Changes In A Democratic Society, Lesson 2 Of 3

A three-tiered activity guides eighth graders through an engaging social studies activity. After completing the pre-activity, that prompts learners to participate in a seminar on Richard Westall's painting The Sword of Damocles, individuals choose a letter to write from the perspective of a colonial American. Individuals then choose a leader from the American Revolution and write a letter to a loved one about his or her feelings about democracy. Finally, writers choose additional works of art to include in a museum exhibit about American democracy.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Create an interdisciplinary unit between language arts and social studies, or between social studies and art history
  • Project an image of the painting onto the board for inspiration
  • Use the three activities as opportunities for differentiation
Classroom Considerations

  • The second lesson in a three-part series; the other two lessons are linked in the introduction
  • Requires copies of the Constitution and the Westall painting, as well as online access
  • Aligned to North Carolina standards, but applicable to any state standards
Pros

  • Promotes close reading of primary and secondary texts
  • Comes with rubrics for assessing each level
  • Includes comments from class members to influence your instruction
Cons

  • None
Included Materials - Join to Access

  • Worksheet
  • Worksheet