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Introduction

CONTENT AND ORGANIZATION

W ithin this unit, you will find: Teaching Background Materials (Unit Overview, Unit Context, Correlation to the National Standards for History, and Unit Objectives), a “Dramatic Moment,” and Lesson Plans with primary sources for student use. This unit should be used as a supplement to your customary course materials. Although these lessons are recommended for use by 7–12, they can be adapted for other grade levels.

The “Teacher Background Materials” will provide you with an overview of the unit as well as the context necessary to link the specific “Dramatic Moment” to the larger historical narrative. The Lesson Plans include a variety of ideas and approaches which the teacher can elaborate upon or cut as needed. Each lesson plan contains student resources consisting of primary source documents, hand- outs, and background materials. An annotated bibliography can be found at the end of the unit.

This teaching unit can be taught in several ways. You can teach all of the lessons offered or you can select and adapt the ones that best support your particular course needs. We have not attempted to be comprehensive or prescriptive in our offerings, but rather to give you an array of enticing possibilities for in-depth study, at various grade levels. We hope that you will find the lesson plans exciting and stimulating for your classes. We also hope that your students will never again see history as a boring sweep of facts and meaningless dates but rather as an endless treasure of real life stories and an exercise in analysis and reconstruction.

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