Teamwork and Conflict Resolution: A MS United States History Lesson

Title of Lesson: Bill of Rights Collaborative Jigsaw

Course Name: US History

Grade Level: 7

Author’s Name: Jason Dermes

School District: Lebanon School District

PA Academic Standards for Civics and Government
5.1. Principles and Documents of Government
5.1.8.D.  Summarize the basic principles and ideals within documents and the roles played by the framers as found in significant documents:
  • Declaration of Independence
  • United States Constitution
  • Bill of Rights
  • Pennsylvania Constitution
PA Academic Standards for Reading in History and Social Studies
CC.8.5. Reading Informational Text
CC.8.5.6-8.A. Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
CC.8.5.6-8.B. Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
PA Academic Standards for Career Education and Work
13.3. Career Retention and Advancement
13.3.8.B.  Analyze the role of each participant’s contribution in a team setting.
13.3.8.C.  Explain and demonstrate conflict resolution skills:
  • Constructive criticism
  • Group dynamics
  • Managing/leadership
  • Mediation
  • Negotiation
  • Problem solving
Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
  • Work in collaborative groups and demonstrate conflict resolution skills.
  • Work collaboratively to create a digital presentation to teach the class about one of the first 10 Amendments.
Conceptual Background
  • Prior to the lesson, students should be introduced to the United States Constitution and the adoption process
  • Students should understand that the adoption of the “Bill of Rights” was required by states to protect American citizens from the government.
  • All students must be previously taught acceptable technology use and clear classroom expectations for working in groups as defined by the teacher.  
  • For this lesson, I mixed students by readiness level.
Instructional Procedure
20 Minutes Activating StrategyAll students will answer a Collins Type 1 writing assignment to serve as an activating strategy. “Look at the Bill of Rights on pages 124 to 126 of your green textbook.  Why do you think the Founding Fathers insisted that the Constitution include a Bill of Rights?”  Students will write their initial responses.The teacher will introduce students to the project, review the rubric, and will share a Sample Presentation with the class about the Second Amendment.  Students will be given an opportunity to ask questions.  
100 Minutes Collaborative GroupsStudents will have to work together to read and understand their amendment as a group.  They will then formulate a plan to complete the project and execute their presentations.  Students will be taught how to give a speech/presentation at a later date and each group will be required to present it to the class.  
Materials Needed
Bernstein, V. (1997). America’s history: Land of liberty. Austin, TX: Steck-Vaughn.

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