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3 Lesson Plans
In this lesson, students analyze primary sources in an effort to answer the central historical question: What sank the Maine? The teacher introduces the concept of media sensationalism and shows a painting of the Maine's destruction and a propaganda song blaming the Spanish. Students then receive opposing newspaper accounts from Hearst's New York Herald and the New York Times; for each, they fill out a graphic organizer and/or guiding questions. A class discussion explores how the reporting of news influences readers' opinions. For homework, students explain--using textual evidence--which account they find more believable.
In this lesson, students analyze political cartoons in an effort to answer the central historical question: Why did the United States annex the Philippines after the Spanish-American War? The teacher first uses a timeline to review basic information about the war, then distributes Rudyard Kipling's poem "The White Man's Burden," which students analyze in pairs. Then, students are split into 6 groups and receive 2 different cartoons each: 1 from a pro-imperial magazine like Judge or Puck, and 1 from an anti-imperial magazine like Life or The World. Using a graphic organizer, students examine the cartoons and then present 1 of them to the class, explaining how the cartoonist makes his point. A final class discussion contextualizes the cartoons and the events of the late 1890s.
In this lesson, students analyze primary sources in an effort to answer the central historical question: What accounted for American atrocities during the Philippine War? The teacher first uses a timeline to review basic information about the Philippine occupation and the 1902 Senate hearings regarding atrocities. Students then read numerous source documents from witness and participants in the war: the testimony of U.S. soldiers to the Senate, letters from soldiers to home, and a report from a Filipino soldier. Students use the sources and a graphic organizer to test 3 different hypotheses as to why soldiers were brutal. In a 1-page final response, students write about the hypothesis they find most convincing, using textual evidence. A final class discussion follows.
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