Here are the lessons from the entire unit: http://psolarz.weebly.com/colonize-mars1, but the final product seen here is from Lessons 10-12: http://paulsolarz.weebly.com/parents-newsletter/today-we-finished-writing-our-constitution-for-the-country-we-created-on-mars.
In a nutshell, I create a Google Doc and share it with everyone in class (usually through Google Classroom). I give each student a specific task, or give the entire class the same task, and ask them to post their information into the GDoc. We work together as a whole class to eliminate overlaps and ideas we don't like and only keep "the good stuff." Together, we piece together the parts we want into a finished piece.
- The Preamble was a class period or two.
- The Articles of the Constitution were a few periods.
- The Bill of Rights was a period.
Each year, we have to determine what type of government we want to be based on our research online and class discussion. This is a really fun talk! We decided to be a Constitutional Monarchy this year. Last year we were a Meritocracy.
Ultimately, I think my students got a lot more out of these lessons because they did most of the thinking. They weren't just following rules, reading & answering questions, and taking tests (although this is the unit that we do some of those things). They were researching, using convergent and divergent thinking skills, thinking critically to determine importance, and synthesizing information to create something new! I value these skills far more than the content knowledge that they learned, but I'm also happy that they learned about our country's government and its history. With all subjects, I like to make sure that students aren't just learning content, but also building important skills that they can transfer to new situations!
Additional Information available in "Learn Like a Pirate.
"Here are screen shots of our document that was written collaboratively by all the students in class: