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Activity Overview

In order to gain a deeper understanding of the early American government, students should take the time to understand the different documents, events, and ideologies that culminated in various compromises, the Articles of Confederation, and the eventual Constitution. Many of these ideals also spread into other countries and revolutions, fueling change in places like Britain and France.

Using a grid storyboard, students will identify, summarize, and explain different influences on early American government. This can include ideologies, documents like Common Sense and even the revolution. Teachers can choose to provide a list of things for students to select, or have them identify what they will use in their storyboard.

Extended Activity

Have students create a grid storyboard for America’s current government. Have them define topics they believe influence government today, making connections to the influences on early American government. Some topics can even be the same, with students directly connecting its past and current influence.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-12

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RH/9-10/1] Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RH/9-10/2] Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RH/9-10/5] Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard analyzing different events, documents, and ideologies that influenced early American government.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the first column, type the name of the event, document, or ideology.
  3. In the second column, describe the event/document/ideology.
  4. In the third column, explain its influence on American government.
  5. Create illustrations for each cell using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  6. Save and submit your storyboard.

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Image Attributions
  • Common Sense • www78 • License Attribution, Non Commercial (

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