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Truman and Israel

Lesson Author
Required Time Frame
4-6 class periods
Grade Level(s)
Lesson Abstract
Through a close reading of historic documents from the Truman Library each class will be divided into teams and "translate" and summarize the meaning of their document

    Through a close reading of historic documents from the Truman Library each class will be divided into teams and “translate “ and summarize the meaning of their document

      Students will use I-Pads to find teams document on the Truman Library web site

        Rationale (why are you doing this?)

        During this time frame, there are so many events taking place that the US involvement with the foundation of Israel tends to be just a passing paragraph in the textbooks. This activity will give a little more in depth look at this event ( start of US and Israel relationship) and also introduce students to the Presidential Libraries.

        Lesson Objectives - the student will
        • Develop close reading skills of historic documents
        • Be able to cite textual evidence
        • Demonstrate cooperative learning skills
        • Be able to integrate a document into a visual aid
        • Develop public speaking skills
        • Proper use of technology (I-Pads)
        District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met
        • CCS,ELA RH 6-8.1
        • CCS.RH -8.7
        • USD 449  Kansas History Performance 4
        • USD 449 American History Unit X objective 1,2
        Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed
        • 8th grade American History Textbook
        Primary sources needed (document, photograph, artifact, diary or letter, audio or visual recording, etc.) needed


        • Senator Elbert D. Thomas correspondence with the President. 11/15/47(1 pg.)
        • President Truman response to Senator Thomas. 11/19/47 (1 pg.)
        • Memo supporting Israel. 5/9/48 (8 pgs.)
        • Department of State Memorandum for the President. 5/11/48 (2 pgs.)
        •  Draft of recognition of Israel. 5/14/48 (1pg.)
        Fully describe the activity or assignment in detail. What will both the teacher and the students do?
        • All 8th graders will read the chapter on the Cold War and H.S. Truman era.
        • Each class will Concept map the chapter sections on the Truman administration.
        • Each class will be divided into teams of 3-4 per team, total of 4 teams.
        • Each team will pull from the hat which document they will research.
        • The Truman web site will be provided by teacher.
        • Students use their I-Pads to locate teams document.
        • All team members will read the entire document.
        • Team members will decide which part of document they will do a close read (all teams will read the rough draft of Recognition of Israel).
        • Each team will “translate “what the document means or is saying citing examples from the text.
        • Each team will present orally the team’s document and meaning of the document.
        • All teams will post their document and its meaning on the I-Pads.
        • Each team will review all the other team’s reports and conclusions.
        • All students will write four to five paragraphs (4-6 sentences) citing document evidence on Truman’s recognition of Israel.
        • All students will do a political cartoon based on the content of a team document or the text book chapter.
        Assessment: fully explain the assessment method in detail or create and attach a scoring guide
        • Daily team activity- 20-18 points—working with team members, on task use of I-Pad. 17-16 points- working with team members, mostly on topic, some use of I-Pad. 15-14 points- some team work, mostly on topic, little use of I-Pad. 13-12 points little to no team work, off task, little to no use of I-Pad.
        • Team oral presentation-I) spoke with a clear voice-10 points. II) Eye contact with audience- 10 points. III) Proper stance- 10 points. IV) Information presented in a concise manor.  V) all team members participate in presentation.
        • Concept Maps (chapter sections)--(have been doing them since August)-  50-45 points all the concepts of the chapter section are present in a proper descending order. 44-40 points- majority of concepts are present in proper descending order. 39-35 points- over half of concepts are presents in proper descending order 34-30 points- less than half of concepts are present with some descending order.
        • Political Cartoons (students have been doing this since Reconstruction)- 50 points- the cartoon must have a message or point that anyone who has read the chapter or the documents would understand. (I rarely give a score below 40 when effort has been shown in the cartoon).
        • Essay- 60-54 points- a) cites document as evidence in essay. b) Proper grammar/spelling. c) 4-5 proper paragraphs. 53-48 points- a) cites document as evidence in essay. b) Few grammar/ spelling errors. c) Overall, 4-3 paragraphs. 47-42 points- some cite evidence in essay.
        • b) grammar/spelling errors. c) Only 3 paragraphs. 41-36 points- little to no cited evidence. b) grammar/spelling errors. c) 3 paragraphs.