Lesson Plan

James Madison: Raising an Army—Balancing the States and the Federal Government

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To war! To war! Every nation in the history of the world has had to deal with warfare on some level. Scholars go through a series of activities and discussions surrounding the development of the Constitution to help them better understand Madison's opinions and sides of the debate that formed our country. This is the third instructional activity in a four-part series.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Stage a class debate on balancing power between the states and the federal government 
  • Split class into groups to interpret James Madison's view of the balancing of power (branches of government) in the United States and hold a class discussion 
Classroom Considerations
  • Laminate the documents for each activity to be handled by multiple groups
  • Includes primary documents—Articles of the Constitution and Amendments
  • Secondary documents can extend the lesson to include disagreements between individual states (Connecticut, Massachusetts)