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4 Lesson Plans
In this lesson, students analyze primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Why did many Americans oppose the Vietnam War? First, students view 2 anti-war images and a timeline of anti-war events. They fill out a graphic organizer and formulate a hypothesis that answers the central question; discussion follows. Students then read 2 documents: a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Kerry's testimony before Congress. For both, they complete questions on a graphic organizer. Final class discussion: Why did anti-war sentiment grow? Did only college kinds participate? How do you think supporters of the war might have responded?
In this lesson, students analyze primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Was JFK a strong supporter of Civil Rights? First, the teacher streams a video clip from Discovery Education on JFK and civil rights. Students form a hypothesis and discuss whether JFK was "strong" on civil rights based on this. Students then read a 1963 JFK speech supporting the Civil Rights Act; as a class, they answer sourcing, close reading and context questions and revisit their hypothesis. Students then read John Lewis's controversial original draft of the speech he delivered at the March on Washington. They answer guiding questions which corroborate both documents and attempt to reach a conclusion. If there is time, the teacher may bookend the lesson with another clip which shows how LBJ signed the eventual law into action.
In this lesson, students analyze primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Why did the Montgomery Bus Boycott succeed? The teacher first introduces the boycott and Rosa Parks by streaming a film clip from historicalthinkingmatters.org. Students then break into 3 groups and look at a textbook account of the boycott and a timeline, making a "claim" as to why the boycott succeeded and sharing it with the whole class. The groups then corroborate with 2 more documents-a letter by Jo Ann Robinson and a memo by Bayard Rustin-and make another claim. Finally, 2 more documents-a letter by Virginia Durr and a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.-are added to the mix, and students formulate and share a final claim. In a final class discussion, students reflect on how their claims did/did not change as they encountered more evidence.
In this lesson, students analyze primary and secondary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Is the image of the "happy 1950s housewife" accurate? The teacher first introduces the time period and some of its features: the baby boom, the GI Bill, suburbia, Leave it to Beaver. The teacher then shows images of the "happy housewife" from 50s-era publications. In groups, students analyze 2 documents: a Harper's magazine article on suburbia and a passage from Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique. They complete a graphic organizer that includes a hypothesis: does the stereotype seem true? Students then do the same with 2 more documents: secondary source analyses by Joanne Meyerowitz and Alice Kessler-Harris. The class completes the graphic organizer and shares final hypotheses in a group discussion: Should we believe the stereotype? How about the experience of minority women?
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