The Evolution of Democracy

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Introduction to Democratic Principles


The Evolution of Democracy

Example



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Activity Overview


In this activity, students will represent their understanding of how democracy has evolved throughout history. Students will research major events and documents that have influenced and shaped the institution of democratic thought and create a timeline of these events. Students should include a description of the event along with the significance the event has had on individual democracies or democratic beliefs. Students should choose five of the events listed below for their timeline, or a teacher can pre-select topics they would like students to cover.

  • The US Bill of Rights
  • Magna Carta
  • Women's Suffrage Movement
  • Civil Rights Act
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • United States Constitution
  • The American Revolution
  • The French Revolution
  • The Fall of The Berlin Wall
  • The English Bill of Rights
  • The Declaration of The Rights of Man
  • Athenian Democracy
  • Works of Aristotle
  • The Glorious Revolution
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • The Emancipation Proclamation
  • The Federalist Papers
  • The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

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 adjust the instructions accordingly.


Extended Activity

For this extension activity, students will create a spider map that represents events that have been detrimental to the spread of global democracy. Although democratic principles are seen by many as a universal right, there have been numerous instances where governments have acted in ways that have eroded or partially weakened the rights and liberties of citizens in a democracy.

Students can focus on specific events that seemingly eroded democratic liberties (e.g. McCarthyism, censorship, removal of habeas corpus) throughout history. For each event, students should create a title for the event, create a visual representation of the event, and a description that summarizes what the event or action was and what aspect of democracy was weakened or perhaps destroyed.


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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a timeline detailing the events and documents that influenced democratic thought.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify important events and contributions and type them into the titles of each cell.
  3. Describe the events and contributions in the description box.
  4. Create an illustration using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.
Blank Timeline Template

Template


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Rubric

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Introduction to Democratic Principles






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