Visualizing Self-Governance

Lesson Plan


Grade Level

High School

Author Info

Nikki Shrader

Type of Lesson


Type of Project (Individual/Group/Both)



120-150 minutes

Challenge Question

What did the Founding Fathers think was necessary in order to maintain self-governance? Create a digital collage that explains what is necessary for self-government.


Students often learn more effectively, if not best, when visual representations of information are available. This is a fantastic activity for students who may get mired down easily in primary sources, or who don’t enjoy the reading and writing associated with most assessments. The digital collage will let students have a chance to add personal flair, will stimulate creativity, and will help students synthesize their ideas of self-governance with those of the Founding Fathers.


  1. Go to My Collection to find quotations related to the Founding Fathers’ ideas about self-governance. According to the documents, what did the Founding Fathers believe to be necessary in order to maintain self-governance?
  2. Select at least two to four quotations to support your argument.
  3. Search in Explore to find images that will support your argument.
  4. Use the Create tools to make a digital collage that explains what is necessary for self-government, according to the Founding Fathers. The collage should include at least:
    a) One image of a Founding Father
    b) One image of an example of successful self-governance
    c) An explanation, in your own words, of what is necessary to maintain self-government. (This could be done as a combination of text and images or as a video.)
    d) Two to four quotations from the documents that support your argument.