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Content Standards

Historical Understanding

  • Understands historical perspective
    • Role of individuals in history;
    • Causes and effects in history
  • Understands that specific individuals had a great impact on history
  • Knows examples of specific individuals who had a great impact on history
  • Understands that specific ideas had an impact on history
  • Understands that "chance events" had an impact on history
  • Understands that specific decisions and events had an impact on history
  • Understands that the consequences of human intentions are influenced by the means of carrying them out
  • Understands how the past affects our private lives and society in general
  • Understands that economic, social and cultural forces also have a great impact on history

Civics: Ideals and reality in American political and social life

  • Understands issues concerning the disparities between ideals and reality in American political and social life
  • Understands the character of American political and social conflict and factors that tend to prevent or lower its intensity
  • Understands the impact that current political developments around the world have on the United States (e.g., conflicts within and among other nations, efforts to establish democratic governments)
  • Understands the concept of public opinion, and knows alternative views of the proper role of public opinion in a democracy
  • Understands the varying influence that public opinion has on public policy and the behavior of public officials
  • Knows some important American ideals (e.g., liberty and justice for all, an informed citizenry, civic virtue or concern for the common good, respect for the rights of others)
  • Understands how Americans are united by the values, principles, and beliefs they share rather than by ethnicity, race, religion, class, language, gender, or national origin
  • Understands how shared values, principles, and beliefs contribute to the continuation and improvement of American democracy
  • Knows how various symbols are used to depict Americans' shared values, principles, and beliefs and explain their meaning (e.g., the flag, Statue of Liberty, Statue of Justice, Uncle Sam, great seal, national anthem, oaths of office, mottoes such as E Pluribus Unum)

Conducting historical research

Knows different types of primary and secondary sources and the motives, interests, and bias expressed in them (e.g., eyewitness accounts, letters, diaries, artifacts, photos; magazine articles, newspaper accounts, hearsay)

Historical time lines

Knows how to interpret data presented in time lines (e.g., identify the time at which events occurred; the sequence in which events developed; what else was occurring at the time)

Historical viewpoints and perspectives

  • Knows how to view the past in terms of the norms and values of the time
  • Knows how to perceive past events with historical empathy

Influence of ideas on society

Understands that specific ideas had an impact on history

  • Understands influences on American society during the post-World War II years (e.g., the effects of the G.I. Bill, the influence of popular culture and the mass media)
  • Understands how feminist movements and social conditions have affected the lives of women around the world, and the extent of women's progress toward social equality, economic opportunity, and political rights in various countries

Thinking and Reasoning

Understands and applies the basic principles of presenting an argument

  • Understands that people are more likely to believe a person's ideas if that person can give good reasons for them
  • Provides coherent (though not necessarily valid or convincing) answers when asked why one believes something to be true or how one knows something
  • Uses facts from books, articles, and databases to support an argument
  • Understands that reasoning can be distorted by strong feelings
  • Makes basic distinctions between information that is based on fact and information that is based on opinion
  • Identifies and questions arguments in which all members of a group are implied to possess nearly identical characteristics that are considered to be different from those of another group
  • Identifies techniques used to slant information in subtle ways (e.g., selecting only information that supports a point; ignoring information that contradicts a point)
  • Identifies or seeks out the critical assumptions behind a line of reasoning and uses that to judge the validity of an argument
  • Evaluates an argument objectively by considering all sides of an issue (e.g., using past experience, data, logical analysis

Language Arts

  • Gathers and uses information for research purposes
  • Uses a variety of strategies to plan research (e.g., identifies possible topic by brainstorming, listing questions, using idea webs; organizes prior knowledge about a topic; develops a course of action; determines how to locate necessary information)
  • Uses electronic media to gather information (e.g., databases, Internet, CD-ROM, television shows, cassette recordings, videos, pull-down menus, word searches)
  • Gathers data for research topics from interviews (e.g., prepares and asks relevant questions, makes notes of responses, compiles responses)
  • Makes basic oral presentations to class (e.g., uses subject-related information and vocabulary; includes content appropriate to the audience; relates ideas and observations; incorporates visual aids or props; incorporates several sources of information)

Behavioral Studies

  • Understands conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among individuals, groups, and institutions
  • Knows conflicts that have arisen regarding fundamental values and principles (e.g., conflicts between liberty and equality, conflicts between individual rights and the common good, conflicts between majority rule and minority rights)
  • Knows how disagreements regarding specific issues may arise between people even though the people agree on values or principles in the abstract (e.g., people may agree on the value of freedom of expression but disagree about the extent to which expression of unpopular and offensive views should be tolerated; people may agree on the value of equality but disagree about affirmative action programs)
  • Understands issues that involve conflicts among fundamental values and principles such as the conflict between liberty and authority
  • Knows that disagreements are common, even between family members or friends
  • Knows that people involved in a dispute often have different points of view
  • Understands that being a member of a group can increase an individual's social power and also can increase hostile actions toward or from other groups or individuals
  • Understands that resolving a conflict by force rather than compromise can lead to more problems
  • Understands that some informal ways of responding to conflict (e.g., pamphlets, demonstrations, cartoons) may reduce tensions and lead to compromise but may be inflammatory and make agreement more difficult to reach
  • Knows that conflicts within groups can be affected by outside events

Subject Areas:

social studies, history, technology, reading

Grade Level:

These activities can be adapted to meet the needs of students in grades 6 - 12. (Note: the video clips contain strong images and content which may not be appropriate for younger students. Teachers are reminded to preview the clips before showing them.)

Learning Objectives

In this series of lessons, students will be able to:

  • Understand why the 1960s was a pivotal era in world history
  • Study significant issues and events of the decade, including the civil rights movement, Vietnam War, women's movement and student uprisings
  • Learn how these events shaped the future of the U.S. and the world
  • Critically assess events and situations that led up to the events of the '60s
  • Think about how individual actions and beliefs can shape history
  • Learn about people who played important roles in dramatic political and social events
  • Understand radically different points of view about many issues, and how people expressed these in powerful ways
  • Choose one event or issue to learn about in greater depth
  • See the connections between the many events of the decade
  • Research information from different media, including video and audio clips, books, periodicals and the Internet
  • Gather and use information from a variety of sources, including conducting personal interviews
  • Consider and express personal views
  • Explore different creative media to express ideas and opinions
    • Writing - poetry, songs, stories
    • Art - posters, postage stamps, song lyrics and music, drama, photography, video
  • Understand that there are rarely absolute answers to complex issues.
  • Listen to and respectfully consider the views of others, even if they do not agree.
  • Use design skills and technology such as a tape recorder, digital camera, word processor, presentation software or a Web development program to share views and learning.
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