All resources in DC Public Schools

Historical Diplomacy Simulation: Suez Canal Crisis - National Sovereignty vs. International Access to Waterways

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The Suez Canal was completed in 1869 to connect the Mediterranean and Red Seas, creating an essential waterway for global trade, as ships no longer had to navigate around the Horn of Africa. At the time it opened, the canal was 164 kilometers, or roughly 100 miles, long. Without the canal, the circumnavigation around Africa is 9,654 kilometers or 6,000 miles. For most of its existence, the canal was managed by the Suez Canal Company which was owned by Great Britain and France. On July 26, 1956, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nassar nationalized the canal, intending to take control of the canal’s operation and its revenue. The world was still recovering from World War II with new national border conflicts and the onset of the Cold War. Many nations depended on the Suez Canal, especially Great Britain and France. How would they manage their economic and political interests while avoiding conflict? How would the United States and the Soviet Union support Nassar’s quest for Egypt’s sovereignty and Israel? How would Great Britain, France, the United States, Israel, and the Soviet Union manage their own economic and political interests while avoiding military conflict? How would Egypt preserve its national sovereignty? In this historical scenario, students will have to overcome differing national interests to maintain global security and peace. The exercise will develop skills in leadership, collaboration, composure, analysis, communication, awareness, management, innovation, and advocacy.

Material Type: Case Study, Lesson Plan, Simulation

Author: National Museum of American Diplomacy

The Road to Civil Rights

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By the end of this lesson, students will be able to: ● Identify key events of the Civil Rights Movement and their place in time ● Explain the significance of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution in relation to the expansion of rights for African Americans and how they laid the footing for the Civil Rights Movement ● Summarize central ideas of short, dense text ● Apply Tier 2/academic and Tier 3/domain-specific vocabulary associated with the Civil Rights Movement

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Assessment

Author: Brooke Machado

African American Women Unite for Change (Teaching with Historic Places) (U.S. National Park Service)

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As a historic unit of the National Park Service, the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The site also is within the boundaries of the Logan Circle Historic District. This lesson is based on the Historic Resources Study for Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site, as well as other materials on Bethune and the National Council of Negro Women. The lesson was written by Brenda K. Olio, former Teaching with Historic Places historian, and edited by staff of the Teaching with Historic Places program and Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Brenda K. Olio

Mary McLeod Bethune, Eleanor Roosevelt and Others

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The original caption for this photograph reads: "Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt and others at the opening of Midway Hall, one of two residence halls built by the Public Buildings Administration of FWA for Negro government girls."As a presidential advisor of African American Affairs during the Roosevelt administration, Mary McLeod Bethune formed the Federal Council of Negro Affairs, which would become known as the Black Cabinet. The Black Cabinet was instrumental in creating jobs for African Americans in Federal executive departments and New Deal agencies.Bethune’s influence within the Roosevelt administration also allowed her to direct funds created by the New Deal program to Black people. Programs such as the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and National Youth Administration (NYA) were successful in employing over 300,000 African Americans during the Great Depression.The original caption for this photograph uses the term "negro" to refer to Black people, which was commonly accepted in that era, but is outdated and inappropriate today.

Material Type: Primary Source

Author: National Archives

HS American Gov. EBAS Lesson Seed: Structure and Function of the Legislative Branch

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Lesson seeds are ideas for the standards that can be used to build a lesson.  Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.  This lesson seed provides a compelling question and a bank of sources to use to drive an inquiry based lesson or a potential Evidence Based Argument Set (EBAS).  When developing lessons from these seeds, teachers must consider the needs of all learners.  Once you have built your lesson from the lesson seed, teachers are encouraged to post the lesson that has emerged from this lesson seed and share with others. Compelling question:Should term limits be imposed on members of Congress?  EL Modification: highlight important vocabulary, add images to improve text comprenesion; consider adapting content, process and/or product based on Can Do WIDA DescriptorsImage source: "United States Capitol - west front" by Architect of the Capitol from Wikimedia.org

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Robby May, Beth Ann Haas, Leah Renzi, MSDE Admin

Lesson One. The Omnipotence of the Majority

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In this lesson, students are introduced to Tocqueville's argument about the "omnipotent" power of the majority in America and its consequences. After an initial statement that the "very essence" of democracy is majority rule, he contrasts the means by which state constitutions artificially increase the power of the majority with the U.S. Constitution, which checks that power.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

9/11 and the Constitution

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The anniversaries of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, and the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, provide us an opportunity to reflect upon who we are as Americans, examine our most fundamental values and principles and affirm our commitment to them, and evaluate progress toward the realization of American ideals and propose actions that might narrow the gap between these ideals and reality. The following lessons are designed to accomplish these goals.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Center Staff

The 25th Amendment: Presidential Disability & Succession and Vice Presidential Vacancies

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This eLesson by Dr. Felix Yerace will provide students with an opportunity to learn about the text of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment as well as its historical usage and potential need. It will ask them to consider why such an Amendment was deemed necessary and how it has been, and could be, used. It will also give students the opportunity to debate possible applications of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Tom Marabello

“Congress, the President, and the Constitution: Then and Now”

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This lesson will give your students the chance to compare and contrast Articles I and II of the Constitution, and the powers delegated to both the legislative and executive branches.  Students will deeply examine the historic and current relationship between Congress and the President and how power and influence have seemed to ebb and flow between them over more than 200 years, including a look at the War Powers Act and how that has impacted the push-pull between Congress and the President, looking at some case studies from the past 35 years.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Tom Marabello

U.S. History

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 U.S. History is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of most introductory courses. The text provides a balanced approach to U.S. history, considering the people, events, and ideas that have shaped the United States from both the top down (politics, economics, diplomacy) and bottom up (eyewitness accounts, lived experience). U.S. History covers key forces that form the American experience, with particular attention to issues of race, class, and gender.Senior Contributing AuthorsP. Scott Corbett, Ventura CollegeVolker Janssen, California State University, FullertonJohn M. Lund, Keene State CollegeTodd Pfannestiel, Clarion UniversityPaul Vickery, Oral Roberts UniversitySylvie Waskiewicz

Material Type: Full Course

Gerrymandering: What it is and Why it Matters

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The topic of Gerrymandering can be a difficult one to teach and get students to understand. This lesson includes several options, along with additional resources and information for the new teacher or a teacher who like many Americans may have trouble grasping and explaining gerrymandering and congressional redistricting. The lesson options include having students engage in a Debate and/or activity where they draw or redraw the boundaries of a state or congressional district.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Interactive, Lesson Plan, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Tom Marabello

Washington DC

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Washington, D.C., is the capital city of the United States, located between Virginia and Maryland on the north bank of the Potomac River. The city is home to all three branches of the federal government, as well as the White House, the Supreme Court and the Capitol Building.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Concetta Grasso