Closing the books on American history!

It’s almost over, young historians – can you believe it?  Submit your Cold War trading cards on GC by 8:15 AM Tuesday. On Tuesday, we will look at the legacy of Vietnam and dive into some of “What Should We Tell Or Children About Vietnam?”.

And then … we are done.

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WAR! What is it good for?

TARGET – I can explain and evaluate the various reasons why people opposed the war in Vietnam.

FIRST – Add the Tet Offensive to your trading cards – here are two resources to consult – Tet Offensive   Tet Offensive Video

America’s involvement in Vietnam was the most controversial issue of the 1960s and 70s, and the war created the most vocal and varied opposition of any war in our country’s history. What were the reasons for this opposition? Why did so many Americans oppose the American involvement in Vietnam?

That’s your task for MONDAY (everyone – combined classes to end the year!)

To begin, read the following overviews of the anti-war movement – Fighting the War at Home and Culture of Protest (usmstudent, historyrules)

You will receive a SPECIFIC protest topic that you will share with your fellow protesters in class on Monday.  Take a look at the resources and jot down some of the reasons that the topic became controversial during the Vietnam conflict. Then, create something that you would use to help spread your views at an anti-war rally during the conflict.  You can make a protest sign, a note a leaflet or pamphlet to hand out, a protest button or T-shirt – you name it!

  1. Someone who doubts the what happened in the Gulf of TonkinGulf of Tonkin Resolution, A Somber Lesson
  2. A member of Congress at the Fullbright Hearings
  3. A member of Students for a Democratic Society
  4. Someone who just read about the Pentagon Papers / Pentagon Papers
  5. A citizen shocked about the Credibility Gap / Credibility Gap
  6. A citizen who viewed a report about My Lai / My Lai
  7. Someone opposing the Draft\ / Draft
  8. Someone evading the draft / dodging the draft
  9. conscientious objector
  10. Muhammad Ali
  11. A supporter of Martin Luther King, Jr / MLK Beyond Vietnam
  12. An African American opposing the war
  13. An American opposed to the incursion into Cambodia
  14. A citizen reacting to the The Living Room War / The Living Room War
  15. A member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War
  16. Someone who just saw a report on The Tet Offensive
  17. A college professor leading on of the Teach-Ins
  18. A participant in the May Day Protests
  19. A participant in the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam
  20. Someone reacting to news from Kent State
  21. Someone reacting to news from Jackson State
  22. Someone hearing about the Sterling Hall Bombing
  23. Someone opposed to the use of Agent Orange


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Assignment May 31/June 1 – The Path to War in Vietnam

You all know that the United States was involved in a major military conflict in Vietnam during the Cold War … but why? What was America’s “path to war”? Check out the video below and a few of the links if you have a chance. As you read and watch, make sure that you can summarize the basic ideas and events that led to American involvement in Vietnam.

Focus on the following terms – France, Ho Chi Minh, communism, Ngo Dinh Diem, military advisors, Gulf of Tonkin, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Rolling Thunder

The Causes of the Vietnam War

Check out :
This cool animation
The Vietnam War from the History Channel
Into Vietnam (Overview) from ABC-CLIO
Timeline of the Vietnam War
Vietnam Online Timeline

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click it!

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Remember back in February, when you learned all about the fun world of editorial cartoons?  Here’s another cool tidbit of info – cartoonists LOVED the Cold War, because they always had something to draw about if they had artist’s block! Let’s see what you can do with cartoons and the Cold War!

I can create an original and effective editorial cartoon using cartooning techniques.

Your task is to draw an ORIGINAL EDITORIAL CARTOON about ANY topic (specific or general) dealing with the Cold War.

  • Make sure you have an ISSUE as the subject of your cartoon.  The reader should be able to identify the historical topic (without too much obvious info)
  • Utilize some of the TECHNIQUES you have seen in the past few months – symbolism, analogy, stereotype, exaggeration, caricature, references, sarcasm – but you can’t use them all
  • Have a clear and insightful comment (or thesis) – but not one that is too obvious
  • Pay attention to neatness and detail, and make it more than just a series of scratches on a piece of paper
  • Draw it on a full sheet of unlined printer paper, and hand it in WITH YOUR NAME ON THE BACK.

HINT – The easiest way to create a cartoon is to think of your comment (thesis) first, then apply one or two of the techniques. Take a look at your trading cards for a topic!

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Assignment May 26/27 – The Cold War keeps getting hotter …

How are those trading cards going?  Ready to add some more?  Use the links provided below (or ones that you find) to develop a decent description for each event or idea from the middle years of the Cold War. This information will help with context for our final major topic in the Cold War – the Vietnam War. Each entry should have an essential image and complete detailed information.  Use the first entry as an example for detail – bulleted points are fine. Fun facts are optional.

After you are done, you should be able to discuss how each of the events led to greater tension between the two sides of the developing Cold War.


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The Korean War – Please don’t forget it

Do you have a good idea of the causes, events, and impact of the Korean War now, young Cold War historians?  Do you understand the importance of the Korean War Veterans Memorial that we visited in DC? To review, check out some of the following resources for a few minutes –  The Korean War from the History Channel,  The battles, weapons and casualties of the Korean War  infographic from Prafulla, videos – (usmstudent, wildcats) – Start of the Korean War,MacArthur Dismissed and Korean Armistice,  Days that Shook the World – Korean War – June 25, 1950Turning Points in US History – The Korean War

Want to see more about the ongoing tension between North Korea and South Korea today? Curious about how the Korean DMZ is a sober reminder of uneasy truce? Check out the Border Battle infographic, and the video below will give you more info about the DMZ, if you are interested!

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I can explain the major events and ideas of the Cold War and discuss their impact on domestic and international relations.


 Now that you understand the big picture of the Cold War, it’s time to start to dig into the events and ideas that dominated American foreign-policy and, for the most part, America on the domestic front for almost 40 years.

Your first task is to ask your parents about their Cold War memories – it should make interesting dinner conversation!

Your assignment for our next class meeting is to examine the early years of the Cold War.  Begin by readingAllies to Enemies: Origins of the Cold War from ABC CLIO (usmstudent, historyrules) to get a solid overview of the beginning of the conflict.  Then, dig into the era by creating a series of online trading cards about the major events and ideas listed below.  You can create these using this template – or you can go with Google docs as well.  Split the topics up – don’t try to do them all in one sitting!     For each, you should have a title, an essential image, and a brief description of the topic and its impact.  You can use the Yalta Conference card as a guide.

Try to get as far as you can … hopefully you will enjoy this last major topic in 8th grade American Studies!

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In class May 23 – Has MLK’s “DREAM” been realized?

Has it been realized?  Or is it a dream deferred? Let’s find out today … and then work on YOUR LESSON FROM THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.

Also, make sure you complete the online CRM Quiz on MyUSM by WEDNESDAY MORNING!

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Weekend assignment – Civil Rights Today

It’s been over 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. outlined his dream to 250,000 Americans in Washington D.C. and millions more watching and listening at home. Has America become the land of equality that King spoke of in his famous speech – for all people? Are all Americans judged by the content of the character, and not by the color of their skin? What about gender? Any other areas that apply?

Over the weekend, your task is to take about 20-30 minutes and pre-load on a few topics …

First (10 minutes) – What are the major civil rights issues in society today? Search CNN and Google News, chat with your parents, and add to this common bulletin board with any links, images, stories, statistics, or anything else you find.

Then (10-20 minutes), check out the resources HERE and start to THINK about what the statistics show in regards to the status of Americans today.  Try to do comparison of various qualifiers of people – gender and race are obviously the top two. We will look at this information in large groups on Monday. These numbers are great conversation topics at home!

Finally (as much as you want), consider your lesson from the movement, and how you think the lesson can benefit both society and you as an individual.

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