Getting ready to go “Over There” – Learning experience for February 26

You should have a solid understanding of America’s entry into the Great War, including the rationale outlined by Woodrow Wilson in his war message to Congress. Now it’s time to go “Over There” and become part of the AEF – The American Expeditionary Force.  To prepare for your class experience ON MONDAY (everyone), please carefully read Welcome to the AEF, using this  reading guide to direct you.  Make sure you listen to “Over There” by George Cohen – it’s a classic!  We will find out the challenges that the men faced in the trenches on the Western Front. You can think about the essential info for your WWI Legacy target display as well!

If you can, make sure you have a cell phone with a QR code reader, Aurasma (Android iOS), and also try the Layar app (Android iOS).

See you in France on Monday!


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SHOULD THE US GET INVOLVED IN THE GREAT WAR? Learning Experience for February 20/21


After the class intro, hopefully you have a decent (yet basic) idea about the origins of the Great War – The War to End All Wars – WORLD WAR I.  Please review the material below  to get a better understanding about the long term causes of the war in Europe – and maybe think of some questions!  Want some more info?  Check out …

  • great animated map that gives an overview of the short term cause of the war – the assassination!
  • An AWESOME three part video on the assassination of the Archduke from the BBC – Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 


We now know that war broke out in Europe in 1914, with the entire continent being affected by the “war to end all wars.”  The United States did not get involved militarily until 1917, however.  Did they need to join in the fray “over there”? In our next class, we will discuss American involvement in the war.  To prepare, you should also complete “Should America Enter the Great War”?” using the handout from class and the Advice  for Mr. Wilson website.  Make sure you follow the directions carefully – you should come to class with advice for the President!



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What do you want to know about WORLD WAR I?- Some opening info …

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The Legacy of WWI

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We can’t wait to see how you will teach the public about America’s involvement in the Great War and commemorate the service of American men and women over there and over here!

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In class February 14-15 – Analyzing Imperialism Cartoons

For each of the cartoons that follow, annotate the various components of the toon, and then identify the issue and editorial comment. Use the document provided in class (along with the digital cartoons tomorrow). You should see a variety of perspectives … want to draw your own?

Here are the cartoons in more detail (and some with a little helpful analysis)

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Learning Experience for Feb 14-15 – American Imperialism

I can describe and evaluate the causes, events, and impact of American imperialism.

We will have a quick drive by  about American imperialism in our next class –  not because the topic isn’t important, but more due to the calendar and the amount of time allotted to NHD.  It’s a decent trade off, if you ask me.

While the US was pushing for reform at home, the country was also expanding abroad in the era of IMPERIALISM.  Should the US have been an imperial nation?  That’s our essential question!  How will we answer it?

We will be examining editorial cartoons in our next class regarding American imperialism.  To be PREPARED for the activity, you should spend 30 minutes (yup, it’s timed) watching America in the 20th Century: America Becomes a World Power (usmstudent, wildcats).  As you watch, consider the reasons why the United States became an expansionist country in the late 1800s, and then consider each example of American imperialism – ESPECIALLY THE SPANISH AMEIRCAN WAR.  Should the US have been an imperial nation? That’s your goal!


Want more? Check out our friend John Green!

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In class Feb 12-13 – Hexagonal Thinking and the Progressive Movement

Hexagons for Progressive Example


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Preparation for February 12 – Here come the Progressives!

As you have seen from our investigation of the Gilded Age, there was great of progress in the American  economy, industry, urbanization, and immigration during the late 1800s early 1900s. However, progress comes with a price.   Politics were controlled by the wealthy, and political machines were challenging they ideals of democracy in many of the cities. The income gap between the wealthy and the rest of the nation was enormous.  The environment was ignored for industrial growth, and pollution and destruction of resources became problematic. Cities were overcrowded, and tenement living was unhealthy at best, deadly at worst. People didn’t know what was going into their medicine or food. Monopolies were formed with large corporations controlling many of the major industries of the time, and workers’ worries were ignored or opposed by business and government.  Women were second class citizens, lacing political, economic, and social equality.  African Americans continued to face challenges in all parts of the country.

Who will respond to these problems?


The Progressive Movement emerged in the late 1800s and early 1900s to push for reforms in response to the excesses of the Gilded Age.  We will examine what they did in their attempts to make America a better place on Monday – but you will definitely want to get some background.  So, spend about 27 minutes and 48 seconds this weekend meeting the Progressives (before you watch the Super Bowl). How?  Here you go …

WATCH America in the 20th Century – The Progressive Era.  Use usmstudent, wildcats as your username and password. What should you be looking for?  A general idea of what the Progressive Movement was, an understanding of some of the reforms Progressives pushed for, and some info on the Progressive Presidents (including the big guy – I mean the REALLY big guy). You can (and should) use the Progressive Era Intro as a guide – but no writing is necessary.

You can also watch my buddy John and his Crash Course on the Progressives … but make sure you watch the above video first!

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The Rising Tide of Immigration – Week of Feb 5

The growth of industry and the rise of cities involved a third key component – the great wave of immigration that arrived in the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s. You will investigate this HUGE change in American culture by using some online materials in this blendspace.

Then, you can explore Ellis Island at the turn of the 20th century:

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Or play a simulation on immigrating to the US at the turn of the century:

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Or explore immigration and the tenements of NYC:

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Target Assessment – Modern America, Then and Now – Tying the Past and Present Together


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