John Locke Mini-lesson

Lesson Plan

This mini-lesson introduces students to the ideas and writings of John Locke that influenced the likes of Thomas Jefferson and other Founding Fathers. 


  • Analyze the ideas behind America’s founding documents.
  • Identify the ideas of various Enlightenment thinkers who influenced America’s founders.
  • Recognize how various individuals and groups contributed to the development of the U.S. government.
  • Big Ideas: tablua rasa/ blank slate, state of nature, natural rights (life, liberty, property), purpose of government, social contract, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding