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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: Overview, Goals, and Planning

The students in this lesson are seniors at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, a public magnet school in Washington, D.C., that has a strong commitment to integrating the arts with academic subjects. U.S. government teacher Alice Chandler, who finds Socratic questioning and Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences particularly useful in an integrated arts environment, has developed a lesson in which students create a Museum of Patriotism and Foreign Policy. Over three days, the lesson alternates between whole-class discussions, in which the use of Socratic questioning is evident, and committee work, in which students determine what will be placed in the museum, using their particular art major as the basis for their choices. The conclusion of the lesson shows the students' presentations, including dance, music, theatrical performances, and visual representations, along with rationales for their selections.

The goals of the lesson are for students to discuss and define the word “patriotism,” discuss and decide what they think U.S. relationships with the rest of the world should be, and select artifacts for a Museum of Patriotism and Foreign Policy that are relevant to the concepts of patriotism and/or foreign policy. Students are also expected to demonstrate their understanding of patriotism and foreign policy through one of the arts.

Earlier in the semester, students read several Supreme Court case summaries (see Lesson Materials) that relate to patriotism, including Minersville District v. Gobitis (1940), West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnett (1943), and Johnson v. Texas (1989). Johnson v. Texas, in particular, which decided that it was within a person’s First Amendment rights to burn a flag, generated a great deal of discussion and controversy among the students. The class also discussed how various members of the school community, which includes students born outside of the United States, define patriotism, and came to understand that patriotism might be viewed quite differently in other countries than it is in the United States.

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


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