We are down to our final Unit and you have some choices. Given that we don’t have enough time to do everything, you have the chance to make some choices about how you’d like to approach learning U.S. history in the last half century. There is a lot to choose from. The good news is you don’t have to know everything, but you will have do have something to show for yourself. You will get to choose the content and the method of learning the material. The only stipulation is that you cannot study something you have already investigated for your IA or for another class. Your choices are below.
Before you make your choice, know this:
- we will devote class time (8+ periods) and any needed additional time to learning the material
- the intent of the scope of this work is that you should have less than :20 minutes of work per night at home
- the more independence you have, the greater your need to keep me informed of your progress and learning
- you will have four facets of your product:
- Note-taking or critical readings as you research
- The documentation of works consulted
- The organization of your learning (an outline, a mind-map, etc.)
- A written product of your learning
Beyond studying the content of the last fifty years, the learning objectives include that you are making connections between the historical era you are studying and the modern day.
All choices/options will have the same total point value. All will include process (50 pts), participation (50), and culminating product (50). All will be due on the same day – no sooner than June 9th.
Choice 1 – The simplest method: overview
The last two chapters of Tindall and Shi cover the Carter, Reagan, G.H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush administrations. You can meet the expectations above by reading and taking notes on the chapters. I have done the work of breaking the readings into 9 tidy one-hour segments. We have eight plus days. You would have minimal homework and would not have to do independent thinking in order to determine what to do. Consider this your silver platter.
Your end products will be:
- notes on the sections you have read,
- a multiple-choice test to evaluate your understanding,
- and two essay responses you create based on what you have learned.
- The Reagan Revolution – 1391-1396; Reagan’s first Term 1396-1403
- Reagan’s Second Term 1403-1412
- The Bush Administration 1412- 1420
- America’s Changing Mosaic 1423-1426; Cultural Conservatism 1426; Bush to Clinton 1427-1431
- Domestic Policy 1431-a1432; Republican Insurgency 1433-1435; Clinton Years at Home 1435-1439
- Foreign-Policy Challenges 1439-1443; Election of 2000 1443-1446; Compassionate Conservatism 1446-1447
- Global Terrorism 1447-1457
- Second-Term Blues 1457-1466
- A Historical Election 1466-1471; The First One Hundred Days 1471-1473
Choice 2 – The leaders:
Choose a President:
- Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama
Then, choose a facet of his economic, domestic, or foreign policy plan to evaluate in comparison to modern-day realities. Your primary questions for consideration is:
- What role did this President have in creating modern-day realities?
In addition to the consideration of what role this President played, you should also evaluate his missed opportunities as well as his successes.
Your products will be:
- An annotated bibliography regarding at least six articles that inform your understanding of this topic and the related presidential evaluation
- Your critical reading of at least one essay/blog entry/book that argues that the President changed the American Economic Outlook/American society/Foreign Policy/ in at least one significant way (10+pgs in length)
- An essay that evaluates the impact of the President and the issues raised by the introduction of his policies. What is it that we should remember about this President’s contributions as we look to tackle modern problems? What is the lasting impact? Paper 3 rubric.
Choice 3 – The disruptors:
Choose an innovation that has happened in the last 50 years. Consider the ways it has transformed society in the interim. Your primary question for consideration is:
- In what ways has this technology transformed behaviors, traditions, power structures, and ideas during this span?
In addition to the consideration of how this innovation has disrupted society, you should also evaluate the ethical issues that are raised by its introduction.
Your products will be:
- An annotated bibliography regarding at least six articles that inform your understanding of this topic and the related technological innovation
- Your critical reading of at least one essay/blog entry/book that argues that the innovation changed society in at least one significant way (10+pgs in length)
- An essay that evaluates the impact of the innovation and the ethical issues raised by the introduction of this innovation. What is it that we should consider as we look to the future? What is the way forward? Paper 3 rubric.
Choice 4 – The thinkers:
Read the linked article by David Brooks. Consider the ways that our current society is being altered by thinkers and leaders who are altering the identity of our culture and changing the narrative that Americans use to craft their sense of self.
Choose an identity listed by Brooks (or, even better, argue for your own), and research the political spectrum presented by these thinkers.
Your end products will be:
- A critical reading of the Article by David Brooks.
- Research and critical readings of at least 4 articles along the political spectrum
- Research appropriate modern-day issues to better inform your essay
- An essay evaluating the other authors and offering your own vision of the best narrative for the country. Your essay will reference the other articles as well as any relevant modern-day events. A paper 3 rubric will be applied.