Middle School Social Studies us history II learning Outcomes

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Learning Outcomes

Teaching/Learning Strategies

Topic: Civil War-Present

  1. Describe the rapid growth of slavery in the South after 1800 and analyze slave life and resistance on plantations and farms across the South, as well as the impact of the cotton gin on the economics of slavery and Southern agriculture. (H,E,G,C)

  2. Summarize the growth of the American education system and Horace Mann’s campaign for free compulsory public education. (H,C)

  3. Describe the formation of the abolitionist movement, the roles of various abolitionists, and the response of southerners and northerners to abolitionism ( H,G,C)

  4. Describe important religious trends that shaped antebellum America. (H)

  5. Analyze the goals and effect of the antebellum women’s suffrage movement. (H,C)

These outcomes are taken from Massachusetts Social Studies Frameworks USI.28-USI.32.

  • Make posters advertising the Seneca Falls Convention.

  • Identify the causes of slavery.

  • Describe the role of religion in the abolitionist movement.

  • Analyze the music of Afro-American spirituals and understand how they were used as a code on the Underground Railroad.

  • Construct a bibliography of primary resources relating to the Civil War.




  • Demonstrate civic responsibility shaped by Christian values.

MCAS required reading:

  • Frederick Douglass: Independence Day Speech at Rochester, New York (1852)

Other Resources:

  • Virginia Hamilton, Many Thousands Gone: African-Americans from Slavery to Freedom

  • Julius Lester and Rod Brown, From Slave Ship to Freedom Road

  • Steal Away:Songs of the Underground Railroad – Reggie and Kim Harris

  • Students pretend they are escaping slaves and make maps that detail their routes to freedom.

  • Students compose a poem or song about life as a slave.

  • Write an essay on the importance of education to the welfare of society.

  • Write and perform an abolitionist speech.

Learning Outcomes

Teaching/Learning Strategies

  1. Describe how the different economies and cultures of the North and South contributed to the growing importance of sectional politics in the early 19th century. (H,E,G,C)

  2. Summarize the critical developments leading to the Civil War. (H,E,C,G)

  3. Ascertain Abraham Lincoln’s views on slavery, and the political obstacles he encountered. (H,C)

  4. Analyze the roles and policies of various Civil War leaders and describe the importance of Civil War battles and events. (H,G)

  5. Provide examples of the various effects of the Civil War. (H,E,C,G)

  6. Explain the policies and consequences of

Reconstruction. (H,E,C,G)
These outcomes are taken from Massachusetts Social Studies Frameworks USI.33-USI.40.

  • Construct a map that identifies Union and Confederate States at the outbreak of the war.

  • Debates: the distribution of political power, the rights of individuals, the rights of states, slavery

  • Hold mock elections when learning about Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis.

  • Create a timeline of critical developments leading up to the Civil War.

  • Mock trials: Dred Scott decision; John Brown

  • Construct a chart comparing Union and Confederate camp life.

  • Analyze the effect of the Gardner/Brady photo essays on public opinion during the Civil War.

  • Research two Civil War leaders and write a report comparing and contrasting their contributions.

  • Draw a political cartoon about a Reconstruction policy.




  • Form ethical judgments about our nation’s past.

Russell Freedman, Lincoln: A Photobiography

Jennifer Fleischner, I Was Born a Slave

Susie Taylor, A Black Woman’s Civil war Memories

TimeLife Arms and Equipment of the Union; Arms and Equipment of the Confederacy

Clara Stites, Naming the Stones

Civil War Journal – History Channel video series

Follow the Drinking Gourd – Rabbit Ears video

  • Students compose Civil War journals in which they pretend to be either Union or Confederate soldiers.

  • Write a legal brief for either the prosecution or the defense in the John Brown Trial.

  • Create a Civil War Times newspaper.

  • Script and perform a news broadcast on Reconstruction efforts.

Learning Outcomes

Teaching/Learning Strategies

  1. Explain the various causes and important consequences of the Industrial Revolution. (H,E,C,G)

  2. Describe the causes of the immigration of Southern and Eastern Europeans, and Chinese, Korean, and Japanese to America in the late 19th and early 20th century, and describe the major roles of these immigrants in the industrialization of America. (H,E,C,G)

  3. Analyze the causes of the continuing westward expansion of the American people after the Civil War and the impact of this migration on the Native Americans. (H)

  4. Analyze the post-Civil War struggles of African Americans and women to gain basic civil rights. (H)

  5. Explain the formation and goals of unions as well as the rise of radical political parties during the Industrial era. (H,E,C)

  6. Analyze the causes and course of America’s growing role in world affairs from the Civil War to World War I. (H,E,G)

These outcomes are taken from Massachusetts Social Studies Frameworks and USII.1-USII.7.

  • Have students read an excerpt from Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and distinguish examples of how meat-packing, labor laws, and treatment of immigrants have changed.

  • Research child labor practices in the New England mills of the early 20th century

  • Research immigration processes used at Ellis Island and Angel Island.

  • Analyze and reflect on the poetry written by immigrants on the walls of Angel Island.

  • Create a chart of the arguments in Yick Wo v. Hopkins

  • Read and discuss the speeches of Chief Joseph.

  • Hold a mock workers’ meeting where a team of students tries to convince the workers to unionize.

  • Discuss the implications of President Theodore Roosevelt’s role as mediator in international affairs.

  • Discuss the causes of World War I.




  • Acquire an appreciation for how immigrants, pioneers, and Native Americans have contributed to our nation’s heritage.

  • Understand the dignity and rights of workers as defined in Catholic social justice teaching.

  • Upton Sinclair, The Jungle

  • Russell Freedman, Immigrant Kids

  • Veronica Lawlor, I Was Dreaming to Come to America

  • 500 Nations: Stories of the North American Indian Experience – Microsoft Home CDRom

  • Island of Hope-Island of Tears – Ellis Island Museum video

  • www.ellisisland.org

  • www.angelisland.org

  • Cobblestone, Calliope, Junior Scholastic, Old News, Art to Zoo

  • Write about the effect of industrialization on farming.

  • Perform a speech arguing against child labor.

  • Students pretend they are immigrants and write letters home describing their new life.

  • Draw a political cartoon commenting on the impact of westward expansion on Native Americans.

  • Create a list of advantages and disadvantages of unionization.

  • Assume the role of a British diplomat and compose a persuasive argument to encourage America’s entry into WWI.

Learning Outcomes

Teaching/Learning Strategies

  1. Explain the course and significance of President Wilson’s wartime diplomacy including his Fourteen Points, the League of Nations, and the failure of the Versailles Treaty. (H,C)

  2. Identify the origins of Progressivism and important Progressive leaders, and summarize the major accomplishments of Progressivism. (H,E,C)

  3. Describe the various causes and consequences of the Great Depression. (H, E)

  4. Analyze the important polices, institutions, and personalities of the New Deal era. (H))

  5. Analyze the causes of WWII and summarize the major battles and events of the war. (H, G, E, C)

  6. Explain the reasons for the dropping of atom bombs on Japan and its short and long-term effects. (USII.16,H)

These outcomes are taken from Massachusetts Social Studies Frameworks USII.8-USII.19.

  • Compare and contrast the roles of the League of Nations and the United Nations.

  • Make an illustrated class reference book of Progressive leaders and their accomplishments.

  • Graph the unemployment rate from 1929-1939. Compare with current statistics.

  • Mock Congress: debate and vote on each of the New Deal Acts proposed by FDR.

  • Construct a timeline of critical events leading up to World War II.

  • On a map of the world, locate the Allied (France, Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States) and Axis powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan) during World War II.

  • Analyze the causes of the Holocaust.

  • Make a chart of statistics regarding the makeup of American forces in WWII: men, women, African-American, Hispanic, Japanese-American, Native American. Compare to the makeup of our current armed forces.

  • Interview men/women who were children during WWII.

  • Chart the major battles on in both theaters of the war.

  • Debate the US government’s policy regarding citizens of German and Japanese descent during WWII.

  • Use primary sources to study the effects of the atom bomb on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.




  • Understanding and demonstrating ethical behavior

  • Solidarity with the poor and vulnerable.

MCAS required reading:

  • President Franklin Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech (1941)

Other Resources:

  • Ina R. Friedman, Flying Against the Wind: The Story of a Young Woman Who Defied the Nazis

  • Kathleen Krull, V is for Victory

  • Brenda Lewis, Women at War

  • Ivor Matnale, World War II (book & CDRom)

  • Marks & Ware, Eleanor Roosevelt: Freedom’s Champion

  • Sheila Hamanaka, On the Wings of Peace

. www.archives.gov

  • Write an essay explaining how the factors of a bull market, short selling, buying stock on margin, and forced selling combined to create the stock market crash.

  • Script and film an interview of a prominent military or political leader of WWII.

  • Compose a poem about the experience of an Allied soldier.

  • Write a newspaper article about the liberation of Auschwitz.

  • Analyze a primary source from WWII using the worksheets available on the National Archives website.

Learning Outcomes

Teaching/Learning Strategies

  1. Detail important domestic events that took place during World War II. (USII.17,H,E)

  2. Analyze the factors that contributed to the Cold War and describe the policy of containment as America’s response to Soviet expansionist policies. (USII.18,H)

  3. Comprehend the causes and consequences of important domestic Cold War trends. (H,E,G)

  4. Analyze the roots of domestic anti-communism as well as the origins and consequences of McCarthyism. (H,C)

  5. Explain the causes, course, and consequences of the Vietnam War and summarize the diplomatic and military policies of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. (H,C)

  6. Detail the origins, goals, and key events of the Civil Rights movement and describe its accomplishments. (H,E,C,G)

These outcomes are taken from Massachusetts Social Studies Frameworks USII.20-USII.26.

  • Discuss how the African-American experience of WWII contributed to the struggle for civil rights.

  • Compare the rebuilding of Europe with rebuilding of Japan.

  • On a map of the world, locate the areas of Cold War conflict between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Discuss how the Cold War affected people living in those areas.

  • Create a timeline of the deepening involvement of America in Vietnam.

  • Use primary sources to analyze the role of the media in reporting the Vietnam War and how these reports helped to shape public opinion regarding the war.

  • Discuss the role of church communities and religious leaders in mobilizing and sustaining the Civil Rights movement.




  • Choose solutions to problems based on cooperation, truth, and non-viollence

  • Learn to value diversity

MCAS required reading:

  • Reverend Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” (1963) and “I Have a Dream” speech (1963)

Other Resources:

. Jackdaws:

The Holocaust

WWII: The Homefront

  • Joe Garner: We Interrupt This Broadcast (book &CD)

  • Eyes on the PrizePBS video

  • The presidential libraries

  • www.si.com (Smithsonian)

  • Create a Cold War crossword puzzle.

  • Students write a letter from a citizen of East Berlin to a cousin who is a citizen of West Berlin describing their life after the construction of the Berlin Wall.

  • Write a letter from a peace activist to a Vietnam-era military recruiter protesting the war. Write the recruiter’s letter of response.

  • Students pretend to be Civil Rights leaders of their choosing e.g. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, James Farmer, Lyndon B. Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and write a description of their struggles and triumphs from their perspectives.

Learning Outcomes

Teaching/Learning Strategies

  1. Analyze the causes and course of the women’s rights movement in the 1960s and 1970s. (H,C)

  2. Analyze the important domestic policies and events that took place during the presidencies of Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. (H)

  3. Appraise the presidency of Ronald Reagan. (H,E,C)

  4. Describe some of the major economic and social trends of the late 20th century. (H,E)

  5. Analyze the important domestic policies and events of the Clinton presidency. (H)

  6. Explain the importance of the 2000 presidential election. (H,C)

  7. Recognize the course and consequences of America’s recent diplomatic initiatives. (H,E)

  8. Identify important current events in America and the world. (H, G, E, C)

These outcomes are taken from Massachusetts Social Studies Frameworks USII.27-USII.33.

  • Discuss the changing role of women in the workplace in the latter half of the 20th century.

  • Make a chart of the policies of presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, G. H. W. Bush, Reagan, Clinton, G.W. Bush

  • Compare the benefits of space exploration with its risks.

  • Discuss the technological breakthroughs of the last half of the 20th century and their effect on daily life.

  • Mock Supreme Court Trial: Bush v. Gore (2000)

  • Using current news sources, analyze America’s role in the world today.




  • Valuing our cultural heritage.

  • Learn about and respect the heritage of others

Other Resources:

  • Eyewitness Books: Technology

  • TimeLife: Great People of the 20th Century

  • Time, Newsweek, US News & World Report, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe

  • www.nccbuscc.org (United States Catholic Conference)

  • www.state.gov

  • Local historical societies

  • Design a World Leader Award. Write a speech listing your nominee’s accomplishments.

  • Choose a recent occurrence in American history e.g. American intervention in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo, September 11, 2001, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or the war on terror and create a “current events” magazine that other students would be able to read to learn about these events.

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