Social Contract Lesson Plan High School

Social Contract Lesson Plan for High School Students

Teaching high school students about the social contract is an essential part of civics education. The social contract is an agreement between the people and the government, where people give up some of their individual freedoms, in exchange for the protection and provision of essential services. Without the social contract, there would be chaos and anarchy.

Here is a lesson plan for high school students that teaches them about the social contract, its importance, and how it works.


1. Understand the meaning of social contract

2. Understand the reasons why the social contract is important

3. Be able to describe the role of the government in the social contract

4. Understand the benefits and drawbacks of the social contract

Materials Needed:

1. Whiteboard and markers

2. Handouts on the social contract

3. A copy of the US Constitution

4. A copy of the Declaration of Independence

5. Video clips of current events illustrating social contract principles

Lesson Plan:

Introduction: Begin by asking students if they have heard of the social contract. Ask them to describe what they think the social contract is. Write their responses on the board. Then, explain the concept of the social contract, its history, and its place in modern society.

Activity 1: Divide the class into small groups of four or five. Distribute handouts about the social contract and ask students to read them. Then, ask each group to come up with a list of reasons why the social contract is important. Let each group share their responses with the class, and write the reasons on the board. Encourage discussion and ask students to elaborate on their ideas.

Activity 2: Next, ask students to read the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Ask them to identify the social contract principles in these documents. Write the principles on the board and discuss them as a class. Use video clips of current events to illustrate examples of social contract principles in action.

Activity 3: Ask students to discuss the pros and cons of the social contract. Divide the class into two groups and ask one group to list the benefits of the social contract, while the other group lists the drawbacks. Afterward, bring the groups together and have them present their arguments. Encourage discussion and debate.

Conclusion: Summarize the lesson by highlighting the importance of the social contract, its relationship to the government, and the benefits and drawbacks of living in a society governed by the social contract.

Assessment: Have students write a short essay on the social contract, its significance, and its role in modern society. Encourage them to use examples from the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and current events to support their arguments.

In conclusion, teaching high school students about the social contract is essential for their understanding of civics and government. This lesson plan is a great starting point to help students grasp the concept of the social contract and its significance. By understanding the social contract, students can become informed citizens and make meaningful contributions to society.