In this mini-lesson, students will explore the ideas of Enlightenment thinker, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. His writings on natural and social freedom, the social contract, and democracy shaped the American system of government in a variety of ways. 


Partner Resources for this Lesson Plan include:

Jean-Jacques Rousseau - Middle School - on Nearpod



  • Analyze the ideas behind America’s founding documents.
  • Identify the ideas of various Enlightenment thinkers who influenced America’s founders.
  • Big Ideas: The Social Contract,  natural freedom, social freedom, general will, majority rule, direct and representative democracy


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