Subject Area(s): World History II

Grade Level(s): 10

Format of Library of Congress media: Documents, Images

Best Instructional Practices


WHII.6d - The student will demonstrate knowledge of specific, political, economic, and religious changes during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries by explaining the political, religious, and social ideas of the Enlightenment and the ways in which they influenced the founders of the United States.


1-90 minute class period

Lesson Summary

This lesson is an evaluation of student's comprehension of the beliefs, philosophies and writings of Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Voltaire. In pairs, students will examine the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, The Bill of Rights and various artistic works of the time to determine how Enlightenment philosophers influenced the American Revolution and the formation of the American government. The activity will culminate with an essay writing assignment for advanced students and a "brag sheet" writing assignment for general education students.

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All of the materials used in this lesson plan are available for downloading as PDF Files and PowerPoint files, as appropriate. PDF Files can be viewed with the free Adobe Reader.

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