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Rights "Then and Now"

Main Core Tie

Social Studies - 6th Grade
Standard 2 Objective 3

Time Frame

3 class periods of 45 minutes each

Group Size

Small Groups

Life Skills

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Character
  • Systems Thinking


Diana Payne
Dirk Sprunt


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?

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.

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.


Created: 06/26/2009
Updated: 02/05/2018