Compromises of the Constitution Lesson Plan

US History Lesson Plans

Topic Overview:

As the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation were increasingly evident in American political life, the need for change was realized.  Delegates met in Philadelphia in 1787 to make the changes.  At stake were several questions: Should the US keep, revise, or discard the Articles?  How was Congressional representation to be derived?  If population determined representation in Congress, how were slaves to be counted?  Should slavery continue as an institution at all?  By the end of the Constitutional Convention, these questions were answered and a new document was formed: the Constitution of the United States of America.

Activity Overview:

In this recreation simulation students will act as delegates to the Constitutional Convention.  In teams they will try to convince other delegates of their position on one of four issues: the future of the Articles of Confederation, representation in Congress, representation based on slavery, and slavery itself.  They will “horse trade” votes at first and make compromises later to win.