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William Penn: Faith, Not Force

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

  • In what ways did William Penn demonstrate respect in order to enhance life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for himself and others?
  • What was William Penn’s identity during the late 1600s? To what extent do you see an emphasis on the virtue of respect in his words and actions?
  • As he worked to establish the colony of Pennsylvania, how did Penn see his purpose?

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 problem?
  • 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 analyze William Penn’s character as a leader and his commitment to respecting freedom of conscience.
  • Students will examine Penn’s understanding of respect as a necessary virtue.
  • Students will understand why cultivating respect affects the future of the United States.
  • Students will demonstrate respect in their own lives to protect freedom.

Student Handouts