History Alive! Pursuing American Ideals Sample

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Program Contents

Unit 1 Establishing an American Republic (1492–1896) 1

What Is History? What is history, and why should we study it?


Defining and Debating America’s Founding Ideals What are America’s founding ideals, and why are they important?


Setting the Geographic Stage How has geography influenced the development of the United States?


The Colonial Roots of America’s Founding Ideals How did the colonial period help to shape America’s five founding ideals?


Americans Revolt Were the American colonists justified in rebelling against British rule?


Creating the Constitution What is the proper role of a national government?


An Enduring Plan of Government Does the Constitution support the ideals in the Declaration of Independence?


Changes in a Young Nation Did changes in the young nation open the door to opportunity for all Americans?


A Dividing Nation Was the Civil War inevitable?

10 The Civil War How did the Civil War affect the United States and its people?

11 Reconstruction How was the nation’s commitment to its founding ideals tested during Reconstruction?

Establishing an American Republic (1492–1896)

Unit 2 Industrialism and Reform (1840-1920) 12 Change and Conflict in the American West What opportunities and conflicts emerged as Americans moved westward?

13 The Age of Innovation and Industry Was the rise of industry good for the United States?

14 Labor’s Response to Industrialism Was the rise of industry good for American workers?

15 Through Ellis Island and Angel Island: The Immigrant Experience What was it like to be an immigrant to the United States around the turn of the century?

16 Uncovering Problems at the Turn of the Century What social, political, and environmental problems did Americans face at the turn of the 20th century?

17 The Progressives Respond Who were the progressives, and how did they address the problems they saw?

18 Progressivism on the National Stage How well did Presidents Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson promote progressive goals in national policies?

Industrialism and Reform (1840-1920)

Unit 3 Expanding American Global Influence (1796-1921) 19 Foreign Policy: Setting a Course of Expansionism Was American foreign policy during the 1800s motivated more by realism or idealism?

20 The Spanish-American War Why did the United States go to war against Spain in 1898, and why was the outcome significant?

21 Acquiring and Managing Global Power Were U.S. interventions abroad between 1890 and 1917 motivated more by realism or idealism?

22 From Neutrality to War Was it in the national interest of the United States to stay neutral or declare war in 1917?

23 The Course and Conduct of World War I How was World War I different from previous wars?

24 The Home Front How did Americans on the home front support or oppose World War I?

25 The Treaty of Versailles: To Ratify or Reject? Should the United States have ratified or rejected the Treaty of Versailles?

Expanding American Global Influence (1796-1921)

Unit 4 The Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression (1914-1944) 26 Understanding Postwar Tensions What effects did postwar tensions have on America’s founding ideals?

27 The Politics of Normalcy Did the Republican Era of the 1920s bring peace and prosperity to all Americans?

28 Popular Culture in the Roaring Twenties What social trends and innovations shaped popular culture during the 1920s?

29 The Clash Between Traditionalism and Modernism How did social, economic, and religious tensions divide Americans during the Roaring Twenties?

30 The Causes of the Great Depression What caused the most severe economic crisis in American history?

31 The Response to the Economic Collapse How did the federal government respond to the economic collapse that began in 1929?

32 The Human Impact of the Great Depression How did ordinary Americans endure the hardships of the Great Depression?

33 The New Deal and Its Legacy How did the expansion of government during the New Deal affect the nation?

The Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression (1914-1944)

Unit 5 World War II and the Cold War (1917-1960) 34 Origins of World War II Could World War II have been prevented?

35 The Impact of World War II on Americans What kinds of opportunities and hardships did the war create for Americans at home and abroad?

36 Fighting World War II What military strategies did the United States and its allies pursue to defeat the Axis powers in World War II?

37 The Aftermath of World War II Did the United States learn from past mistakes at the end of World War II?

38 Origins of the Cold War How did the United States and the Soviet Union become Cold War adversaries?

39 The Cold War Expands Were the methods used by the United States to contain communism justified?

40 Fighting the Cold War at Home How did the anxieties raised by the Cold War affect life in the United States?

World War II and the Cold War (1917-1960)

Unit 6 The Search for a Better Life (1945-1990) 41 Peace, Prosperity, and Progress Why are the 1950s remembered as an age of affluence?

42 Two Americas Why did poverty persist in the United States in an age of affluence?

43 Segregation in the Post-World War II Period How did segregation affect American life in the postwar period?

44 The Civil Rights Revolution: “Like a Mighty Stream� How did civil rights activists advance the ideals of liberty, equality, and opportunity for African Americans?

45 Redefining Equality: From Black Power to Affirmative Action How did civil rights activists change their strategies and goals in the 1960s and 1970s, and how successful were they in achieving racial equality?

46 The Widening Struggle Why and how did the civil rights movement expand?

The Search for a Better Life (1945-1990)

Unit 7 Tumultuous Times (1954-1980) 47 The Age of Camelot Was John F. Kennedy a great president?

48 The Great Society What is the proper role of government in shaping American society?

49 The Emergence of a Counterculture What was the impact of the counterculture on American society?

50 The United States Gets Involved in Vietnam Why did the United States increase its military involvement in Vietnam?

51 Facing Frustration in Vietnam What made the Vietnam War difficult to win?

52 Getting Out of Vietnam What lessons for Americans emerged from the Vietnam War?

53 The Rise and Fall of Richard Nixon What events influenced Richard Nixon’s rise to and fall from power?

54 Politics and Society in the “Me Decade” How should historians characterize the 1970s?

Tumultuous Times (1954-1980)

Unit 8 The Making of Modern America (1980-Present) 55 A Shift to the Right Under Reagan How did the Reagan Revolution impact the nation?

56 Ending the Cold War What were the effects of Ronald Reagan’s and George H.W. Bush’s foreign policy actions?

57 U.S. Domestic Politics at the Turn of the 21st Century How have recent presidents tried to fulfill their domestic policy goals?

58 U.S. Foreign Policy in a Global Age How well have U.S. foreign policy decisions met the challenges of the global age?

59 Moving Forward: Debating America’s Founding Ideals How does our nation define and debate progress as we work to preserve American ideals?

The Making of Modern America (1980-Present)

What makes TCI unique? History Alive! Pursuing American Ideals

Study eras in U.S. history through the lens of 5 founding ideals: Equality, Rights, Liberty, Opportunity, Democracy.

U.S. Lives Up to the Ideals

Writing opportunities challenge students to construct strong, analytical arguments.

Engaging activities encourage students to develop and debate their unique perspectives.

U.S. Does N ot Live Up to the Ideals

Connect events of the past with those of today.

Program Components I N T E R A C T I V E





Defining and Debating America’s Founding Ideals

Getting Oriented Bring Learning Alive! TCI offers programs for elementary, middle, and high school classrooms.

What are America’s founding ideals, and why are they important?

V o c a b u l a r y

T e r m s

As you complete the Reading Notes, use these Vocabulary Terms in your answers: equality


rights liberty


Bring Science Alive!

4. All Americans have the same opportunities to succeed in life.

Social Studies Alive!

a. strongly disagree b. mildly disagree

History Alive!

c. mildly agree d. strongly agree

Geography Alive!

5. Wealthy people have a more powerful voice in American democracy than do others.

Government Alive!

a. strongly disagree P R E V I E W

b. mildly disagree

Econ Alive!

c. mildly agree

Survey on American Ideals

d. strongly agree

Write the following five statements in your notebook, and record the answer that best represents your views on each. 1. All Americans are equal. a. strongly disagree


6. Where in the Declaration of Independence can you find references to equality, rights, liberty, opportunity, and democracy?


7. Why is the Declaration of Independence an important document?

b. mildly disagree c. mildly agree d. strongly agree 2. Some Americans have more rights than others.

By 1673, when this map was drawn, European nations had established colonies in North America. They wanted colonies to increase their wealth and power. The people who crossed the Atlantic Ocean to settle the English colonies came for a wide range of reasons, including religious freedom, escape from debt, the opportunity to own land, and the chance to start a new life. Some, however, did not come by choice. In addition, the European colonists displaced American Indians from their land.

8. Where did founders like Thomas Jefferson get inspiration for the ideals in the Declaration of Independence?

a. strongly disagree b. mildly disagree c. mildly agree d. strongly agree 3. Americans have all the freedoms they deserve. a. strongly disagree

1607 Colonial settlement begins in Jamestown, Virginia

b. mildly disagree c. mildly agree


d. strongly agree © Teachers’ Curriculum Institute

Defining and Debating America’s Founding Ideals 1


© Teachers’ Curriculum Institute

Notebook Guides




Defining and Debating America’s Founding Ideals



Students engage with their learning by expressing their ideas, completing graphically organized notes, and developing personalized responses in their Interactive Student Notebooks.

Students analyze graphs, data sets, powerful images, and engaging primary sources printed on reusable placards.

Student Edition The Student Text provides a rich knowledge base of historical concepts and guides students through their learning.

Interpreting Political Cartoons What is it? Political cartoons appear on the editorial pages of newspapers. They may be funny,

but their purpose is to carry a message or an opinion. Cartoonists use characters and symbols— animals, people, or objects—to communicate their point. Interpreting a political cartoon means figuring out the cartoonist’s message.

How to do it. Identify the symbols and characters in the cartoon. What does each one stand for? Are there labels or captions to give you clues? Are the characters and symbols simplified or exaggerated to make a point? What details are emphasized? What action is taking place in the cartoon? Fit these pieces of information together to determine the cartoon’s message. Try it. Interpret this political cartoon by answering the questions below.

1. What are the characters and symbols in the cartoon, and what does each one represent?

2. How do the words help you identify the cartoonist’s intention?

3. What action is taking place in the cartoon?

4. What opinion is the cartoonist expressing?

© Teachers’ Curriculum Institute

History and Social Science Analysis Skills Toolkit


Analysis Skills Toolkit This Toolkit provides easy-to-use resources that guides students through history and social studies skills, including analyzing political cartoons and constructing timelines.

Teacher and Student Licenses Lesson Guides, customizable assessments, video quizzes, learning games, and more are at your fingertips.

Universal Access TCI is designed to reach all of your learners. Here are some resources you can use in your classroom.

Reading Tools (Text to Speech) Digital text-to-audio, main ideas, and note taking tools support reading.

ELA/ELD Connections ELA/ELD Connections provide graphic organizers and worksheets to support learners who need additional guidance with reading and writing.

Differentiating Instructions Each lesson comes with modifications for English learners, learners reading and writing below grade level, learners with special education needs, and advanced learners.

Vocabulary Cards Students review important social studies terms with vocabulary flip cards.

Assessments TCI offers a variety of formative and summative assessments so you can gauge student progress through each lesson.

Lesson Game In a Lesson Game, students answer selected-response questions about the lesson. Results are automatically tracked in your gradebook.

Notebook Monitor students’ progress in their notebooks as they go through the lesson and investigations.

Self Assessment A self-assessment asks students to gauge their understanding of key concepts at the beginning and end of a unit.

Processing An end-of-lesson processing assignment challenges students to synthesize and apply the information they have learned in a variety of creative ways.

Summative Assessment TCI’s customizable assessments include a variety of question and response formats to gauge student progress.

Unit Pre- and Post- Test Each unit has a pre- and post-test for you to check student progress.