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Rights "Then and Now"

Life Skills:

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Character
  • Systems Thinking

Time Frame:
3 class periods that run 45 minutes each.

Group Size:
Small Groups


Students will compare and contrast the rights of individuals and groups based on social class today and during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Essential Questions: Should your rights as a citizen be based on birth? Should these rights be based on the job you have? What should your rights be based on?

Main Curriculum Tie:
Social Studies - 6th Grade
Standard 2 Objective 3

Examine how systems of governance began steps toward self-rule during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Background For Teachers:

  • Knowledge of the social levels of the feudal system.
  • Knowledge of the social classes during the Renaissance.
  • The main idea of social classes currently in the U.S.


Web Sites

Student Prior Knowledge:

  • Ability to read a diagram
  • Ability to think critically
  • Ability to compare and contrast
  • Answer the question: What are 'rights?'
  • Answer the question: What is 'social class?'

Intended Learning Outcomes:
Students will discover rights of various groups of people in different time periods.

Instructional Procedures:

  1. Have students brainstorm what they think the social classes of the United States are.
  2. Identify the 'classes' in the Feudal System. (see attachment; feudalism flow chart)
  3. Identify the 'classes' during the Renaissance.
  4. Complete the "Who would I be in the Middle Ages..." activity.
  5. Class discussion. Ask the following question:
    • Should rights be based on birth?
    • Should rights be based on jobs?
    • What should rights be based on?"


Assign each student a "title" (ex. serf, noblewoman, monk, etc.) and run the classroom on that model for an afternoon.

Assessment Plan:

  1. Participation in the "Who would I be" activity.
  2. Participation in class discussion.


Dirk Sprunt
Diana Payne

Created Date :
Jun 26 2009 12:29 PM