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Thursday, 13 August 2009 02:26

Lesson 4: Origins of Western Political Thought

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This lesson corresponds to CA State Standard 10.1; Students relate the moral and ethical principles in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, in Judaism, and in Christianity to the development of Western political thought. Lesson includes Think-Pair-Share Chart, primary source analysis chart, and Discussion.

(adapted from UCI’ s The History Project & Sara Jordan, Segerstrom High School )

Objectives:

  1. Students will relate the moral and ethical principles in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, in Judaism, and in Christianity to the development of Western political thought. (CASS 10.1)
  2. Students will read and analyze primary sources.
  3. Students will begin understand how to think like historians.

Materials:

 

Modern World History: Patterns of Interaction, McDougal, Littell

Procedure:

 

(3 class periods)

  1. For homework students should have read pages 5 – 17. Students should then work in small groups or pairs to complete Sharing Out Chart (Student Handout 1.4.1). They may also use their books.
  2. Once students have completed the sharing out chart, the teacher can lead a whole class discussion based on what was learned from the chart by putting a web diagram up on the board, and asking the following questions:
    1. What is meant by the term “Western Political Thought?”
    2. What contributions do you think the Romans, Greeks, Hebrews, and Christians made to our civil code and our moral code?
  3. Teachers may also use this point to address the difference between a primary source and a secondary source, using the Historical Sources Assignment Sheet (Student Handout 1.4.3).
  4. Distribute the primary sources (Student Reading 1.4.1 – 1.4.3), for homework students will read and answer the questions at the end of each of the selections.
    Western Political Thought
    Hebrews
    Romans
    Christians
    Greeks
  5. The following day, students will work in pairs or small groups to analyze the primary sources using the Primary Source Analysis Chart (Student Handout 1.4.2) or the Historical Sources Assignment Sheet. Depending on the level of the students, the teacher may choose one of the selections to model with the entire class and then have the students complete the charts for the remaining selections.
    Primary Sources:
    1. Excerpt from the Hebrew Torah:
      Students will skim (especially if they have read and answered the questions the night before) the informational introduction, and the select set of laws.Students work together to analyze further using the Primary Source Chart to think more critically about this text. Answers will vary, yet students should recognize that the Hebrews value relationships and that all people and are responsible to God’s laws.
    2. Excerpt from Plato’s The Republic:
      Students will skim the informational introduction, and the select set of laws. Students will continue to work in pairs to analyze the primary source selection using the Primary Source Analysis Chart. Answers will vary, yet students should recognize that justice is a theme and that each person has their own place in society and should function according to their role. Meritocracy is discussed including why Plato would favor this type of government.
    3. Excerpt from Aristotle’s The Politics:
      Same as above, with previous primary source selections. Again, answers will vary, yet students should recognize that Aristotle is identifying the ideal state in democracy. Mixed government is discussed including why Aristotle would favor this type of government.
  6. After students have completed the Primary Source Analysis Chart (Student Handout 1.4.2) for each of the selections, have a full class discussion where you can review student answers and then revisit the web diagram and ask students if the selections that they have just analyzed give them any further information to add to the diagram. Use this as an opportunity to discuss how historians use primary sources to further their knowledge of history.

Assessment:

Students’ understanding of the analysis and use of primary source documents can be assessed from observing students working in their pairs, or through the class discussion of completed charts and additions to the web diagram. Teachers may also collect all of the students’ work in order to asses understanding on a more individual level.

Extension:

Writing Component: As a means of assessing individual ability to use primary source documents and reading comprehension, students will answer the prompt:
Compare and contrast Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian influence on democracy considering the role of the individual, government, and their contributions.

Last modified on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 06:12

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