The Constitutional Convention: Composition of Congress

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History is the chronicle of choices made by actors/agents/protagonists in specific contexts. This simulation places students at the Constitutional Convention and asks them to construct a legislative branch for a proposed new government. Should there be one branch or two? Should each state get an equal voice in the legislative branch? How should members be chosen, and how long should they serve? Should they be eligible for reelection? In discussing the varying options, students will see how practical choices reflect differing views of political representation: Should representatives be chosen to reflect the will of the people or the interests of a state? How responsive should representatives be to their constituencies? Students will enter the historical moment and engage with these issues. By discussing and debating the various options, they will gain a deeper understanding of the choices the framers faced and why they opted for particular structures, ones we live with today. Further, while observing the framers discuss and debate these matters, and then debating them in their simulated Convention, students will experience firsthand how interest and principles intermingle in public deliberations and debates. 

Lesson Plan Resources

Lesson tags: 
Advanced Placement (AP)
Creative Commons License: 
Attribution Non-commercial ShareAlike CC (BY-NC-SA)