The Politics of Energy and the Middle East
Students watch a video containing primary-source footage on the Iran hostage crisis. Then, they examine major turning points in U.S. Middle East policy, including the hostage crisis, the 1973 oil embargo, the 1978 Camp David peace accords, and the 1982 suicide attacks on U.S. Marines in Lebanon. Finally, students analyze U.S. foreign oil dependency and its implications.
Ronald Reagan’s Presidency
Students watch a video that introduces Ronald Reagan as the “Great Communicator.” Then they explore his record in domestic policy, focusing on Reaganomics, and his foreign policies. Next, they evaluate the Reagan presidency. Finally, students turn to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the Reagan appointee as the first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Students respond to photos of Sun Belt and Rust Belt cities. Then, they study the facts of population shifts from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt. Next, they examine changing immigration trends in relation to those demographic shifts. Finally, they explore current demographic trends and make predictions.
The International Dominance of American Culture
Students consider the role of American culture in society by watching a video of a jazz performance that displays traits of American popular culture. Then, they examine and report on the influence of American culture in eight specific fields. Next, they explore and evaluate why American culture is so popular. Finally, they reflect on how cultural diffusion is a complex phenomenon.
End of the Cold War
Students watch a primary-source ABC newscast from West Germany on the day of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Then, they learn the facts of the fall of the Soviet system. Next, they explore the causes and effects of the downfall of the communist system and write from the point-of-view of a citizen living in Russia during this time.
The Gulf Wars
Students reflect on a map of the Persian Gulf to activate prior knowledge about the Gulf War. Then, they learn about the events leading to the Gulf War. Next, they analyze the effects of the war. Finally, students examine the effects the Gulf War had on soldiers’ health.
Trade and Domestic Issues Under Clinton
Students begin by using prior knowledge and new information to pose a question about Bill Clinton or his presidency. Next, students delve into the major domestic achievements of Clinton’s administration. Then they analyze his impeachment. Finally, they evaluate the NAFTA trade agreement.
Foreign Affairs During the Clinton Administration
Students watch a video from 1992 network news about life during the Balkan Wars. Then, they identify facts about the wars, and use a map to develop questions about the region. Next, they analyze the Oslo Accords. Finally, they use their knowledge of the Balkan Wars to demonstrate their understanding of genocide and ethnic cleansing.
September 11, 2001
Students respond to a video on the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Then, they explore facts about the attacks, including events leading up the attacks. Next, they learn about the effects of the attacks, including the war on terror. Finally, they examine the pros and cons of the Patriot Act and create an infographic.
George W. Bush’s Presidency
Students examine a National Weather Service map of the Gulf Coast region during Hurricane Katrina and respond to a question about Katrina’s political implications. Then, they survey major events of the George W. Bush presidency. Next, they study and report on the impact of Hurricane Katrina. Finally, they examine and discuss the presidential election of 2000.
The Technology Revolution
Students watch a video that portrays technology via social media. Then, they learn about the origins of the Information Age from the 1970s to the present. Next, they explain the interaction of technology with the free enterprise system. Finally, students predict the future of the technology revolution.
U.S. Demographics Today
Students watch a video interview with a Ugandan immigrant who has succeeded as a personal trainer in the United States. Then, they explore current facts and issues concerning immigration. Next, they study illegal immigration and explain the issues it raises. Finally, they project demographic changes for the future in the United States.
The Government and the Individual Citizen
Students watch a video of a protest march and share their immediate responses. Then, they learn about four methods of participatory democracy and brainstorm ways to use them around a specific contemporary issue. Next, they analyze the issue of entitlement programs. Finally, they examine the issue of government seizure of private property.