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The foundation of American government...

[Detail] The foundation of American government...

Lesson Overview

This lesson focuses on the drafting of the United States Constitution during the Federal Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia. Students will analyze an unidentified historical document and draw conclusions about what this document was for, who created it, and why. After the document is identified as George Washington’s annotated copy of the Committee of Style’s draft constitution, students will compare its text to that of an earlier draft by the Committee of Detail to understand the evolution of the final document.


Upon completion of this lesson students will be able to:

  • Examine documents as primary sources;
  • Analyze and compare drafts;
  • Describe the significance of changes to the document’s text.


Time Required

  • One to two classes

Recommended Grade Level

  • 9-12


  • Government, Law & Politics


  • The New Nation, 1783-1815