Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists: A Debate that Rages On

This lesson plan looks at Federalism versus Anti-Federalism and how these ideas are still relevant today in debates over the size of government. The Originsarticle discusses the idea behind the role and size of the government in our country’s history. While students will not be reading the article themselves, the ideas presented in the article appear throughout the lesson. At the beginning, students will receive a mini-lesson on Federalists and Anti-Federalists. We then connect the ideas of Federalism versus Anti-Federalism to big government versus small government. Students will then work in small groups to analyze 9 different political cartoons that address the idea of big government and small government today. The questions that students will be answering about their political cartoons are tailored to the specific political cartoon they are working with. Once groups have had a chance to analyze their assigned political cartoon, the class will come together to discuss the political cartoons and how the ideas of big government versus small government are present in them.

Instructional Strategies:

Direct Instruction 

Political Cartoon Analysis

Group Discussion

Lesson Materials:

Teaching Standard
Roles and Systems of Government #20; CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2
Teaching Area
US History to 1877
American Government
Grade Level
Downloadable Files