These are pretty standard. So let me know what you’ve got that’s better, but for someone new, this is a start: Note that the above PowerPoints are designed for the simulation/debate. They are not instructional of themselves.
Idea #1 Constitutional Convention—This semi-simulation will probably take two days: For homework, Students use websites to choose a delegate to learn about- they should be ready to supply the following information: A brief biography of the person, his position on various issues that came up during the Constitutional Convention; his contribution to the ultimate outcome; his position on the ultimate outcome; and what became of him after the Convention? 1Constitutionfor sim
Here are matters to consider:
• The Annapolis Conference~ was called to modify the Articles of Confederation, not create something new
• Madison and the Virginia Plan
• Sherman and the Connecticut (Great) Compromise
• Paterson and the New Jersey Plan Hamilton and the British Plan
• Charles Pinckney ‘s plan
• what powers should the president have?
• How should he be elected?
• The problem of slavery ~ should slavery be abolished?
• Should the enslaved population be counted for representation in Congress?
• Are Federal Courts necessary?
• The fight for a Bill of Rights
• How should the Constitution be ratified?
(If the person’s position is not known,extrapolate, but stay true to his state and social circumstances.)
Have each student introduce himself– once that’s done, you can have them draw some obvious but important conclusions–no women, no minorities, no poor people… remarkable degree of education and experience (most had been part of drafting state constitutions…) then go through the list of questions.
Be careful of the slave holders. I usually hold on to that one myself, pointing out that the arguments would have been economic, not racial, but I don’t want students playing the part of slave holders.
When it’s over students have a pretty good idea of the nature of the debate and the issues.
Idea #2 Have students reenact the debate at various state conventions on the ratification of the Constitution between the Federalists and the Anti federalists. Submit a one-page statement outlining your testimony. (1Federalists v. Anti-Federalists)
Idea #3 George Washington becomes President Alexander Hamilton vs. Madison and Jefferson. Who was right?
Quite often I stage this as a formal debate.
Obviously I don’t run all these every year as detailed above. Even “Active Learning” gets old when it’s the only tool in the box.