Synopsis

Lesson Snapshot

1. Engage: Students will participate in a role-play activity—another teacher/administrator will come into the room at the beginning of class and hand out a set of new classroom rules to follow. When students protest, the teacher/administrator will explain that (1) these rules are better and for their own good and (2) the teacher/administrator needed to establish his/her authority in the school by implementing these rules in classrooms outside their own.

2. Explore: Students will develop a basic understanding of imperialism and then “Jigsaw” sets of excerpts of primary source documents to identify the factors that led the U.S. to pursue a policy of imperialism at the turn of the 20th century.

3. Explain: Student groups will explain what their sets of primary source documents tell them was an argument for U.S. imperialism. If necessary, after all student groups present, the students may have help from the teacher in summarizing the three basic motivations for U.S. imperialism.

4. Extend/Expand: Students will read additional primary source excerpts to develop an understanding of the main reasons for opposition to imperialism. They will then participate in a 4-Corners activity where they can voice their own opinions about imperialism.

5. Evaluate: Students will write a two-voice poem using textual evidence to compare/contrast the beliefs of imperialists and anti-imperialists.