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American Government

Separation of Powers and Executive Orders using Primary Sources

Instead of teaching the concepts of separation of powers and checks and balances, the students can see how the power of the President to use executive
orders have played out in three different moments in history.
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Presidential Campaign of 1948: Using Political Cartoons

The Truman administration was no stranger to the sneers and jeers of political cartoonists. Facing such controversial issues as the desegregation of the armed forces, dropping of the atomic bomb, the cold war, the fair deal, the Republican takeover of Congress, and the 1948 presidential campaign, political and editorial cartoons were commonplace. President Truman, no matter how scathing, always professed a fondness for the cartoons and became an avid collector of them in his post-presidential years.
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Harry S. Truman and Civil Rights

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Lincoln and War Powers

I want students to understand that constitutional interpretation, particularly in matters concerning war powers, is an ambiguous process. Students will gain better understanding of what the Constitution has to say about war powers, as well as increasing their understanding of the Civil War.  They will also practice presenting their findings to others.
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Introduction to Migratory Farm Labor

Students analyze primary source documents and then write letters for and against legislation related to migrant labor.
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Analyzing Truman's State of the Union Messages

Ways to use Truman's State of the Union addresses in teaching
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President Truman's Acceptance Speech

Students will listen to a speech by President Truman and will fill out a work sheet based on the speech that they heard.
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Three Branches of Government

Students will learn about the three branches the of U.S. federal government and complete activities that help solidify and expand their knowledge
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Presidential Decisions: The Iran Hostage Crisis

After studying articles and timelines on the Iran Hostage Crisis in groups, students will participate in a class discussion of the circumstances and causes of the crisis. Groups will study primary documents with the goal of providing a recommendation.
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NSC 68 and the Patriot Act

Students will use a historical document (NSC-68) and compare it with the Patriot Act to find similarities and differences. The purpose is to help students understand that in times of crisis, the government often infringes on civil liberties.
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