Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
High School
Grade:
9, 10, 11, 12
Tags:
  • Civics
  • Government
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Language:
    English

    Key to John Locke from Youth Leadership Initiative

    Overview

    From: University of Virginia Center for Politics

    The Key to John Locke

    Purpose: The student will understand some of the basic theories of John Locke including limited government, unalienable rights, equal rights, and authority from consent of the governed.

    Objectives:

    1. Students will interpret the ideas of John Locke as they relate to limited government, unalienable rights, equal rights, and authority from the consent of the governed.

    2. Students will apply their interpretations of specific quotations from Locke to contemporary paintings by Norman Rockwell, The Problem We All Live With, by Dave Cutler, Flag With Male Symbol, and to a photograph from the 1989 revolt in Tiananmen Square.

    Key Words:

    consent of the governed natural rights treatise state of nature unalienable rights

    Locke Lessons

    From: University of Virginia Center for Politics

    The Key to John Locke

    Purpose: The student will understand some of the basic theories of John Locke including limited government, unalienable rights, equal rights, and authority from consent of the governed.

    Objectives:

    1. Students will interpret the ideas of John Locke as they relate to limited government, unalienable rights, equal rights, and authority from the consent of the governed.

    2. Students will apply their interpretations of specific quotations from Locke to contemporary paintings by Norman Rockwell, The Problem We All Live With, by Dave Cutler, Flag With Male Symbol, and to a photograph from the 1989 revolt in Tiananmen Square.

    Key Words:

    consent of the governed natural rights treatise state of nature unalienable rights

    Materials:

    1. Overhead with copy of Norman Rockwell’s The Problem We All Live With.

    2. Overhead with copy of Dave Cutler’s Flag With Male Symbol.

    3. Overhead with copy of photograph from Tiananmen Square.

    4. Student handout: Study Guide: A Key to John Locke.

    5. Short Biography of John Locke

    6. Extended Biography of John Locke

    7. Additional excerpts from Locke’s Second Treatise on Government are included for more advanced students who want more exposure to his works.

    Procedures:

    1. Warm up: Distribute copies of the short biography provided on John Locke and ask students to read it. Advanced students can be directed to read more about John Locke using the internet. The following are some possible websites:

    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: John Locke (1632-1704)

    FEE.org John Locke: Natural Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property

    2. Ask students to answer the following questions:

    Youth Leadership

    • What are three of John Locke’s beliefs about government?

    • What U.S. document(s) are based on the ideas of Locke?

    • How can Locke’s influence be seen in this document?

    1. Put up the Norman Rockwell overhead of The Problem We All Live With and ask the following questions:

      • What is happening in this painting?

      • Which principles of democracy are illustrated by this painting?

      • (equality, natural rights, liberty, unalienable rights)

    2. Introduce students to the second painting and ask similar questions.

    3. Introduce students to the final photograph and ask what is happening in the picture and how it relates to the topic of limited government?

    4. Pass out copies of the study guide with excerpts of Locke’s ideas and direct students to complete these individually or in groups. Discuss their interpretations of Locke’s writings.

    5. Using the terms, limited government, unalienable rights, equal rights and authority from consent, ask students to discuss or write a journal entry responding to the following questions:

      • How do you think John Locke would respond to Norman Rockwell’s painting? Dave Cutler’s?

      • How would John Locke respond to the events in Tiananmen Square?

      • Are all rights equal or are some more important than others?

      • How do we balance a limited government with the protection of equal rights?

    6. Advanced students can be directed to read excerpts included from John Locke’s Second Treatise on Government in place or in addition to the study guide.