Using Deliberative Techniques to Teach United States History

By Eleanora Von Dehsen; Nancy Claxton | Go to book overview

20. Past and Present

INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES
Students will be able to:
Compare and contrast the United States in 1900 and the contemporary United States
Evaluate key changes in the United States over the past century
Synthesize what they have learned to provide a broad picture of the United States “then
and now”

DESCRIPTION
Using the example of Ann Nixon Cooper, the centenarian President Barack Obama mentioned in his November 2008 victory speech, the class will review key developments in the United States over the past 100 years.
TIME
60 minutes
MATERIALS
Excerpt, Barack Obama Victory Speech, November 4, 2008
CLASS LAYOUT AND GROUPING OF STUDENTS
Students work in their usual seating arrangements.
PROCéDURE
1. Remind the class that in President Obama’s victory speech he mentioned 106-year-old Ann Nixon Cooper to illustrate the changes that America has seen in the past 100 years. Tell the class that Obama mentioned only a few major events and changes in his description. They will now brainstorm to flesh out that description. They are to sketch out what life was like when Ann Nixon Cooper was born, and compare it with life as she experienced it in the contemporary United States.
2. Tell the class that they are not to focus just on rights and liberties, although those should be included, but broadly review how the United States has changed. Ask the class to brainstorm to determine the general categories they should discuss. These might include

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