Week of February 16 – Should the United States have been an imperial nation?

We have a bit of a wonky schedule this week, but our goal is very clear – investigate the esseantial question “Should the United States have been an imperial nation?”

Outside of class, you will be working on American Imperialism – The Basic Facts (download the DOCUSING THESE RESOURCES and focusing on the central event involving imperial America – the Spanish American War using the notesheet and the SpanAmWar voicethread. You should have these activities completed by Friday.

In class, we will be learning about the awesome world of editorial cartoons, and you should analyze the various cartoons dealing with imperialism in class.  You may need to wait until you have examined the various events in American imperialism in order for everything to make sense.

Here are the cartoons in more detail (and some with a little helpful analysis) – Declined With Thanks / A Lesson for Anti-Expansionists / School Begins / The Harvest of the Philippines / The News Reaches Bogota / Will You Step Back / What the United States Has Fought For  / A Fair Field and No Favor / Columbia’s Easter Bonnet

What will you do with all of your information?   STATE YOUR OPINIONS with an EDITORIAL and an EDITORIAL CARTOON!

For your EDITORIAL, you will write a SINGLE PARAGRAPH either supporting or opposing imperialism.  Your opinion should be the opposite of the one you present in your cartoon.

  • Make sure you have a topic sentence with a THESIS and key idea words in BOLD.  DO NOT simply use “America should have / should not have been an imperial nation for many reasons”.  Develop ONE KEY IDEA, and have all of your supporting details relate to the key idea.
  • DO NOT USE “for many reasons” AS YOUR THESIS!
  • Make sure your details are actually specific and historically accurate. Use the resources provided and your American imperialism guide to come up with excellent supporting details.
  • Do not simply list the information from your notes.  Come up with an original thought or two.
  • Pay attention to the 6 traits of writing – ideas, voice, organization, word choice, fluency, and conventions

For your EDITORIAL CARTOON, you will draw a SINGLE CARTOON either supporting or opposing imperialism.  Your opinion should be the opposite of the one you present in your editorial.

  • Make sure you have an ISSUE as the subject of your cartoon.  you can draw your cartoon about imperialism in general or a single specific event involving American imperialism.
  • Utilize some of the techniques you learned in our class activity – symbolism, analogy, stereotype, exagerration, caricature, references, sarcasm
  • 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 take a picture of it so it can be shared online



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