Social Studies – 7th grade Lesson Plans

Excellence Academy Performing Arts Charter School

Seventh Grade American History Class



Unit 1: Causes of the American Revolution

In this unit, students will study events that led to the revolution and people who fostered liberty from England to gain an understanding of the causes of the American Revolutionary War. They will explore the coercive acts imposed on the colonists by Great Britain, the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and see the formation of the First Continental Congress.

  1. Britain in the New World
  2. What was the reason the Virgina Company came to Jamestown?
  3. Pages 68-103
  4. On Page 79 What was the Mayflower Compact? Write your answer in your notebook.
  5. Read pages 98-103 in the online text Chapter 2.
  6. Video: Settlement of Jamestown.  What are your thoughts?
  7. Watch these two videos about Indentured Servants. Indentured Servants vs Slaves and “Some were not slaves”.
  8. Read This article.
  9. From what you have read what are your thoughts about whether all blacks who first came to America were slaves?
  10. Acellus Lab on the “Causes of the American Revolution)
    1. British interest in the colonies
    2. The Sugar, Stamp and Townsend Acts
    3. The Boston Massacre
    4. The Boston Tea Party
    5. The Intolerable Acts
    6. The Continental Congress
  11. Project: Create a Colonial Protest Video with your iPad. Report to your instructor and get the assistance of another student to create a video. In the video, you are to portray yourself as a colonist in the 18th century that is upset with the events leading up to the American Revolution. Show this video to your instructor.
  12. Read Page 102. What is meant by “Intolerable.” Why were the laws passed in 1774 considered “Intolerable?”. Write this answer in your notebook.
  13. Open Book Quiz. You can use your notes.
  14. Actively Learn Historical Reading (Teacher Assigned)

Unit 2: The American Revolutionary War

This is a study of the American Revolution, the emerging tensions, conflicting loyalties, and resulting independence from Great Britain. Students will understand British policies for the thirteen colonies and how those policies led to the American Revolution. Students will also learn about the role key figures played in events that led to the conclusion of the Revolution.

  1. Textbook Page 108-140
  2. Read pages 112-115 in the online textbook chapter 3
  3. Watch the video “Schoolhouse Rock- The Shot that Rang Around the World.” Submit a paragraph on what you learned from this video.
  4. Read pages 118-121 in the online text chapter 3.
  5. Watch Hollywood Actors perform in the video “Declaration of Independence.”  Make Notes.
  6. Project: Memorize the sentence that begins with “We hold these truths..”
  7. Define these terms and write them in your notebook. “Unalienable rights”, “Endowed”.
  8. The angry colonists said everyone had a right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.” What does that phrase mean?
  9. Why do you think the colonist thought all men were created equal, but they kept slaves? Write the answer in your notebook.
  10. Complete the Short Answer Exercise Exploring American History. Use the cartoon to answer the questions.
  11. Read pages 126-134 in the online text chapter 3.
  12. Acellus Lab American Revolutionary War
    1. Battles of Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill
    2. Continental Congress, Continental Army
    3. Thomas Paine, Common Sense
    4. Declaration of Independence
    5. Loyalists vs Patriots
    6. Patriot Army
    7. Defeat of Long Island
    8. Battle of Saratoga
    9. European Allies, War in the West and South
    10. Victory at Yorktown
    11. After the war
  13. Read Page 136. What is meant by Guerrilla Warfare. Write this in your notebook.
  14. How did the Revolutionary War change thinking about slavery? Read This. Write your thoughts in your notebook.
  15. Read This. What was the law of Primogeniture? How did the Revolution change this old law?
  16. Open Book Unit Quiz
  17. Actively Learn Historical Reading (Teacher Assigned)

Unit 3: The Constitutional Convention

In this unit, students will examine the roles that key American founders played in creating the Constitution, and the challenges they faced in the process. They will learn why many Americans in the 1780s believed that reforms to the Articles of Confederation were necessary, and the steps taken to authorize the 1787 Convention in Philadelphia. They will become familiar with the main issues that divided delegates at the Convention, particularly the questions of representation in Congress and the office of the presidency. Finally, they will see how a spirit of compromise, in the end, was necessary for the Convention to fulfill its task of improving the American political system.

  1. Acellus Lab on The United States Constitution
    1. Moving toward a Republic
    2. Articles of Confederation
    3. Land Policies
    4. Independence and Economics
    5. Shay’s Rebellion
    6. Slavery Revisited
    7. The Constitutional Convention
    8. The Virginia Plan
    9. The New Jersey Plan
    10. Principles of Compromise
    11. Approval of the Constitution
  2. Read Page 166. What was the Great Compromise? What did that mean for African-Americans? Write this answer in your notebook.
  3. Open Book Chapter Quiz
  4. Actively Learn Historical Reading (Teacher Assigned)

Unit 4: The United States Constitution

In this unit, students will learn about the key characteristics of the United States Constitution. They will become familiar with the Preamble and the Articles. They will also explore key amendments to the Constitution and their application in protecting citizens’ rights.

  1. Read pages 146-174 in the online text.
  2. Acellus Lab on The United States Constitution
    1. Influences on the Constitution
    2. Federalists and Antifederalists
    3. Branches of Government
    4. Adoption of the Constitution
    5. Popular Sovereignty, Republicanism and Limited Government
    6. Federalism, Seperation of Powers
    7. Checks and Balances
    8. The Preamble
    9. Legislative Branch
    10. Executive Branch
    11. Judicial Branch
    12. Articles 4-7
    13. Bill of Rights
    14. Amendments
    15. Citizenship
  3. Project: Memorize and recite the Preamble to the Constitution
  4. Read 152-154. Answer these questions.
  5. What were some weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation? Write this in your notebook.
  6. Read Page 157. Look for three documents that influenced the Constitution. Answer this question.
  7. Look closely at the 13th Amendment. What are your thoughts about the abolition of slavery?
  8. Open Book Chapter Quiz
  9. Actively Learn Historical Reading (Teacher Assigned)

Unit 5: The Federal Period

This unit provides an overview of the workings of federalism in the United States. In this unit, the complex and changeable relationship between the national and state governments is explored. By focusing on the conflicts between national and state powers, the unit develops a deeper understanding of nature of governmental power in the American system. It further looks into major movements and events including the Louisiana Purchase, the War of 1812, and the implementation of the Monroe Doctrine.

  1. Read pages 230-254 in the online text.
  2. Who was Gabriel Prosser?  More about Prosser. What was the outcome of Prosser’s revolt?
  3. Acellus Lab on The Federal Period
    1. America’s First President: George Washington
    2. The First Congress
    3. The Economics of New Government
    4. The Whiskey Rebellion
    5. Federalist and Republican
    6. President John Adams
    7. Alien and Sedition Acts
    8. Republicans take power
    9. Louisiana Purchase
    10. Lewis and Clark
    11. Foreign Conflicts
    12. War of 1812
    13. The Monroe Doctrine
  4. Read Page 240. Watch this video. Who was Benjamin Banneker? Write the answer in your notebook.
  5. Unit Quiz, Open Book
  6. Actively Learn Historical Reading (Teacher Assigned)

Unit 6: Age of Jackson and Reform Movements

This unit explores the presidency of James Monroe, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson and the Era of Good Feelings. Students will learn about Jackson’s Indian Removal Policy, the introduction of the Whigs to political power, immigration influx, religious and educational reform, and the work of the abolitionists. Some questions students will be assessed include: What are the defining characteristics of the “Age of Jackson”? As president, did Jackson expand upon or return to Jefferson’s “republican ideals”? Did Whigs and Democrats divide over political philosophies or political personalities—or both? What were the most significant successes and failures of Jackson’s policies regarding the national economy? How did urbanization and industrialization affect the family? Women? What caused the 2nd Great Awakening and what impact did it have on the nation? How did the 2nd Great Awakening and other reform movements contribute to the rise of abolitionism?


  1. Read 318-338 in the online text.
  2. The Rise of the Common Man. Who was Andrew Jackson? If you were either Native American or African-American what would think of Andrew Jackson. Write this in your notebook.
  3. Project. The class will watch this documentary on Andrew Jackson
  4. Acellus Lab on the Age of Andrew Jackson
    1. James Monroe and the Era of Good Feelings
    2. John Quincy Adams Presidency
    3. The People’s President
    4. The Spoils System
    5. The Tariff Debate
    6. Indian Removal Act
    7. Jackson and the National Bank
    8. Whigs take Power
    9. American Immigrants
    10. Religious and Educational Reform
    11. The Abolitionists
    12. The Women’s Movement
  5. Read about the Trail of Tears. Watch this video. What was the real reason Indians were removed from their lands? Write the answer in your notebook.
  6. Actively Learn Historical Reading (Uncle Tom’s Cabin)


Unit 7: Westward Expansion

In this unit, the student will explore the expansion of America between 1801 and 1861. Emphasis will be placed on the acquisitions of Texas, Oregon, and California, and the Mexican War. The student will be introduced and will be able to understand the concept of Manifest Destiny as it was the motivating factor that prompted westward movement.


  1. Read Pages 342-372.
  2. Read pages 370-372 in the online text chapter 10
  3. Acellus Lab on the Westward Expansion
    1. Manifest Destiny
    2. Oregon Country
    3. Mountain Men
    4. Pioneering
    5. Texan Independence
    6. The Mexican War
    7. California Gold Rush
  4. Open Book Unit Quiz
  5. Actively Learn Historical (Teacher Assigned)

Unit 8: Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century brought many changes to society, industry and agriculture. Many of these changes were beneficial and created a host of labor-saving devices, however, with the new technology came new problems as society struggled with the changing times. This unit exposes the student to the cotton plantation and the realities of slavery in the southern parts of the United States where Cotton was King, an economic way of life that would lead to political war within the states.


  1. Read Pages 373-403 in the online text
  2. Acellus Lab on The Industrial Revolution
    1. Northern Geography and Manufacturing
    2. The Economics of Manufacturing
    3. The Industrial Revolution and the Factory
    4. The Cotton Plantation
    5. The Realities of Slavery
    6. Cotton is King
    7. United States Political Map as of 1860
  3. The first American Factories compared to Life on Plantations. Make Notes
  4. Compare and contrast the condition and treatment of workers and factories to those on plantations.
  5. The darker side of slavery
  6. The Underground Railroad. Make Notes
  7. Watch this video. Make notes.
  8. Open Book Quiz
  9. Actively Learn Historical (Teacher Assigned)

Unit 9: The Civil War

The unit focuses on the reasons for growing sectionalism, the resulting secession, and the events that led to the conclusion of the Civil War. Students will understand how economic, social, cultural, and political differences led to sectionalism. Students will also learn about the key figures and interpret events in the Civil War and be able to answer historical questions.


  1. Pages 504-544 in the online text.
  2. There were many African-Americans who fought against slavery, too.
  3. Who was Frederick Douglass?
  4. Watch this video about “Kidnappers and Slave Catchers”.  Why weren’t they free?
  5. Watch the video “America the Story of Us: Harriet Tubman.” What are thoughts about Harriet Tubman? Write them in you notebook.
  6. Explain the purpose of the Emancipation Proclamation.
  7. Black Soldiers in the Civil War.
  8. Project: Watch the movie “Glory” with the class. What did you learn from the movie?
  9. Acellus Lab on the Civil War
    1. Slavery
    2. The fugitive Slave Act
    3. Abraham Lincoln
    4. Fort Sumpter Attack
    5. Advantages and Disadvantages
    6. A Soldier’s Life
    7. Major Battles
    8. Emancipation Proclamation
    9. Civilians Feel the War
    10. Gettysburg Address
    11. Total War
    12. End of the Civil War
    13. Results of the Civil War
  10. Read Page 508. What was the biggest killer in the war?
  11. What was the impact of the Southern Attack on Fort Sumpter?
  12. Read 542. What was the impact of Appomattox on the Civil War?
  13. Open Book Unit Quiz
    11. Actively Learn Historical Reader (Teacher Assigned)

Unit 10: Reconstruction

This unit is a study of the efforts to reunite the nation, covering plans, development, and conflicts which the country experienced during the era of Reconstruction. Students will gain an understanding that the efforts to reunite the nation were impeded by political disagreement. Students will also understand the plans, resulting successes and failures, and the impact Reconstruction had on the South.


  1. Pages 548-572 
  2. The period of time after the Civil War was called “Reconstruction,” Why? Write this in your notebook.
  3. Acellus Lab on Reconstruction
    1. Plans for reconstruction
    2. Freed African Americans
    3. Radical Reconstruction
    4. Scalawags and Carpetbaggers
    5. Rutherford B. Hayes and Reconstruction’s end
    6. Southern Shift
  4. Read Page 562. What three amendments passed during reconstruction and what did they do?
  5. Open Book Unit Quiz
  6. Actively Learn Historical Reading (Teacher Assigned)
  7. United States Citizenship test. You must learn the answer to these questions. Your next quiz will NOT be open book.
  8. Take the US Citizenship Test.