This lesson plan requires the classroom to be divided into proponents and opponents to the Marshall Plan. Using primary documents from the Truman Library website https://www.trumanlibrary.gov/library/online-collections/truman-marshall-plan , the proponents will create a persuasive speech trying to convince a skeptical American public to support the measures of rebuilding war-torn Europe. The opponents will use general arguments against the plan to formulate questions to ask the proponents after their speeches. After presentations, students will construct an essay detailing both sides of the arguments and ultimately taking a side in the debate.
Basic skills are required for college and career readiness. Of these, oral expression and supporting opinions with facts are keys to success. This assignment allows students to develop these skills and acquire knowledge of the Marshall Plan.
- Identify the main arguments for and against the Marshall Plan
- Analyze primary sources related to the Marshall Plan
- Construct arguments to defend or refute the Marshall Plan
- AP-8 Describe and evaluate the evolution of United States domestic and foreign policies, including: Cold War
- AP-11 Examine all of the wars of the twentieth century (i.e., World War I and II), including: causes, comparisons, consequences and peace efforts
- AP-15 Determine the economic consequences of personal and public decisions
- AP-17 Explain the United States role in the global economy and of the roles of trade, treaties, international organizations and comparative advantage in the global economy
- Common Core Social Studies – Reading Informational Text: Key Ideas and Details 11-12
- 1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text
says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining
where the text leaves matters uncertain.
- Common Core Social Studies – Writing: Text Types and Purposes 11-12
- 1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts,
using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence
- a. Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the
claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and
create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaims,
reasons, and evidence.
- b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the
most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and
limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge
level, concerns, values, and possible biases.
- Common Core Social Studies – Writing: Production and Distribution of Writing 11-12
- 4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization,
and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific
expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
- Common Core Social Studies – Speaking and Listening: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas 11-12
- 4. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear
and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning,
alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization,
development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a
range of formal and informal tasks.
- Nation of Nations
- Nick Cullather, Indiana University. “CIA and the Marshall Plan: The Paradoxes of Liberal Anti-Communism”. Presented at Ninth Annual Truman Library Teachers Conference. The Legacy of the Marshall Plan. July 9-13, 2012
- “Who is the Man Against the Marshall Plan?”, Committee for the Marshall Plan to Aid European Recovery. Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, The Legacy of the Marshall Plan. Marshall Plan, p.25.
- Speech by Dean Acheson, "The Requirements of Reconstruction", May 8, 1947
- Development of Foreign Reconstruction Policy, March-July 1947, ca. September 1947
- "The Immediate Need for Emergency Aid to Europe", September 29, 1947
- Report, "German Agricultural and Food Requirements", February 26, 1947
- Correspondence between Ray Moseley and Harry S. Truman, November 26, 1947
- Start Activity – Display the following quick writing prompt so all students can see, “What would be the advantages and disadvantages of rebuilding a country we have defeated in war?” Discuss the student answers to get a preview of the pros and cons of this issue.
- Provide the necessary background information necessary for students to have a basic knowledge of the Marshall Plan.
- Divide the class into 2 groups. Assign one group to research arguments supporting the Marshall Plan and the other group to develop arguments against the Marshall Plan.
- Provide students with a packet of the following primary documents from these websites
- Provide time for student groups to analyze the primary documents and review the secondary sources. Assign the remaining analyses to be done at home. Instruct students to bring to class any questions they have about the documents the next day.
- Provide time for the student groups to develop arguments, speeches, and questions for the opposing side. It is the teacher’s option whether to provide time to revise student speeches.
- Present the speeches in favor of the Marshall Plan. After each speech, allow students that are part of the opposing side to ask questions or present arguments against the Marshall Plan.
As a capstone, students will write a persuasive essay on whether to accept or reject the Marshall Plan
|Persuasive Essay : Marshall Plan|
4 - Above Standards
3 - Meets Standards
2 - Approaching Standards
1 - Below Standards
The introductory paragraph has a strong hook or attention grabber that i