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8th Grade US History Student Objectives/Student Outcomes: Students will be able to logically and effectively form arguments that

they may or may not agree with. Students will be familiarized with standard debate structure and etiquette. Students will have an appreciation for multiple/alternative perspectives they may not have considered before. Students will begin to understand how American involvement overseas in the past has shaped our foreign policy today. Content Standards: Take from the History Habits of the Mind Significance of the Past: Students will gain an appreciation of how the past shaped current US foreign policies. Historical Empathy: Students will be attempting to form arguments based on past and present philosophical beliefs. Unfinished Business: Students will understand that there are valid arguments to both sides, and there is no right or wrong answer to some questions. Multi-Causality/Tentative Nature: Students will be able to understand there are many facets to arguments and will be critical of accepting single explanations as fact. Materials/Resources/Technology: Tables facing each other, slips of paper with side assignments, paper, projector, PowerPoint slides, and computer. Teachers Goals: I want to introduce students to the format and etiquette of debates. I think that it is important that they understand how debating skills are useful for future classes and careers. I also want them to think critically about a topic that does not necessarily have a right or wrong answer. Topics like this are often the focus of political activities and require critical thinking and personal reflection, therefore, I want my students to start to develop these critical thinking skills in order to be prepared to be civically engaged.

~3-5 minutes

~11 minutes

Start of Class: Have students draw slips of paper out of a hat to determine what side they will be arguing for the debate. Each side will sit together facing the others. Students will need to be able to develop logical argumentation skills to be prepared for future schooling and future careers. Introduction of Lesson: The teacher will briefly outline the two opposing schools of thought concerning US involvement in foreign affairs (i.e. Non-Interventionist vs. Interventionist) using powerpoint. The teacher will then ask the essential question, Should America be involved in foreign affairs? Show graph of US military expenditure in order for students to start thinking about how important foreign policy is in the US and that it impacts all of our lives. Lesson Instruction: The teacher will ask one of the following questions and have one of the sides respond to the question with ~2 people. After, the opposing team will have the opportunity to form a rebuttal. Teams will switch order after each question. If the team is struggling to make arguments, the teacher will play devils advocate and raise more questions and show pictures to help facilitate discussion. Questions: Should the US have entered WWI/WWII? Should the US have been involved in Korea/Vietnam? Should the US have invaded Afghanistan/Iraq? Devils Advocate Questions: -Non-Interventionist: Was it necessary for US to be involved in a European war? -Interventionist: Is it right for the US to sit by while their allies are being attacked? -Non-Interventionist: Was the atomic bomb worth all the destruction it caused? -Interventionist: Would Jewish Concentration Camps have been as successfully liberated with American help? -Non-Interventionist: Do Americans have the right to fight a war over an ideology the US disagrees with? -Interventionist: Shouldnt Americans step in and help defend citizens against an ideology they believe to be harmful and detrimental? Is injustice somewhere a threat to justice everywhere? -Non-Interventionist: Why is it the USs job to remove another countys oppressive regime? A threat that might never materialize, a threat that is not inevitable. -Interventionist: If the US has the power to help, isnt it out duty to stand up for people that cannot stand up for themselves? Assessments/Checks for Understanding: The teacher will ask both sides to define and outline the major arguments of both sides on a sheet of paper. After, each side will read their own definition as a closing statement. After each side has completed their closing statements, they will compare and contrast their definitions with closing statements to check for understanding. In addition, each student will be asked to write two personal definition for interventionist and non-interventionist, and provide two examples brought up in the debate of each. These will be turned in by the end of the period to check for individual understanding. Self-Assessment: If both sides are able to argue their positions logically and effectively and their final definitions match the opposing teams closing statement, lesson was effective.

~10 minutes