8th Grade Key Compromises Of The Constitutional Convention Lesson Plan Example (Social Studies)

Topic: Key Compromises of the Constitutional Convention

Objectives & Outcomes

  • Students will be able to identify and explain the key compromises reached during the Constitutional Convention.


  • Chart with the names of the key compromises of the Constitutional Convention written on it
  • Copies of the U.S. Constitution for each student


  • Ask students to raise their hand if they have ever heard of the Constitutional Convention or know what it is.
  • Ask a few students to share their knowledge on the topic.
  • Write the phrase "Constitutional Convention" on the board and ask students to brainstorm what they know about it.

Direct Instruction

  • Explain that the Constitutional Convention was a meeting of delegates from the 13 states to discuss changes to the Articles of Confederation.
  • Ask students to brainstorm what they know about the Articles of Confederation.
  • As a class, summarize the main problems with the Articles of Confederation and what changes were needed to address them.
  • Discuss the main compromises that were made at the Constitutional Convention, including:
  • The size and structure of the federal government was changed, giving more power to the federal government.
  • A system of checks and balances was created to ensure that no one branch of government had too much power.
  • A Bill of Rights was added to protect the rights of the people.
  • A representative form of government was established, with voters electing their representatives to govern.

Guided Practice

  • Have students work in small groups to present their summaries of the main compromises made at the Constitutional Convention.
  • As a class, discuss the main ideas and reasons behind each compromise.
  • Write the main compromises on the board, along with any additional insights from the class discussion.

Independent Practice

  • Have students choose one compromise to research in more detail.
  • Ask them to create a presentation (e.g. a class wiki or a multi-media presentation) that explains the compromise and its context, and includes any additional information they discovered in their research.


  • Have students share their presentations with the class.
  • Ask them to reflect on what they learned about the compromises at the Constitutional Convention and how they affected the creation of the US Constitution.


  • Observe students during the class discussion and the independent practice activity to see if they are able to identify and explain the main compromises at the Constitutional Convention.
  • Evaluate their presentations to see if they are able to effectively communicate their chosen compromise and its impact on the creation of the US Constitution.

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