Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Welcome to my Social Studies Blog


Welcome to my Social Studies blog!  
My name is Michelle and I am a graduate student in the Literacy Education Program at Syracuse University. For the last year, I have spent a great deal of time in Huntington Hall learning about Literacy Instruction. This semester, I enrolled in a course called Perspectives on Literacy and Technology. Throughout the semester, we have looked at the relationship between Literacy and Technology in today's schools. Technology is transforming the way we live, as well as the way we teach. Studying technology in education is extremely important because the field is going through a continuous change because of the increasing use of technology worldwide.

      Huntington Hall, Syracuse University

Using technology in the classroom provides students with the opportunity for communication and collaboration as it enhances the curriculum and expands classroom walls. Certain Web 2.0 tools give students the forum they need to publish their own work.
With this said, a component I would like to address with this blog is Digital Storytelling. In the next few posts, I will include lessons I wrote teaching students how to use digital storytelling in the Social Studies classroom. Furthermore, this blog addresses a number of social justice topics that are explored through my lesson plans.
I hope you continue to follow my blog as I address the importance of including literacy and technology in the Social Studies classroom.
* This website provides access to a number of useful Web 2.0 Tools: http://www.go2web20.net/ 

Monday, April 25, 2011

United States Reaction to the Vietnam War: A Nation Divided

Country Joe McDonald- "Feel like I'm Fixing to Die"

Background Information/Rationale: This lesson plan is a follow up to an initial lesson plan that provided students with background knowledge on the Vietnam War. Last session we read this primary source document: American Policy in Vietnam: President Lyndon B. Johnson, April 7, 1965. 
At the end of the previous lesson the students wrote a response on what it would have been like to turn 18 during the Vietnam War. Throughout this lesson, students will work on comprehension strategies as they synthesize and analyze songs produced in the United States during the Vietnam War. 

Title: United States Reaction to Vietnam War: A Nation Divided    
Common Core Standards: 

New York State Standards:
Students will demonstrate the ability:
  • Analyze and discuss with classmates the effect the media had on the Vietnam War, especially in regards to past wars 
  • Evaluate the supporting and opposing reactions to the Vietnam War in the United States through cooperative learning groups. 
  • Examine the policy of containment in the United States and how it influenced the U.S. decision to stay involved in Vietnam
  • Produce a written paragraph 
  1. This website provides a summary of the anti war movement in the United States http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/vietnam/antiwar.html 
  2. YouTube Video: Live from Woodstock, Country Joe and the Fish: “I feel like I’m fixing to die” (See above)
  3. Map of Vietnam  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/vietnam/index.htm
  4. Lyndon Johnson’s Report on the Gulf of Tonkin Incident:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx8-ffiYyzA
  5. What Really Happened at Tonkin Gulf? 60 Minutes Opening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXmxfCvO7lA&feature=related
Instructional Phase:
1.   Review Vietnam War Vocabulary by utilizing classroom Word Wall:
  1. Containment: A United States policy using military, economic, and diplomatic strategies to stall the spread of communism, enhance America's security and influence abroad, and prevent a "domino effect."
  2. Domino Theory: If one country fell to the Communists, it was thought that the neighboring countries would follow.
  3. Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (1964): Congress gave the president power to use all necessary measures to stop the North Vietnamese aggression. This led to an increase in military involvement in Vietnam.
2. Provide students with review of background knowledge of the Vietnam War. Talk about the power of movements. Have students think back to the Civil Rights Movement.
3. Read President Johnson's Message to Congress, August 5, 1964. It can be found here.
4. Break students into small groups to discuss.
5. Now that students have greater background knowledge of the Vietnam look at multiple media images and film that provide different views of the American public during the Vietnam War.
Here are a few examples that could be included. There are a number of sources out there so I would not limit yourself to only this list. You may also want to discuss with students that there is a lack of pro Vietnam War songs compared to the significant number of anti war songs.
  1.  Ohio by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI7-m919ynU  
  2. For What it’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5M_Ttstbgs&feature=related
Photographs can be found on this blog:
Key Discussion Questions:
What is its message? Does it simply express an opinion about the war, or does it also call on listeners to take some action? What sorts of reactions might different people (such as a young person eligible to be drafted, a soldier serving in Vietnam, or the parent of such a soldier) have to the song, image?
*Questions taken from: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/vietnam/tguide/index.html#cult
5. Provide students with Lessons/Impacts of the Vietnam War:
·         Public support is necessary to fight & win a war.
·         Presidential power expands in time of war.
·         American people lost some faith in their government.
·         The United States must be more cautious in foreign policy and when making military commitments.
6. Closing Activity: Write a paragraph describing why a person might have joined the demonstrations for or against the Vietnam War.

Japanese Internment During World War II

Title: Japanese Internment During World War II

Title:  Japanese Internment during World War II: The Supreme Court and Individual Rights during Wartime
Students will demonstrate the ability to:
  • Work effectively in groups.
  • Synthesize information from FDR’s & George Bush’s speech and to create a graphic organizer of similarities and differences.
  • Read and analyze the Patriot Act and express opinions on its fairness.
  • Compare the Patriot Act to Japanese Internment by discussing the IV Amendment and the rights these things took away.
Interactive Phase:
1. Watch the first few minutes of Pearl Harbor. (Japanese Attack scene) It’s about 5 minutes in length.
2. Listen to FDR’s speech after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
3. Discuss Pearl Harbor and how it led to Japanese Internment Camps.
4. Listen to George Bush’s speech after 9/11.
5. Hand out a written copy of both speeches. Provide students with a few minutes to read then have students create a graphic organizer of similarities and differences.
6. Read the IV Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable search and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath of affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
This amendment was written in 1791.
7. Break students into groups and pass out the Patriot Act. Read.
Questions: What are some pros and cons of the USA Patriot Act? Create a T Chart.
Do you feel that the Patriot Act is essential for security? Why?
8. Read:  Korematsu v. United States summary. Discuss.

Syracuse and the New Deal

Title: Syracuse and the Great Depression
Students will demonstrate the ability to:
·         Apply what they learned about the Great Depression in Syracuse and its impact on American society. Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the Great Depression and the New Deal by answering questions in a brochure on Syracuse during the Great Depression.
·         Participate in groups, hold discussions, share their ideas, and listen to each other.
The Great Depression first affected the city of Syracuse, NY negatively. After Mayor Martin brought his City Betterment Project to Syracuse, the city flourished. The City Betterment Project was part of the New Deal.
·         The Great Depression affected family life
·         The Great Depression affected the African American community differently
·         People had difficulty getting shoes, clothing, and food during the depression
·         Men were ashamed that they could not provide for their families
·         Improvements brought to Syracuse during Mayor Marvin’s City Betterment Project include: paving, rail removal, new sewers, and new water mains
·         The City Betterment Project brought jobs to Syracuse
·         New Deal: The name given to the new laws aimed at relieving the Depression, which were passed by Congress during the Hundred Days and months that followed. They were policies of social and economic reform introduced in the United States in the 1930’s under the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt
·         Hundred Days: A special session of Congress that dealt with problems of the depression.
Instructional Phase:
1. Project image of Syracuse before the Great Depression to engage students and explain to them that “Today we will be talking about the people in Syracuse during the Great Depression and the steps Syracuse took to get out of the depression. We will start by reading a short story about some people who lived in Syracuse during the Depression.
·         “I will Carry you till next Summer”
·         “The Dream of a House is Gone”
·         “The Story of William Chiles”
·         “The Story of Frank James”
Each student will be provided with a short story. Divided stories evenly around the students. Read stories then discuss. Discussion questions could include:
·         How would you feel if you were affected by the Great Depression?
·         What would you have done? Explain to students that there was not much people could do. Most people lived say by day trying to put food on their table and support their families.
·         What do you think the living situations were like? How would you have felt if you had to share a house with all of these people? Explain to students that this was a normal occurrence during the Great Depression.
2. Mayor Marvin’s City Betterment Project: Explain to students that they will need to know how the City Betterment Project helped Syracuse. Read through the documents. I’ve done this multiple ways. In the past, I have created a “City Betterment” Museum in the classroom where I enlarged the documents and had students walk around taking notes. Talk with students to see if they have ever been to any of the places that were involved in the City Betterment Project.
3. Closure: Discussion Questions
·         From what you already know about job availability, do you think that you could keep a job that you hated?
·         Has anyone ever heard stories from family members about life during the Great Depression? Invite students to share their stories.
·         How did Franklin D. Roosevelt get the United States out of the Great Depression?
Extending Activity:
Homework: Students will be required to write a paragraph (6-8 sentences) explaining what they would have done to live through the Great Depression. Explain to students that they can use examples from class, but encourage them to be creative. Students should use historical content for support in their paragraph.

*THESE DOCUMENTS WERE TAKEN FROM MAYOR MARVIN'S REFLECTION CAMPAIGN PACKET. I found them in the Central New York History Archive's at the public library on Salina Street.

Stock Market Crash

Work in Progress
Background Information/Rationale: Since the Great Depression and the New Deal is such a long unit of study I am only going to include my lesson plans for the Stock Market Crash and Hoover’s Response to the Great Depression. Since I first started teaching this unit I have made a great deal of modifications, mostly to include more literacy instruction as well as technology. If you are interested in seeing my other Great Depression lesson plans or ideas please feel free to e-mail me. This is one of my favorite units to teach.
Title: The Stock Market Crash
New York State Standards: 

Common Core Standards: 
Short Term Objectives:
1.      Students will learn what caused the Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression.
2.      Students will demonstrate the ability to summarize the causes of the Stock Market Crash of 1929.
Long Term Objective:
1.      Develop an understanding of Social Studies through exploration and research into family history
2.      Analyze family history and compose a script that incorporates both family history and United States history
3.      Create a digital story incorporating their family history with a specific time period that includes social justice topics
4.      Recognize that history is not merely a series of isolated events but a collection of individual decisions that influence the world today.
Instructional Phase:
Anticipatory Set/ Focusing Event:
1.      Provide students with today’s objectives 
2.      Prediction: The year is 1929. The United States economy has collapsed. Farms, businesses, and banks nationwide are failing, causing massive unemployment and poverty. You are out of work with little prospect of finding a job. 1. What groups of people will be most hurt by the economic crash? 2. What can you do to find a paying job? 3. What can unemployed and impoverished people do to help each other? Provide students with five minutes to write a response.
3.      Vocabulary:
a.       Bankruptcy: Financial failure caused by a company’s inability to pay its debts.
b.      Default: Failure to repay loans
c.       Overproduction: Supply of manufactured goods exceeding the demand
Checkpoint Questions: How can overproduction hurt the economy? When would a company declare bankruptcy? What happens when a company or individual defaults on a loan? 
Activity One: What caused the Stock Market to Crash?
Use with chart, “Causes of the Great Depression”
A great deal of the prosperity in the 1920’s was based on borrowed money and buying stock on margin. When the stock market crashed in 1929 it was followed by a long and severe economic downturn.
There were several signs of economic weakness during the 1920’s. Despite these signs, Herbert Hoover predicted that the United States would soon achieve the “final triumph over poverty” in 1928.  
1.      Older industries, such as coal mining, railroads, and clothing manufacture, were in decline. 
2.      Agriculture was facing decline, farmers could no longer afford to pay back their loans. Many of the banks that loaned to farmers went out of business.
3.      Overproduction: Supply  exceeds demand
4.      Housing and automobile manufacturing were in decline
5.      Consumer spending on decline
6.      Place this information on story chart: People were buying on margin and purchasing stocks by paying only a fraction of the cost and owing the remaining balance. These people hoped the prices would be higher when they’d be ready to sell. As stock prices started to decline brokers who had lent people the money began to recall their loans. Most people could not afford to pay so they had to sell their stocks. As a result, stock prices dropped even more. On October 29, 1929, also known as Black Tuesday, people rushed to sell their stocks they found that no one was buying. Millionaires lost their entire fortune overnight.
Checkpoint Question: What happened on Black Tuesday?
Activity Two: What happened after the Stock Market crashed?
Students will break into groups and read firsthand accounts from the Great Depression to fill in the  chart. Each student will be given a different story to read. Once students have finished reading they should share their information with other group members.
Impact on Families:
Checkpoint Question: How did the Great Depression affect people living across the United States? 
Activity Three: The Bonus Army
Divide these documents between people in the class to read silently. As they read have them answer the following question.
What was the goal of the Bonus Army?
Checkpoint Question: What was the goal of the Bonus Army?
Extending Activity/Homework:
Create a comic strip illustrating the main points from today’s lesson. This can be done digitally or by hand. It must include the following words: Buying on Margin, Stock Market Crash, unemployment, bank failure, debt, and poverty.   

The Great Depression

Title: The Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression

Short Term Objectives:
  1. Students will learn what caused the Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression
  2. Students will explain what it was like to live during the Great Depression Student’s will discuss how people responded to President Hoover during the Great Depression
  3. Students will explain how the role of the Great Depression affected the American people and changed the role of the government.
Instructional Aids/Resources:
  • Political Cartoons
This political cartoon represents Herbert Hoover's reaction to stock market speculation.
  • Pictures of Hoovervilles
  • Song lyrics and recording for “We’d like to Thank You Herbert Hoover.”


 Instructional Phase: 
1. Students should copy new vocabulary into their notebooks.
  • Black Tuesday
  • Great Depression
  •  President Herbert Hoover
  • Hoovervilles
2. Copy graphic organizer onto the board for students to copy into their notebooks. Go over each main point in detail.

  • Unequal Distribution of Wealth
  • Monetary Policy
  • Stock Market Crash and Financial Panic
  • Overproduction
3. Explain to students: President Hoover’s conservative response to the Great Depression drew criticism from many Americans. Hoover attempted to rescue the nation from debt and reassure the American people that the economy could be okay. Hoover thought Americans should remain optimistic and go about their business as usual. Hoover believed that the government should step in and find a solution to the troubled economy but it was only the government’s job to encourage and facilitate, not control. Moreover, Hoover opposed any form of welfare, or direct relief to the needy. He believed in the idea of “rugged individualism,” success through one’s own efforts. He believed government handouts would weaken people’s self respect. Hoover thought individuals, charities, and local organizations should pitch in and help the needy. Hoover’s response to the Great Depression shocked and frustrated many Americans. 

4. Copy graphic organizer on the board for students to copy into their notebooks. Go over each main point in detail.
  • Sending troops against the Bonus Army 
  • Rugged Individualism 
  • Federal Home Loan and Bank Act 
  • Boulder Dam 
  • Reconstruction Finance Corporation 
  • Public Works Administration 
  • Federal Farm Board  

5. Read aloud of family history accompanied with visual. Key discussion points: Even though this family suffered financially because of the Great Depression many were faced with greater struggles. People could not get back on track financially and ended up homeless. My personal family history can be found here: Family History but I encourage you to use your own or find other narratives.

6. Ask for a student volunteer (with empty pockets) to come up to the front of the room. Ask the student to empty their pockets and explain to students that the nickname for empty pockets at the time was “Hoover flags.” Other nicknames: Hoover blanket- newspaper used as a blanket, Hoover leather- cardboard used to line a shoe where the sole was worn through, and Hoovervilles- shacks build by the homeless during the Great Depression from scrap materials. Pass around images of Hoovervilles for a visual. Fact: Hooverville villages often elected a “Mayor of Hooverville.”
Checkpoint: What were Hoovervilles?
7. “We’d like to Thank you Herbert Hoover”
Pass out lyrics and go through the song section by section discussing how people were feeling. Have students collaborate with each other to figure out what the different lines of the songs mean. Students can apply their new knowledge of the Great Depression for discussion. Questions for discussion: 1) What is the topic of the song? 2) What is the tone and mood of the song?
“We’d like to Thank you Herbert Hoover”
From the musical Annie
Today we're living in a shanty
Today we're scrounding for a meal

Today I'm stealing coal for fires
Who knew I could steal?

I used to winter in the tropics

I spent my summers at the shore

I used to throw away the papers

he don’t any more
We'd like to thank you: Herbert Hoover
For really showing us the way
We'd like to thank you: Herbert Hoover
You made us what we are today

Prosperity was 'round the corner
The cozy cottage built for two
In this blue heaven
That you
Gave us
Yes! We're turning blue!
They offered us Al Smith and Hoover
We paid attention and we chose
Not only did we pay attention
We paid through the nose.

In ev'ry pot he said 'a chicken'
But Herbert Hoover he forgot
Not only don't we have the chicken
We ain't got the pot!

Hey Herbie

You left behind a grateful nation

So, Herb, our hats are off to you
We're up to here with admiration

Come down and have a little stew

Come down and share some Christmas dinner
Be sure to bring the missus too
We got no turkey for our stuffing
Why don't we stuff you!

We'd like to thank you, Herbert Hoover
For really showing us the way
You dirty rat, you
Bureaucrat, you
Made us what we are today

Come and get it, Herb!

8. Closure: Create Questions based on today's objectives:
  1. Students will learn what caused the Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression
  2. Students will explain what it was like to live during the Great Depression Student’s will discuss how people responded to President Hoover during the Great Depression
  3. Students will explain how the role of the Great Depression affected the American people and changed the role of the government. 

Economic Boom of the 1920's

This websites provides a quick summary of the 1920's, the Stock Market Crash, the Great Depression, and the New Deal Click here! 

Mass Production Assembly Line 

Title: Economic Boom of the 1920's
New York State Social Studies Standards: 

Common Core Standards: 

Students will learned what caused the economic boom in the United States in the 1920’s.
  • Understand Scientific Management and how it led to an increase in productivity
  • Define installment buying and understand the effect it had on industry and the economy as a whole
  • Explain how the automobile change culture in the United States
Anticipatory Set/ Focusing Event:
1.      Provide students with today’s objectives 
2.      Students should copy new vocabulary into their notebooks.
a.      Gross National Product (GNP): The total value of all goods and services produced.
b.      Scientific Management: Hired experts studied how well could be produced more quickly. By adopting these methods, businesses sought to lower costs and increase productivity.
c.       Mass Production: Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardized products, especially on assembly lines.
d.      Installment Buying: Buying on credit
e.       Prosperity: Wealth, riches, success, fortune, etc.
f.        Cycle of Prosperity/Economic Boom: Mass production led to more products that needed to be sold, which led to more jobs and more spending. People were confident so they were spending more money.
Instructional Phase: 
1. Project an image of Henry Ford. Ask students to take out a scrap piece of paper. Have students write a quick response to the following question. Why is Henry Ford a significant player in United States history?  
Henry Ford helped to create a middle class. Through mass production he made automobiles affordable, even for his workers. Mass production in the 1920’s led to prosperity in the United States for many Americans. American’s were very confident about the economy. Many people were purchasing big household items through installment buying, or buying on credit.
2. United States in the 1920’s Notes (See below)
Discussion Questions:
  • How much money did the Model T automobile cost? $300
  • How much was Henry Ford able to pay his workers? Explain to students that Ford was able to create a large middle class.
  • How do you think the mass production of automobiles affected the culture?
  • How does this compare to the average car today?
3.  Now students will create their own assembly line to demonstrate the division of labor in an assembly line. Explain to students that each factory worker typically worked with the same parts every day.
Divide students into groups of 4 or 5 depending on class size. Provide each group (with four-five students) with a zip lock bag with the following pretend sandwich materials inside:
These can be made with construction paper, cardstock, felt, etc.
1.      Two pieces of bread
2.      One piece of cheese
3.      One tomato
4.      One piece of meat
5.      One piece of lettuce
Divide students into groups and have them create a plan using scientific management to create the best way to run their sandwich shop utilizing all members of the group.
Discussion Questions:
How would you have felt if you had to work at a sandwich shop by yourself? How does this relate to the impact of assembly lines?
 4. Closure: Review Questions:
1. What is the 18th Amendment? The 18th Amendment prohibited the sale of alcohol. It was believed by some that alcohol was the root of crime, immortality, accidents on the job, etc.
2. Why did prohibition fail? Variety of answers: The government cannot legislate mortality, promoted disrespect for the law, gave birth to organized crime, etc. 
5. Extending Activity: Imagine you traveled back in time to the 1920's. Write a journal entry describing one of the major aspects of 1920's culture. The journal entry must be one paragraph (8-9 sentences) in length. You may choose from the following topics: Prohibition, Women's Rights, Workers Unrest (Strikes), Henry Ford and Mass Production of the Automobile, Women's Rights, Scopes Trial, and Immigration.