Framers of the Constitution


US History The U.S. Constitution Framers of the Constitution
Students learn about important figures who shaped the U.S. Constitution and the nation's first government. First, they explore three paintings of the Constitutional Convention. Then, they learn about the delegates as a whole, and identify similarities among all or most of them. Next, they will research and answer questions about individual delegates, including how they shaped the Constitution. Finally, they'll read the notes from their classmates and write a conversation, letter, or journal entry that compares and contrasts their delegate with another.

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Overview

In this experience, students learn about important figures who shaped the U.S. Constitution and the nation’s first government. First, they explore three paintings of the Constitutional Convention. Then, they learn about the delegates as a whole, and identify similarities among all or most of them. Next, they will research and answer questions about individual delegates, including how they shaped the Constitution. Finally, they’ll read the notes from their classmates and write a conversation, letter, or journal entry that compares and contrasts their delegate with another.

Objectives:

  • Evaluate the contributions of the Framers of the Constitution.
  • Research and prepare a writing project comparing two delegates at the Convention.


The term “Founding Fathers” is a general name for the men and women who worked to free and shape our new nation. They included patriots who participated in the American Revolution, as well as those who signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. In this experience, we’ll focus on those who shaped the Constitution, often called the “Framers of the Constitution.” These individuals drafted, signed, debated, or advocated for the Constitution.

In this experience, you will learn about important figures who shaped the U.S. Constitution and the nation’s first government.

Objectives:

  • Evaluate the contributions of the Framers of the Constitution.
  • Research and prepare a writing project comparing two delegates at the Convention.




Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States,
by Howard Chandler Christy


How many Framers can you name? You might recognize some people in the painting above, which shows most of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention. (Hint: Not all leaders from the Revolutionary War and signers of the Declaration of Independence helped draft, or even supported, the Constitution.)

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Some of the best-known Framers include: James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Gouverneur Morris, and John Jay. (John Jay was not at the Constitutional Convention, but advocated for it with his essays in the Federalist Papers.)

Several prominent “Founding Fathers” did not participate in the Constitutional Convention, including: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams.


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