One of my favorite activities from the Zinn Education Project is the Constitution Role Play: Whose “More Perfect Union”? and The Constitutional Convention: Who Really Won? The simulation allows for students to not only use their critical thinking skills, but to challenge the traditional mythology and romanticism of American values and democracy. This lesson pairs well both in U.S. History and American Government classes, and it can be modified easily for all levels of students.
This is a fantastic activity to use at the beginning of the year, to set the stage in your classroom for political discourse and courageous conversations.
The results of our role play about “Who Really Won?” speaks volumes to the themes of any U.S. History course — it’s hard work to face hard history. But recognizing those individuals who came together collectively to bring positive change and realize many American values for those not at the table during the convention, inspires students to embrace their own voice, courage, and responsibilities as a citizen in today’s complicated political arena.