This study of Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau is designed to give students an understanding of the ideas of these four philosophers and is also an opportunity for them to reflect on humanity’s need for order and efforts to create stability within the social community. In the first part of the unit, activities focus student awareness on the nature of government itself and then progress to close reading and writing centered on the specifics of each philosopher’s views. Large-group and small-group discussion as well as textual evidence are emphasized throughout. In the second part of the unit, students are asked to engage in creative writing that has research as its foundation. Collaboration, role-playing, and a panel discussion are fundamental parts of the culminating activity. Options for further writing activities and assessments close the unit.

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