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 bring 20th Century and current affairs into our 8th Grade US History curriculum. Tomorrow groups will present their completed Compass Points activity to the class and write a paragraph about their views.


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