© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Constitution

Constitution

Home Civics Constitution Teaching Discussion and Essay Questions

Discussion and Essay Questions

Available to teachers only as part of the Teaching the ConstitutionTeacher Pass

Teaching the Constitution Teacher Pass includes:

  • Assignments & Activities
  • Reading Quizzes
  • Current Events & Pop Culture articles
  • Discussion & Essay Questions
  • Challenges & Opportunities
  • Related Readings in Literature & History

Sample of Discussion and Essay Questions


  1. Principles of Government
  2. The framers of the Constitution walked a type of tightrope in attempting to create a government that was strong, but not too strong. Did they succeed?
    • Are the powers of the federal government adequately limited?
      • Are those in power mindful of the fact that “the people” are the source of their power?
        • How do the people assert their will?
      • Other than in elections?
      • To what extent does public opinion shape government? To what extent does government (the president , Congress) shape public opinion?
    • Are the powers of government still adequately separated?
      • Is one branch more powerful than the others?
        • Is this more true for some types of issues than others? i.e., foreign versus domestic policy?
      • Does the balance of power between the branches shift?
        • Issue by issue? Year by year?
        • What sorts of factors influence the balance of power between the branches?
    • Have the separation of powers and system of checks and balances properly restrained the government?
    • Or have they produced gridlock?
      • If the executive was always a member of Congress’s majority party would government operate more effectively? Efficiently?
    • What evidence of federalism do you see around you? What responsibilities are left to the states?
      • Are the states up to the job?
      • Has the federal government encroached on these responsibilities?
        • For the better or worse?

CORRESPONDING LEARNING GUIDE
RESOURCES

Intro      Just the Facts      Key Concepts      Summary      Timeline      Quotes      Questions      Photos      Best of the Web      Citations      Teaching