Laurie Tricamo

I did the Constitutional Convention role play lesson with my 11th grade U.S. history students, and they were extremely engaged. The class worked in small groups, each representing different people who were present at the actual convention, as well as groups that were left out of the decision-making process.

The students debated the founding ideas of liberty and justice when evaluating how certain people or groups would have contributed to the meeting and discussing the possibilities of how the country would have been different if they had been included. It allowed students to be collaborative, develop critical thinking skills, and to think of history in a more relevant way.

The Constitution is often a challenging document to read for the students — since its language use is different to the way they speak today and it seems distant from their interests — but this activity allowed them to see this part of history in a relevant and impactful way.