Library Digital Content Access

Age of Enlightenment

Created By: John M. Kirkpatrick, Edison Middle School (Champaign, IL)
Grade Level: 7th
Content Area: Social Studies
Database Integration: Students will access the TDC database to find and compare examples fo primary documents that have shaped U.S. government and our Constitution.

Illinois Learning Standards Achieved

Standard Achieved

Activity that Meets this Standard

14.F.3a: Analyze historical influences on the development of political ideas and practices as enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Illinois Constitution. Students write an essay comparing and contrasting ideas of Enlightenment thinkers with the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.


Across the Centuries textbook, access to computers and/or primary source documents such as Jackdaws documents


  1. Students will read ATC chapter 18 lesson 4 "After the American Revolution" p. 496-500.
  2. Students will be given two days in the computer lab to search the database to find examples of primary sources. that shaped the development of U.S. government and the Constitution. If this is not available, user other primary source documents.
  3. Students will locate phrases in the works of John Locke, Baron de Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Thomas Jefferson that are similar to ideas in the U.S. Constitution.
  4. Students will write an essay explaining the meaning of the phrases and comparing them to similar phrases in the U.S. Constitution.


Students will be assessed on the entire project by a teacher-created rubric that is presented to the students and discussed at the start of the project.