstrating Knowledge of ResourcesDanielson Framework for Teaching 1e: Designing Coherent InstructionDanielson Framework for Teaching 1f: Designing Student Assessments
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