- What are inalienable rights?
- What is the role of government in protecting natural rights?
- How did the Founders view liberty, justice, natural rights, and consent of the governed?
- Students will analyze primary sources on the social contract theory: Hobbes’s The Leviathan, Locke’s Second Treatise of Civil Government, and the Declaration of Independence.
- Students will compare and contrast Hobbes and Locke.
- Equal and Inalienable Rights Essay
- Handout A: Excerpts from Hobbes’s The Leviathan and from Locke’s Second Treatise of Civil Government
- Handout B: Comparing and Contrasting Hobbes and Locke
3 large classroom chart paper (for group work with markers)
- natural rights
- Magna Carta
Have students read Equal and Inalienable Rights Essay.
Choose a few of the key terms to write on the board (or post to an interactive JamBoard or Padlet). Ask students to write the first words (or pictures) that come to mind when they first hear these words.
Divide the class into an even number of small groups. Give students Handout A: Excerpts from Hobbes’s The Leviathan and from Locke’s Second Treatise of Civil Government, and assign half of the small groups the excerpt from Hobbes and the other half the excerpt from Locke.
After students have had time to discuss and understand their assigned readings according to the instructions provided on the handout, pair each Hobbes group with a Locke group to compare and contrast the readings, and complete the comparison on Handout B: Comparing and Contrasting Hobbes and Locke.
(Optional) Teacher reads aloud the primary sources (Handout A). Instead of instructing students to conduct a close read of Hobbes and Locke first, the teacher models the syntax of the essay. It may help with student comprehension and analysis.
Debrief: Review tiered reading terms, key terms, guiding questions
Assessment: Students write which Enlightenment thinker (Hobbes or Locke) best describes the social contract theory and how this theory is essential in a republic.
Choose one of the videos listed below and write a few paragraphs of what you learned and how it applies to government.
- BRI Constitutional Principles: Consent of the Governed
- BRI Tenth Period | What Do We Owe Each Other? Social Contract Theory from Past to Present
- National Constitution Center Constitution 101
- Thomas Hobbes and John Locke: Two Philosophers Compared (Tom Richey)
- World Library Foundation “Two Treatises of Government” by John Locke
- World Library Foundation “Leviathan” by Thomas Hobbes
- The Fraser Institute Essential John Locke: The Right to Property
Create a flyer to promote Hobbes or Locke.
Draw a picture or create a song that informs Hobbes or Locke’s social contract theory.