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Recognize Israel? You Decide

Lesson Author
Required Time Frame
1-2 class days
Grade Level(s)
Lesson Abstract
Students will analyze primary documents concerning the recognition of Israel.

Students will analyze two primary source documents, then use the collection to make & defend their own decision.

Rationale (why are you doing this?)
  • To give students practice using primary sources
  • To expose students to the challenges of government (and executive) decision-making
  • To teach students some of the historical context of the time
Lesson Objectives - the student will
  • Complete a document-analysis form for each of the two supplied documents
  • Decide whether they would recognize Israel or not
  • Defend their choice above using at least one of the additional documents contained in the “Recognition of Israel” student resource file.  
District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met
  • Common Core:  CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH 11-12.2 , 7 , 8, 9, and 10.
  • Common Core:  CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL 11-12.1 and 2. 
Primary sources needed (document, photograph, artifact, diary or letter, audio or visual recording, etc.) needed

1 – Clifford interview, items 96-98

2 – George Elsey interview

Technology Required

Computer and internet access

Fully describe the activity or assignment in detail. What will both the teacher and the students do?
  • I hand out hard copies of the two documents in question (JCS memo and Clifford notes) to allow students to take notes and read “offline” if they prefer. 

-       Options here include handing out overnight to allow more time to read, and/or to use groups.

-       Option here to have students defend their choice to the class.  

Assessment: fully explain the assessment method in detail or create and attach a scoring guide
  • Possibly a simple completion grade:  all four parts necessary for an A, 3 for a C, 2 or less is failing. 
  • Four parts to the assignment: two document analysis sheets, decision on recognition, document justification. 

-       Break down the assessment into four parts.  The decision on recognition and document justification are worth 30 % each (or, say, 30 points each).  That is passing.  That leaves the two document analysis sheets to be slightly less (20% or 20 points each) and you can feel free to be harsher on the proper/successful completion thereof.