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Constitution Construction

Comic sample page #1: What are John Locke’s rights in nature?
Comic sample page #2: Who separated church and state?
Topics covered in this comic book
Teacher Guide

The complicated ideas behind the United States Constitution are described through adventure heroes! John Locke describes our rights in a state of nature from his perch on a vine as lord of a jungle. John Peter Zenger tests freedom of speech as a mild-mannered journalist from another land. Thomas Jefferson erects a statue for religious freedom, separating church from state. Finally, the writing of the plan for our government is told as a quest to build a new starship for Captain Washington, Mr. Madison and George “Bones” Mason. This funny, colorful graphic novel will excite reluctant readers, prepare students for standardized tests in history and help homeschooling parents!

John Locke in a state of nature

Thomas Jefferson separates church and state

Chapter 1: John Locke’s Ideas

Chester has been reading a lot about the United States Constitution – the plan for our American government. This 1787 plan was built out of many ideas and experiences. When Chester falls asleep on top of his reading, he dreams about some of the ideas that constructed the Constitution . . .

Locke’s Ideas includes the following topics:

Who was English thinker John Locke?
What are Locke’s rights in nature?
Why do governments get started?
Is anyone above Locke’s laws?
What Locke ideas are in the declaration?

Chapter 2: Zenger’s Free Press

Chester continues to dream of the ideas and experiences that led to our Constitution. One important test of Colonial America’s freedom of speech and freedom of the press comes in New York. A mild-mannered newspaperman named John Peter Zenger is put on trial for challenging an evil royal governor . . .

Zenger Free Press includes the following topics:

Who was John Peter Zenger?
What power did royal governors use?
What were Peter Zenger’s zingers?
Why was Zenger put on trial?
What is freedom of the press?

Chapter 3: Jefferson’s Religious Freedom

Suddenly Chester dreams of being jailed!! Before the American Revolution, some colonies punish people for not going to the official government church! Chester asks Virginian Thomas Jefferson to change this injustice. Jefferson writes a law to guarantee religious freedom. But will the law ever pass?

Jefferson’s Statute of Religious Freedom includes the following topics:

When was skipping church a crime?
Who separated church and state?
What bill did Jefferson write?
Why did Madison fight Henry?
When did Virginia free souls?

Chapter 4: A Constitution-Class Starship

Chester’s many dreams all come together in one last vision. The first government of the United States is the Articles of Confederation – and it is broken, like a spaceship with too many competing parts. Who can fix it? What would a new and better spaceship look like? Can the United States regain control of its own destiny, or will it be lost in space?!

A Constitution-Class Starship includes the following topics:

Why did the Confederation fail?
What could fix the Confederation?
Who was Father of the Constitution?
How did the Constitution count?
What rights are in the Constitution?

See a Teaching Guide for this sample (pdf)

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