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Champion of Liberty: James Madison and Diligence

45 min

Walk-In-The-Shoes Questions
As you read, imagine you are the protagonist.

  • What challenges are you facing?
  • What fears or concerns might you have?
  • What may prevent you from acting in the way you ought?

Observation Questions

  • What positions had Madison held by 1787 that reflected opportunities to influence national affairs? How were his unique skills and interests related to these opportunities?
  • What important steps did Madison take beginning in 1787 that contributed to historians calling him the “Father of the Constitution?”
  • Name some of the difficulties that Madison faced in the struggle for creation and ratification of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and explain how he exercised diligence.

Discussion Questions
Discuss the following questions with your students.

  • What is the historical context of the narrative?
  • What historical circumstances presented a challenge to the protagonist?
  • How and why did the individual exhibit a moral and/or civic virtue in facing and overcoming the challenge?
  • How did the exercise of the virtue benefit civil society?
  • How might exercise of the virtue benefit the protagonist?
  • What might the exercise of the virtue cost the protagonist?
  • Would you react the same under similar circumstances? Why or why not?
  • How can you act similarly in your own life? What obstacles must you overcome in order to do so?
  • Students will evaluate James Madison’s actions to identify examples of diligence and speculate on the possible consequences of a lack of diligence.
  • Students will understand how James Madison’s diligence resulted in lasting benefits for the nation he helped create.
  • Students will analyze their own goals and ambitions to determine how diligence contributes to achievement of worthy goals.

Student Handouts