P01_The United States Constitution
Create an additional child node (off the central idea) for the ‘Preamble’ and each ‘Article’ of the actual document. Label each of the nodes respectively: Preamble, Article #1, Article #2, Article #3, etc. until you have all 7 Articles. Remember, each Article may have ‘Sections’ within them. You must branch off your Article nodes into Section nodes as necessary.
A. Assign a member of your group to a certain Article or the Preamble in the original document.
B. The assigned student must ‘translate’ the given Preamble or Article (or it’s Sections) into plain, simple, 21st C. English. Assume you are translating for another person who does not have your background knowledge. Write your translation in the mind map node dedicated to that Preamble/ Article (Section).
C. Any student that may have completed their assigned translation should be editing the writing of other group members who are still translating or reviewing someone else’s translation.
Tip: When translating (for brevity, conciseness, and clarity) the translated text is often shorter (fewer words) than the original.
II. Dissection of the US Constitution begins.
Unlike the Declaration of Independence, but similar to The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, the US Constitution was to be a framework for a new government. In this instant, the Constitution is supposed to address the shortcomings of the Articles of Confederation. We can assume that this was the case because one framework (Constitution) replaced the other (Articles of Confederation) in 12 years time.
Like all sovereign nations, there are certain things we can expect a nation to have the power to do. In addition, the conditions under which a nation performs it’s duties changes over time. We should always consider how a government’s authority is affected by the changes in the circumstances that develop over the centuries. I submit these questions to your group so that they may be used as a ‘scalpel’ in your dissection of the document.
The accuracy and completeness of the document’s translation by your group will be ‘put to the test’ as you zero-in on the relevant Article/ Section.
A. What is the relationship between the States and the central government? Who is ‘sovereign’?
B. In what context is Slavery mentioned or alluded to, if any?
C. How long is the membership within this union supposed to last?
D. How will ‘new’ states be created and admitted into the union?
E. How are government debts to be paid?
Under no circumstances are you to believe that these five questions are the ONLY questions that the author(s) of this document had. For brevity sake, I limited this segment of our investigation to these important questions.
III. Word Cloud Analysis
Using a word cloud generating application, create a word cloud of your document. Insert an image of that word cloud into your mindmap and complement it with an analysis of the word cloud. What could have been the overriding issues of the document author(s)?
IV. Presentation Focus Question
Look at the phase II questions I gave your group. These questions were meant to aid in discovering the governing framework envisioned by the authors. As a point for comparison with another group’s document, be prepared to offer a concise description of the author’s intent/ desire regarding:
-Raising funds (pay debts, pay government efforts like military, etc.)?
-The nature of the union/ confederation? (State to State, State to Congress, All the States to Congress, etc.)