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This inquiry provides an opportunity for students to analyze the constitution as it pertains to life today. Becoming a responsible citizen in society is an important role that also requires education about how our constitution was first written and that changes can always be made in our world. As students are beginning to understand, the constitution is a fluid document that continues to change over time as it continues to grow with the needs of the people. Even the framing of the constitution is subject to change if found necessary by the people.
In order to answer the compelling question, the students first need to look at what the people of 1787 needed from their government and how the representation in Congress was decided upon to work for the states at that time. The second formative task helps students look at what powers Congress has both as a whole and individually in the Senate and House.
The third formative task and supporting question helps students understand that the idea of political parties, as we know them today, was not present in 1787. This important task will help students broaden their idea of the changes our society has gone through since the writing of the constitution.
The final supporting question and formative task builds students awareness of how political parties play a role in today's Congress. By building their knowledge of the framer's original ideas and concerns over representation, as well as the changes that have occurred in government ever since, students should have the information they need to form an opinion about whether or not the compromise over the representation in Congress decided upon in 1787, fits our world today.
Three out of the four sources; I found on Newsela. I have found many trusted articles on Newsela and appreciate that they can be adjusted based on Lexia levels, which allows students to comprehend, even if at a lower reading level. Newsela also provides a digital format for annotating and for the teacher to highlight specific sections of the text and ask even more leading questions within the document to help scaffold students' thinking while they read.
This inquiry will probably take 3-4 one-hour teaching periods to accomplish, given the time it takes to plan, write, edit, and publish the summative task.
Unit of Study