teaching resource

Articles of Confederation - Lesson Plan Slide Presentation

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide | 1 page | Grades: 4 - 6

Investigate the document made by those who wanted a "just right" government with an interactive teaching slide deck about the Articles of Confederation.

Understanding the Articles of Confederation for Kids

What were the Articles of Confederation? That part is simple enough. The Articles of Confederation was the first document to include a national government. Many consider it, in effect, a prototype for the Constitution. For us teachers, it’s a no-brainer and a relatively simple concept. However, put that idea in front of a fifth grader, and they will struggle. Big time…

To ease the confusion, we’ve put together a comprehensive teaching slide deck for you to use to teach your students more about the Articles of Confederation, its creators, and its strengths and weaknesses.

Why Did the Articles of Confederation Fail?

Before you start teaching about the Articles, here’s a quick rundown of the main ideas. The Articles of Confederation were ineffective for several reasons. 

  • They did not give the federal government sufficient power to regulate commerce or levy taxes. This led to economic problems and made it difficult for the government to fund its operations. 
  • The Articles gave far too much power to the states, which caused problems with decision-making and policy implementation. 
  • The lack of a strong executive branch also meant no one person or group with the power to enforce laws and make government decisions.

 These and other issues ultimately led to the drafting of the current U.S. Constitution, which addressed many of the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.

This Google Slides Teaching presentation covers the following

  • The Purpose of the Articles and Political Issues of the time
  • State Representatives 
  • The Preamble to the Articles of Confederation – Explained
  • Explanation of the twelve articles and turn-and-talk interactions, discussions, and interactive activities.
  • The Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
  • The Constitutional Convention and drafting of the U.S. Constitution.

Scaffolding + Extension Tips 

A team of dedicated, experienced educators created this resource to support your American government and history lessons. 

🆘 Support Struggling Students

  • Break the slideshow into three parts and focus on one section a day.
  • Provide a written document or anchor chart of the Articles of Confederation to reference.

➕ Challenge Fast Finishers

  • Students can reflect on 1-2 Articles and develop a better way to write them, stating reasons why the particular articles would not benefit the states. 
  • Students can compare and contrast the Articles of Confederation with the U.S. Constitution.

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Use the dropdown icon on the Download button to download the Google Slides version of this resource. 

Display this activity to your class using a digital whiteboard or share it in Google Classroom for virtual instruction.

This resource was created by Beth Hindi, a teacher in Texas and Teach Starter Collaborator.


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