Showing posts from February, 2014

Compass Points Routine: Monroe Doctrine

Today's activity enabled students to process America's foreign policy stance since it was developed in the Monroe Doctrine in 1823. The Doctrine was written to protect many newly-independent nations in Latin America from any possible European colonization. It states that the United States would consider colonization as a threat to its own safety and would take appropriate measures to counteract it. Students were asked to think of instances that the United States has gone into other countries on both peace-keeping and military actions. They were then given the task of analyzing this essential statement: America should be the world's peacekeepers. Students needed to explain what excites them about this statement, what worries them about it, what more they need to know in order to come to a conclusion, and finally formulate their stance on the issue. The small group discussion was very lively, full of critical thinking and analysis, and another wonderful opportunity to bri…

American Culture, Nationalism, and Sectionalism in the Early 1800s

The topics of nationalism and sectionalism relating to American culture were the focus of today's class. Students had a great discussion of the definition of culture and we examined a sketch ("Crossing of Carson River" by Lt. J.H. Simpson) determine what aspects of the sketch showed American culture in the early 1800s. Students then defined nationalism and sectionalism and discussed whether a person could show loyalty to both their country and region if forced to choose.

Today's themes are "big picture" themes in US History for the rest of the school year and I'm glad that students were able to use much of their prior knowledge in order to learn about and think about the issues during the time leading up to the US Civil War.