Submitted by galactikcat on Thu, 2005-10-27 02:49.U.S. History
Fighting for Democracy, Fighting for Me
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?”
Grade Level: 9-12
Subjects: U.S. History
Unit Duration: Projected length of time is 2 class periods
Lessons can be modified and extension activities can be easily added.
ESSENTIAL QUESTION: If somebody is denied power, privilege, and equal standing with other Americans, how should he or she respond?
GUIDING QUESTION FOR LESSON ONE: What are the responsibilities of an “American”?
Students will explore who is included by the term “American.”
Students will examine the experiences of soldiers involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom to understand differing perspectives on the responsibilities of being American.
NOTE ABOUT THIS LESSON: This lesson was originally written and taught in Spring 2003, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. It has since been modified slightly as students may no longer be familiar with these individuals and their stories.
1. Write the word “American” on the board or on a transparency. Ask students to brainstorm on the term. Guide students to consider who is included in the term “American”.
2. Ask students to make a list of answers to the question, “What are the responsibilities of an American?”
3 Discuss some of their answers. If military service is not discussed in some of the responses, elicit it.
4. Present the following facts:
More than 30,000 foreign-born people (naturalized and non-citizens) currently serve in the military.
Immigrants in the military can apply for U.S. citizenship after three years of service. On July 4, 2002, President George W. Bush offered citizenship to the 15,000 immigrants in the military.
Immigrants make up 20 percent of Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, the nation’s highest award for military valor.
5. Divide students into small groups and distribute the photographs of the soldiers who volunteered for the United States military during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In small groups, students should look over the following photographs and read the notes about the individuals.