Posts Tagged ‘assassin’
Within hours of getting my morale busted, I set to writing a American history curriculum that could go a few good rounds with even that of those pesky TCI guys.
After grinding them on memorization of states, the timeline and the presidents, we get to the nitty-gritty that is the economy of the United States. I figure that because money makes the world go ’round, it deserves top billing. Wars are instigated, propped up and decided largely by the economy, as are politicians and most notable social reforms, so an understanding of the economy is crucial.
Semester one, therefore, ended up a little like this.
three weeks — memorization grinding
five weeks — economy
major test 1
two weeks — political movements
two weeks — media history
five weeks — wars
major test 2 (cumulative)
Semester two is a bit more fun, and not only because the winter assignment is to write a paper on an assassinated president. Sure, half the class will have Kennedy or Lincoln, but the other half — and, as I assign it, the half of the class who could do with a challenge — will have Garfield and McKinley.
This semester is more fun because I say it’s more fun. Or, maybe it’s because I have better materials for it so far.
The second semester ended up something like this:
one week — present assassin papers
one week — intro. to the Supreme Court
six weeks — slavery and civil rights
major test 3
two weeks — religion
four weeks — social reform
two weeks — immigrants, Indians and other minorities
major test 4 (cumulative)
three weeks — some sort of major presentation
Note that the second tests in a semester are cumulative. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Moral of the story? Whatever the motive, there is never anything wrong with preparing curricula in advance.
The Onion has a nice little piece on how the candidates have been pandering to a crucial voting bloc. I’ve included the infographic.
This would be perfect as an introduction to a bunch of topics. In American government, you can move on to:
1. Presidential succession.
2. Voting blocs.
4. Swing states.
5. Campaigns and nominations.
6. Third-party candidates.
When teaching American history, there are a few more obvious threads:
1. History of presidential assassination.
2. Motives behind presidential assassination.
3. Shared fates of John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Presidential assassinations don’t end there, either. Stephen Sondheim has a marvelous little musical on the subject, and there are a slew of books, too. Excerpts from either would fit marvelously, especially if you hit this as a thematic sort of unit.
My favorite excerpt from this article:
One assassin told pollsters that he is still hopeful that Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) will be elected in November. However, even if Paul fails to win the presidency, the respondent fully intends to carry out his plans to stab Paul to death in December.
Moral of the story? Never leave teacher mode. You’ll never know when you come across something useful.