Discipline: Social Studies

Grade Level: 10, 11, 12

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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U.S. Policy of Isolationism vs. Aggression in the 1930s
  • Background to Share With Students
    • Students will have an understanding of U.S. policy during this time period. Additionally, students will have an understanding of the actions of Hitler, Mussolini, and the Japanese, , which, in part, were a result of  this policy.

  • Task/Text
    • Teaching Task

      Task Template 7 — [3 Levels] Argumentation & Problem/Solution

      L1: After researching selected websites, textbooks, and printed articles on the U.S. policy of isolationism and Fascist aggression (German/Italian) in Europe and Japanese aggression in the Pacific between 1933–39, write an essay that identifies a problem with the U.S. policy and its effect on world events during that time and argues for a solution. Support your position with evidence from your research.

      L2: Be sure to examine competing views.

      L3: Give examples from past or current events or issues to illustrate and clarify your position.

  • Content Standards
    • Standards Source: Number: Content Standards:

      Common Core State Standards — Reading History and Social Studies 6–12

      Arkansas — World History — (Conflict and Compromise)


      Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.


      Students will analyze the causes of conflict in the world.


      Students will analyze the causes of World War II (e.g., Treaty of Versailles, the Great Depression, the rise of dictators).


      Students will analyze the effect of conflict and subsequent resolution in the world.

  • Reading Standards for Argumentation
    • "Built-In" Reading Standards
      • Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
      • Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
      • Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
      • Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
  • Writing Standards for Argumentation
    • "Built-In" Writing Standards
      • Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
      • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
      • Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
      • Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
      • Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
      • Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
      • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
      • Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audience.
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