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Cecil Poole: A Life in the Law A lesson designed for five 55 minute class periods in Law and Justice, U.S. History, and American Government courses. In this lesson students will read and discuss the biography, Cecil Poole: A Life in the Law, and create a study guide to accompany it. Working in teams, students will choose one section of the book (Segregation North and South, chapters 1 – 3, Whites, Blacks, and World War Two, chapter 4, The 1950s: Lawyers, the Courts, and Discrimination, chapters 5-7,The 1960s: Civil Rights and Social Movements, chapters 8 – 9) and give a class presentation; provide visual aids relevant to the period; and assist the teacher in conducting class discussion. They will also individually write a 500-word essay due at the end of the lesson that describes the social, political, and legal landscape in which Cecil Poole lived and worked and that may serve as part of a study guide to his biography. Students should rely primarily on the Poole biography for their essays, but may include information from other sources as well. Finally, students will engage in vocabulary activities that culminate in a quiz at the end of the lesson. Each class period is meant to explore the historical context within which this one man -- lawyer, activist, and judge – managed to make a difference in his society. By learning this history, students will gain insight into how individuals are shaped by the social order while having the opportunity, if times are right, to shape it in turn. In addition to the curriculum resources, our partners at the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society are offering FREE copies of the book, Cecil Poole: A Life in the Law, to educators! Supply is limited, and books are released on a first-come, first-served basis. To get your class a copy of the book, please visit http://www.connectedcalifornia.org/law_and_justice_resources for the request forms.
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This course will focus on modern United States History. From the start of the Cold War to today's war against terrorism, students will come to understand specific events and decisions from a national and global perspective. The course will examine the role that media plays in shaping public opinion.
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This lesson serves to provide students with an understanding of the political divisions that emerged with regards to the Vietnam War in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Students will have some background information about this topic both from this course and from United States History courses taken in middle school. Students will have a firm understanding of activism in the 1960s after having learned about the Counterculture in the previous chapter of their textbook. Students will have some knowledge about the Vietnam War and some of the political divisions that sprouted from this event from their middle school classes in United States History. It is important to discuss the political divisions about the Vietnam War because students will learn methods employed by other students in the past to express their political views (students can make connections to the world beyond the classroom), the role of music in the anti-war movement (again making connections to the world beyond the classroom), ways that the home front during the Vietnam War was unique (allowing students to engage in ethical valuing and to make connections to the world beyond the classroom), and how the American government was influenced by the Vietnam War (integrating topics in government).
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Students were tasked with creating an interview about a Civil Rights Leader. Each group did it a little different, some did a face to face interview, others did an interview with an expert, and some did a news-cast segment on this leader.
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Choices in Little Rock: Curriculum Unit

by Facing History and Ourselves

Choices in Little Rock is a teaching unit that focuses on efforts to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957 — efforts that resulted in a crisis that historian Taylor Branch once described as “the most severe test of the Constitution since the Civil War.” The unit explores civic choices — the decisions people make as citizens in a democracy. Those decisions, both then and now, reveal that democracy is not a product but a work in progress, a work that is shaped in every generation by the choices that we make about ourselves and others. Although those choices may not seem important at the time, little by little, they define an individual, delineate a community, and ultimately distinguish a nation. Those choices build on the work of earlier generations and leave legacies for those to come. Too often, discussions of civic responsibilities focus almost exclusively on voting. Although important, it is just one aspect of citizenship. Citizens influence their leaders and shape events in a wide variety of ways. The ballot box is only a part of the story. In Choices in Little Rock, students consider how ordinary people shape abstract ideas like the balance of power and federalism. The story is told through court decisions, political speeches, telegrams, letters, memoirs, interviews, and news reports. It is a story that teaches many lessons about race and racism as well as civic engagement. At the 40th anniversary of the crisis, President Bill Clinton listed some of those lessons in a speech he gave at Central High School: Well, 40 years later we know that we all benefit, all of us, when we learn together, work together and come together. That is, after all, what it means to be an American. Forty years later, we know, notwithstanding some cynics, that all our children can learn, and this school proves it. Forty years later, we know when the Constitutional rights of our citizens are threatened; the national government must guarantee them. Talk is fine, but when they are threatened, you need strong laws, faithfully enforced, and upheld by independent courts. Forty years later we know there are still more doors to be opened, doors to be opened wider, doors we have to keep from being shut again now. Forty years later we know freedom and equality cannot be realized without responsibility for self, family and the duties of citizenship, or without a commitment to building a community of shared destiny, and a genuine sense of belonging. Forty years later, we know the question of race is more complex and more important than ever, embracing no longer just blacks and whites, or blacks and whites and Hispanics and Native Americans, but now people from all parts of the earth coming here to redeem the promise of America. Forty years later, frankly, we know we are bound to come back where we started. After all the weary years and silent tears, after all the stony roads and bitter rides, the question of race is, in the end, still an affair of the heart. But… … if these are lessons, what do we have to do? First, we must all reconcile. Then, we must all face the facts of today, and finally, we must act.
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In this curriculum unit students will learn how the Cold War began, from the agreements reached at Yalta and Potsdam in 1945 through the formation of NATO in 1949.
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This curriculum unit explores anticommunism in America following World War II.  The three lessons focus on the following topics: Soviet Espionage in America, The House Un-American Activities Committee, and the Rise and Fall of Joseph McCarthy.  Students will study this turbulent period of American history, examining the various events and ideas that defined it, and considering how much of the anticommunist sentiment of the era was justified, and how much was an overreaction.
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This lesson highlights the changing relationship between the city center and the suburb in the postwar decades, especially in the 1950s. Students will look at the legislation leading up to and including the Federal Highway Act of 1956. They will also examine documents about the history of Levittown, the most famous and most important of the postwar suburban planned developments.
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Most lessons on the 1960s Civil Rights Movement focus on key national leaders-Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and President John F. Kennedy. This lesson is no exception; however, it will also look at less well-known members of the civil rights struggle, those whose courageous actions triggered a federal response. This lesson will help students learn more about these members of the grassroots civil rights struggle through the use of primary documents, audio sources, and photographs.
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Most historians agree that the world has never come closer to nuclear war than it did during a thirteen-day period in October 1962, after the revelation that the Soviet Union had stationed several medium-range ballistic missiles in Cuba. This lesson will examine how this crisis developed, how the Kennedy administration chose to respond, and how the situation was ultimately resolved. By examining both government documents and photographs students will put themselves into the role of President Kennedy during this crucial period, considering the advice of key administration figures and deciding on a course of action.
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The participants of the civil rights movement recognized the power of song and performance and utilized this form of cultural communication in their quest for equal justice under law. The popular music of the early 1960s offers a unique and engaging entry point into the politics surrounding equal rights in mid-twentieth century America.Through collaborative activities and presentations, students will find the meaning behind the music and compare and contrast the major figures, documents, and events of the day to better understand the political and cultural messages. The first activity of the lesson focuses on the Freedom Riders as a example of the interweaving of protest and music. In the second activity, students participate in an interview-based activity to develop skills in oral history and relate the past to the present. In the remaining activities students will learn to analyze the meanings and messages behind the music and discover how such creative outpourings continue to play a vital role in the struggle for the civil rights. 
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In August 1964, a small military engagement off the coast of North Vietnam helped escalate the involvement of the United States in Vietnam; the Vietnam War would become the longest military engagement in American history prior to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Many historians now agree that the Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which many believed North Vietnamese ships had attacked American naval forces, may not have occurred in the way it was described at the time. The decisions made by President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top advisors, and the Congressional debate that ensued, resulted in a resolution giving LBJ authority to pursue a military policy in Vietnam that many people have come to believe was flawed and misguided. This lesson raises a number of questions relating to the Gulf of Tonkin incident and subsequent decisions.  How important was flawed, manipulated, or disregarded intelligence in the American decision to escalate our military involvement in Vietnam following the Gulf of Tonkin incident in August 1964? Did American officials, including President Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, intentionally manipulate the information they were receiving to reach the conclusion they wanted? What does historical hindsight teach us about this one specific event and, more broadly, about presidential decision-making in times of crisis? What lessons can be learned that have bearing on current and future policies?
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This lesson will introduce students to the Korean War conflict by having them read the most important administration documents related to it. Specifically it will address four major issues: 1) Truman's decision to send troops to Korea; 2) The decision to cross the 38th Parallel into North Korea, at the risk of a wider war with China; 3) Truman's decision to fire MacArthur; and 4) the war's growing unpopularity in the United States.
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Many traditional textbooks tell the story of history through a narrow lens. At best this limited view of history not only limits the richness of history and deprives students of the whole picture. At worst it perpetuates a dangerous and narrow minded way of thinking by silencing the voices of multiple perspectives. This project based three-week unit explores the Vietnam war through a variety of different perspectives including, present day citizens (oral history), veterans against the war (simulation), international political leaders from the past and present (simulation), and, at the end of the unit, the students own perspective. Students will explore these multiple perspectives through three main educational opportunities; a multimedia timeline, an oral history project, and a presidential briefing simulation project.
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