Unit 1: Foundations

The Foundations unit covers three weeks of class time (suggested) and begins an overview of logic and then moves on to discuss the influences of ancient Greece, ancient Rome and the Enlightenment upon modern civic structures . 

The Foundations unit contains three week-long sections:
the Critical Thinking section deals with logic, bias and basic statistics
the Early Government unit focuses on the origins of government
the Enlightenment section looks at the beliefs underlying modern governments

Go to each section's home page to see a further breakdown into daily lesson plans, along with primary source material and other resources.

First Week: Critical Thinking

The Critical Thinking section covers covers one week of class time (suggested) and begins with an overview of logical thought, including inductive and deductive reasoning. Next, the focus turns to bias and famous logical fallacies and concludes with an overview of basic statistics. This unit is a good start to set the ground rules for future discussion and debate.

The Critical Thinking section contains three separate days:
Day 1: Thinking Fast and Slow introduces basic logic
Day 2: Biases and Fallacies looks at cognitive bias
Day 3: Statistical Literacy discusses the difference between causation and correlation

Second Week: Colonization

The Colonization section covers covers one week of class time (suggested) and begins with the settlement of the New World by various European powers and ends with the Salem Witch Trials. Time period: 1492 through the early 1700's.

Each European nation put its own unique stamp upon the government, culture and economies of their colonies. Understanding their differences helps explain the different historical trajectory each colony will follow. In the case of the English colonies, differences between the northern and southern colonies will have far-reaching impacts on the subsequent history of the United States.  

The Colonization section contains three separate days:
Day 1: The Spanish and French in America examines the economic goals and culture of Spanish settlements in the American southwest and French settlements in the Great Lakes region and what is now Canada.
Day 2: The English in the South looks at how the first English colonies in Virginia were founded, how they survived their early challenges and how the institutions of slavery and indentured servitude permanently impacted their culture and economy.
Day 3: The English in the North tells the story of the founding of the Massachusetts colony by Puritans who fled England seeking religious freedom. The starting conditions of the Northern colonies will send them in a very different direction from their counrymen in Virginia.