This unit weaves together the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy’s Curricular Understandings with state and national learning standards and current events to help students gain a better understanding of how their lives are connected to those who have struggled in the past for the power, privilege, and equal standing promised to them by the U.S. Constitution.
Students begin by investigating specific individuals involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom and working backward to stories from World War II. Students will review documents such as the Four Freedoms speech, as well as less prominent documents that depict the conflicts faced by individuals during World War II. Evidence gathered will help students respond to the essential question, “If somebody is denied power, privilege, and equal standing with other Americans, how should he or she respond?”
The unit plan’s lessons are presented below. Guiding questions provide five lessons, and a culminating assessment has students write a reflective composition. Each lesson is accompanied by related resources (photographs, organizers, activity sheets, documents, timelines, and cards).
Note: The use of the word “fighting” in this unit’s title is not reserved solely or even primarily for military service, but is meant to convey the broader sense of contest, agency, and resistance.