As governments evolve, it's helpful for students to visualize the events that contributed to the changes in sequence. Using a timeline, students will explain and analyze the evolution of America’s democratic republic. They should be sure to summarize and explain each step leading up to the eventual ratification of the Constitution. Upon completion or even during, students will be able to analyze and illustrate how government evolved over time, as well as the debates that took place surrounding government function and power. Teachers can pre-determine topics for students to cover or allow students to select what they believe are the most important things to cover.
For an alternative to the timeline layout, have students create a timeline poster to incorporate into a presentation or gallery walk. You can add more than one template to this assignment to give students lots of options, and update the instructions accordingly.
Have students continue their timeline to include major changes in government. Students can use a wide range of topics and subtopics, including supreme court cases, presidential actions, and changes in legislation. Teachers may condense the wide range of possible topics to ensure a desired structure of government evolution into its present form.
Grade Level 9-12
Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)
Type of Assignment Individual or Group
Type of Activity: Timelines
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a timeline detailing the evolution of American government between the Articles of Confederations and the Constitution.
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
| Proficient |
| Emerging |
| Beginning |
Events and Dates
The events chosen for the timeline are significant and important to the overall understanding of the time period. The dates provided are correct.
Most of the events chosen for the timeline are significant and important to the overall understanding of the time period. Most of the dates provided are correct.
Some of the events chosen for the timeline are significant. There may be missing events, or events that are irrelevant. Too many dates may be incorrect.
The explanations or descriptions provided for each event are accurate and provide insight into the significance of the events.
The explanations or descriptions provided for each event are mostly accurate and attempt to provide insight into the significance of the events.
There are several glaring inaccuracies in the explanations or descriptions of the events. There may be little or no insight int the significance of the events, or the information provided may be too limited or missing.
There are 0-2 mistakes in spelling, grammar, and mechanics.
There are 3-4 mistakes in spelling, grammar, and mechanics.
There are 5 or more mistakes in spelling, grammar, and mechanics.
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