Assignment April 17 – GET READY FOR DC!

Historical Travelers – Monday is the day!  I will see you all at 1:45 with your luggage and carry on bag, fed and ready to go on our little field trip.  Make sure you have consulted the packing guidelines carefully – and make sure you have tennis shoes for the massive amount of walking you will do in the next week.  Check the DC weather as well!

Your parents can follow our funtabulous historypalooza at - it’s a virtual version of our trip!

Also, make sure you have signed up for the @Historians1314 group on   If you haven’t, either go to this link or text the message “@Historians1314″ to the number 23559.


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In class and Assignment April 16 – American goes to WAR!

You should have a clear understanding of the events and ideas that led America from being isolated to intervening in World War II in Europe and the Pacific.  If you did not finish your “From Isolation to Intervention” notes  today, here is the packet in PDF and ebook form.  You should also check out the videos about the Lend Lease Actthe Atlantic Charter, and the path to “infamy” with Japan if we didn’t get there in your class.

The video below will give you an overview of America going to war …

I’m sure you have some questions about what happened on December 7, 1941, right? To find out, spend some time reading over the information on your Pearl Harbor fact sheet and read/listen to FDR’s December 8 speech and answer the short questions.  Most of you were very curious about Pearl Harbor in the introductory survey, so why not spend 15 minutes or so checking out the various links about Pearl Harbor here.  As you do, think about (don’t write …)

  • Why were tensions high between the United States and Japan in the 1930s and early 1940s?
  • What was the purpose for Japan’s attack on the American forces at Pearl Harbor?
  • What happened on the attack?
  • How successful were the Japanese in their attack on Pearl Harbor? What was the damage to the American fleet?
  • What, if anything, did the United States know about the Japanese plans? What are the “conspiracy theories” racing around the internet that you should read with skepticism?
  • What did FDR say about the attack? (Read his speech on the back of your handout as you listen to him deliver it)
  • What was the overall impact of the attack on the United States and the American people?


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Assignment April 15 – The Path to War

Ready to dive into the major event of the 20th Century?  I hope so!  Please continue to fill in the notes about the origins of the war using the resources below.  Make sure those notes are complete!

To finish, follow the “Road to War” on your handout by using the voicethread below, or click on this link.  This should give you an overview of how Europe went from some dictators rising in power to the Axis controlling almost the entire continent.

We will see how America gets involved in class tomorrow – get ready …

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In class April 15 – WORLD WAR II!

Click for a more detailed image of this awesome poster

And now … the most important global event of the 20th century — WORLD WAR II.  We will dive into WWII this week, use it as part of our focus in Washington DC, and return to the conflict when we get back from our historical odyssey.  What do you want to know about this very popular topic in American history?  Play around with some of the sites below to activate your knowledge and get your curiosity brewing, and then complete the form to identify some of the questions you have about the time period of World War II.

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Assignment April 14 – Goodbye to that old depressed feeling …

Hopefully the Depression wasn’t too depressing for everyone, and the New Deal wasn’t too … well … boring. Thanks for the great debates today!  I assume everyone understands the importance of FDR’s program of precedent setting legislation. Let’s find out with an open note, open book, flying solo Depression and New Deal online quiz. Please finish the quiz this evening, making sure you pay carefull attention to instructions and consider the Common Trust.

Your  Federal Project Number One should be almost done.  Submit it electronically or in print asap, and make sure you consult the rubric

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In class April 14 – The New Deal Debate

“I may say at once that the changes proposed … are of the most profound and penetrating character.”  Herbert Hoover, commenting on the New Deal before FDR’s first election in 1932.

Like him or not, Herbert Hoover was very accurate in his observation on the eve of the 1932 election.  The New Deal was one of, if not the most, profound changes in American government in the nation’s history.  The new programs created a larger and more involved government, helped many Americans as they struggled through the economic crisis, and set the stage for more liberal government policies in the future.    The New Deal also raised the federal deficit, challenged the Constitution, and created critics from both the left and right side of the political spectrum.  Needless to say, it was a very controversial program.


  1. Was the New Deal successful in dealing with the economic crisis of the 1930s?
  2. Did FDR have too much power as President during the New Deal?
  3. Did the New Deal help all segments of the population?
  4. Was the government moving too close toward socialism during the New Deal?
  5. Is the long term legacy of the New Deal positive for the United States?

During the discussion, points will be scored in the following manner:

  • 2 points for posing a major argument for your side
  • 1 point for supporting a major argument with evidence (examples, statistics, quotes)
  • 1 point for countering an opposing argument
  • Extra points can be added for insightful and powerful additions to the discussion or backchannel chat
  • Preparation points will be added to the score of each side
  • Points can be lost at the discretion of the judge (yup – that’s Taft) for dominating the conversation OR not participating in the conversation, or for any buffoonish behavior or other shenanigans.

Get involved on the back channel chat as well:

Period 1 Chat / Period 2 Chat / Period 3 Chat / Period 4 Chat / Period 6 Chat

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Assignment April 11 – Debating the New Deal

I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people.

We have a lot of background knowledge on the government programs of FDR’s administration during the economic crisis of the Great Depression, and our next step is to discuss the short term and long term legacy of the plan with an in-class debate on Monday.

Carefully consult and use your discussion handout (or your own format) to prepare for at least three of the five major topics of discussion:

  1. Was the New Deal successful in dealing with the economic crisis of the 1930s?
  2. Did FDR have too much power as President during the New Deal?
  3. Did the New Deal help all segments of the population?
  4. Was the government moving too close toward socialism during the New Deal?
  5. Is the long term legacy of the New Deal positive for the United States?

The materials already discussed in class and the following resources should be helpful, but you can also find your own – make sure they are reliable!

There will be a chance for back channel interaction in class – want to get started early?

Period 1 Chat / Period 2 Chat / Period 3 Chat / Period 4 Chat / Period 6 Chat

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Check out your Alphabet Soup creations!

Hopefully you enjoyed constructing your alphabet programs today, young New Dealers. This idea came from Quinn Rollins,  a friend and awesomely creative teacher in Utah.   Check out some of your creations and “gamis” below!

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.


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Assignment April 10 – Challenging the New Deal

In my spare time, I like to spend quality time with my family, take long walks on the beach, watch exciting movies, …. and surf the internet for fun stuff to do in history class.  I came across a few summaries of the New Deal in an interesting format.

Hopefully this incredible piece of musicality provides a great review of some components of the New Deal … but what about the opposition to FDR and his programs?  Spend some time this evening working on the completion of your New Deal study guide, focusing on different perspectives of the New Deal.  Use this document if you will type the study guide, or this document if you will write it.  Your resources for the guide are available on the New Deal Study Guide resource page.

In addition, make sure you have fully examined the ins and outs for the New Deal – Federal Project Number One.  This is a creative assignment based on some of the programs in the New Deal.  You will choose ONE of the assignments and work on it over the next few days.  You will have some time in class to work on Friday!  Once you have made a choice, submit your choice to FDR online.


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In class April 10 – Representing the New Deal

Young New Dealers – you hopefully have a decent idea about many of the New Deal programs made famous by their acronyms in the alphabet agencies. Today you and your partners are going to take one of those programs and create a representation using everyone’s favorite building toy, Legos.  Your task is to create a visual representation of your signed a new deal program, summarize the program on one side of an index card, and describe your representation using an app called tellagami.  As you describe your representation, pretty picture of your representation in the back of your animated voice. What you’re done, we will have a little museum walk so that we can dig deeper into these New Deal agencies. Be creative, and have fun!

Share your tellagami description with Taft and Mussoline, and have your phone out for the museum walk!

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