Lesson Plans

One Today

Students analyze primary sources from presidential inaugurations of the past to deepen their understanding of presidential inaugurations, then read and listen to the inaugural poem, One Today, that Richard Blanco wrote and delivered at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration in 2013. After, students consider their  to hopes and dreams for the United States and create…

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Prospects for Peace in the Middle East

Students analyze a set of political cartoons to deepen understanding of the conflict in the Middle East during the 1950s and 1960s and efforts made towards building peace. After, students conduct research to identify a major issue that is currently affecting efforts at brokering peace in the Middle East and create their own political cartoon…

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Setting the Pace for Racial Tolerance

Students analyze an historical newspaper article to learn about a 1944 conference on building better race relationships and identify the claim that keynote speaker first lady Eleanor Roosevelt made about the need for the U.S. to set the pace for the rest of the world and provide supporting evidence for that claim. After, students consider…

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What Are the Props Behind Propaganda?

Students learn about the “props” or techniques political cartoonists to present a view on an issue (“propaganda”).  Next, they analyze a series of Cold War political cartoons to develop their analysis skills and to investigate issues and perspectives related to the Cold War. After, students create their own political cartoon on a contemporary issue.

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Whiskey Rebels: Champions of the Common Man or Treasonous Traitors?

Students will analyze primary sources to investigate the causes of the Whiskey Rebellion in 1791-1794 and consider if the protest actions of the rebels were protected by the 1st amendment as well as if the federal government treated the rebels justly according to the 6th and 8th amendments. Next, students will rewrite a textbook description…

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Economics of Slavery, the Cotton Industry, and the Panic of 1837

Students analyze primary sources to investigate how market forces impacted the supply and demand for cotton in the early 1800s, the relation of the cotton industry to slavery and the economic and political factors that contributed to the Panic of 1837. Next, students summarize the learning in the form of an essay or poster. After,…

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Did the Founders Want Government to Work?

Students analyze primary source texts, including excerpts from the Federalist papers, to investigate the purposes of the Necessary and Proper Clause, the ways in which the separation of powers limit government, and how factions and personal liberties affect the functioning of government. Next, students will write an essay or produce another type of product to…

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Did the Attack on Pearl Harbor Unify America?

Students analyze oral history interviews recorded shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor to investigate the perceptions of different groups of Americans and determine if this was an event that ultimately brought many Americans together. After, students will look into a current issue where people may have perspectives that are being overlooked, conducting and sharing…

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How Well Do Our Parties Represent Us?

Students analyze primary sources to better understand the two-party political system in the United States through investigation of the manner in which political parties gained and nurtured constituents in the later 19th century and actions they took in the mid-20th century that brought satisfaction/dissatisfaction among constituents. After, students identify one significant reform either in electoral…

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