Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Making Civics Real Workshop 5: Patriotism & Foreign Policy  
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Workshop 5

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Lesson Plan: Teaching the Lesson: Activity 3

Activity 3: Warm-Up Activity on Patriotism and Foreign Policy

Using Socratic questioning in a whole-class setting, discuss what students feel the United States's role should be in disputes that affect our foreign policy, i.e., health issues in Africa. Questions to help in directing the discussion include:

  • How should the United States interact with the rest of the world? Should we isolate ourselves or become involved? How involved should we be? Should we provide military hardware, food, medical assistance, or troops? Should we overthrow governments we don’t like? Should we refuse to trade with countries or place trade or travel restrictions on them?
  • How should the government decide when to get involved and when not to get involved?
  • Should we allow other countries to send their goods and services to the United States when they might compete with our products? Should we expect other countries to allow our products and services to be sold in their country? Can we put restrictions on the products we import from other countries, such as insisting that our child labor and safety laws are met? Can we require that U.S. corporations that produce goods in other countries not exploit the workers or the environment in the countries in which they have plants?
  • Does patriotism mean “My country--right or wrong?” Is it patriotic to support government actions abroad even when you disagree with them? Is it unpatriotic to question your nation’s foreign policy?

Overview, Goals, and Planning    |     Activity 1
Activity 2     |     Activity 3     |     Activity 4     |     Activity 5     |     Scheduling and Adaptations


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