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Activity Overview


Many of the revolutionary political ideas of the Enlightenment developed out of a basic disagreement on how people should be governed. This disagreement is best illustrated by the divergent views of British political thinkers John Locke and Thomas Hobbes.

In this activity, students will analyze the differences between the political views of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes as presented in their writings. Students should address the following questions in their storyboard:

  1. What are natural rights?
  2. What is the social contract?
  3. What is the preferred government of Locke and of Hobbes? How is the government based on each thinker’s view of human nature?

Extended Activity

Students can extend this activity by finding modern examples of governments that reflect either a Lockean approach or a Hobbesian approach to ruling. These examples could be displayed in an additional two cells at the bottom of this storyboard.

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/11-12/6] Evaluate authors' differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors' claims, reasoning, and evidence.


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 T Chart that compares the ideals of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In one column, define Locke's views as portrayed in "Natural Rights" as well as his preferred government.
  3. In the other column, do the same for Hobbes's "Leviathan".
  4. Create illustrations using appropriate scenes, items, and characters.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.


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Enlightenment & Scientific Revolution





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