Here in New York City we return to school on Tuesday, September 6th, so this is the final weekend of the summer break. It went fast, as it always does. I’ll now return to post The Weekly Text every Friday morning. To begin the year, here is a a lesson plan on mercantilism. In my school, mercantilism is a topic that repeats in a variety of courses and is therefore an essential concept for understanding trade policy and legislation, causes of conflict, and one of the motives for the American Revolution, among other things. Unlike other complete lesson plans I’ve posted thus far on Mark’s Text Terminal, this one is a stand-alone, special topic lesson, i.e. not part of a larger unit plan. Therefore, you’ll find it aligned to four Common Core Standards in the lesson plan document itself.
A reading of this length and the reading comprehension worksheet that accompanies it, depending on where we are in the school year, can take up to three days to complete in my classroom–which I use to assess students’ capacity to retain and apply information over the short term. For that reason, I include with this lesson three context clues worksheets on commodity, barrier, and tariff. These are the short, do-now worksheets I use to ease transitions between periods at the beginning of class to help students settle themselves (not to mention assisting them in developing their own understanding of inferring meanings of words from context, and building abstract academic vocabularies). Obviously, these are three key vocabulary words related to mercantilism; the latter two, barrier and tariff, are the two leading instruments of trade policy in mercantilist systems, and therefore essential to an understanding of them.
Finally, for the mainstay of the lesson, here are an Intellectual Devotional reading on mercantilism and a reading comprehension worksheet to accompany the reading on mercantilism. These are self-explanatory, so I’ll resist the temptation to gas on about them. If you seek guidance in using any of these materials, you might want to check out some of the users’ manuals in the About Weekly Texts link (that one is live, too) on the homepage of Mark’s Text Terminal, just above the banner photograph.
As always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.