Road to the Constitution

How did we go from thirteen British colonies to the United States of America? Explore the major hardships of life under British rule, why some colonists decided to break away, and how they set a path for a new and independent government.

Topics at a Glance: colonization | colonial government | American Revolution | Constitutional Convention | America’s founding documents | Articles of Confederation | Declaration of Independence | constitutional influences | introduction to the Constitution | ratification of the Constitution

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  • Lesson Plan

    Race to Ratify Extension Pack

    Make your students’ gameplay more meaningful by using our activity and assessment set designed specifically for Race to Ratify. This easy-to-use Extension Pack helps you give context and purpose to the game, as well as reinforce and assess the game concepts. That means deeper learning for students and best practices around game-centered learning for you! Extension Packs require PowerPoint and are designed for use with projectors or interactive whiteboards.  
  • Game

    Race to Ratify

    Make your own history! Are you team Federalist or AntiFederalist?
  • DBQuest

    The Constitution's Cover Letter

    In 1787, delegates to the Constitutional Convention decided that it was time for a change. A new plan for government was outlined in the Constitution, and it was George Washington's job to present this document to Congress. As with any important document, the Constitution was delivered with a letter of introduction. Part background, part persuasion, Washington's cover letter provides a behind-the-scenes look at how a new government came to be designed. 
  • DBQuest

    America's Founding Preambles

    Learn how the American idea of government evolved from a revolutionary response to monarchy to a union of states. The sources will illustrate the effort taken to reach “a more perfect union” through a close read of our founding documents. Students will dig into the preambles and introductory text of the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution.  
  • Lesson Plan

    Columbus to the Colonies

    From the time Columbus first set foot in the New World, Europeans were fascinated with this new land. Learn about the “Three Gs” that drove them here—gold, God, and glory—and find out how these settlers gave America its start, developed the land economically, and impacted Native Americans and Africans.Got a 1:1 classroom? Download fillable PDF versions of this lesson's materials below!
  • Lesson Plan

    We're Free... Let's Grow!

    With the end of the Revolutionary War, America’s geographical size doubled… but how should new territory be added to the United States? Learn about the issues raised by this American “first” and the challenges the nation faced with its new Northwest Territory.
  • Lesson Plan

    Colonial Influences

    Where did the American colonists get their ideas that lead to a revolution and a whole new kind of government? This foldable explores the Magna Carta, Mayflower Compact, English Bill of Rights, Cato’s Letters and Common Sense.Got a 1:1 classroom? Download fillable PDF versions of this lesson's materials below!  
  • Lesson Plan

    Wanted: A Just Right Government

    Look at the tensions and differences of opinion that existed among early American states and citizens.Learn about the Articles of Confederation, why the first “constitution” didn’t work, and how compromise led to the Constitution.Got a 1:1 classroom? Download fillable PDF versions of this lesson's materials below!  
  • Lesson Plan

    Hey, King: Get Off Our Backs!

    Follow the grievances of the American colonists from oppressive British policies to the creation of the Declaration of Independence. Stamp Act primary source extension included!Got a 1:1 classroom? Download fillable PDF versions of this lesson's materials below!