Middle

African-American Soldiers

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During World War II, African Americans found themselves with conflicting feelings about supporting the war effort, since their own country did not offer them the freedom America was fighting for overseas. In the activities contained within this gallery, students will examine the role African Americans played in the war effort abroad as well as experiences at home.

Learning Objectives:

Students will:

  • Examine the role African-Americans played in the war effort abroad during World War II;
  • Discuss the civil rights barriers that African Americans faced during the war.

Hot Tips to Rock the Ballot Booth | We The Voters

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Everyone’s pumped for the presidential election. But did you know that there are dozens of other people and referendums lower down on the ballot?! Vlogger Grace Helbig gives you the 411 on state and local elections. Use this video along with the lesson plan "Down Ballot Voting".

On the Home Front: America’s Boomtowns

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Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Examine life in America prior to its entry into World War II.
  • Identify the changes brought on by wartime industry to industrial boomtowns.
  • Evaluate the socio-economic changes in the character of four World War II-era boomtowns and the reasons for those changes.

MediaOcracy | We The Voters

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Social media algorithms often create "news bubbles" that block exposure to opposing points of view. Here you’ll get concrete advice from leading media experts on how to break free and get fully informed. Use this video along with the accompanying activity on Decoding Media Bias (also found in the Support Materials), authored by social studies educator Liz Ramos.

American Party Animals | We The Voters

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More young people than ever identify themselves as politically “independent.” This animated film (narrated by Morgan Spurlock) looks at pros and cons of our two-party system, and at what makes it so hard for third parties to win power. Use this video along with the lesson plan "Two is Company, Three's a Crowd".

#FoundingFathers | We The Voters

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Interpretations of the U.S. Constitution have evolved over the past two centuries. Luckily Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and James Madison (played by Harold Perrineau, Mario Cantone, and Ana Ortiz) take time out of their afterlives to answer the question: “what would the Founding Fathers do?” Use this video along with the lesson "The Long Life of the U.S. Consitution" to examine how our courts have addressed modern issues in relation to the Constitution.

Student Debt Roulette | We The Voters

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Lots of young people are worried about college debt, but not every student will graduate college with the same amount of debt. Who wins and who loses? This animated game show will reveal the answer! Use this video along with the lesson "Know Your Vote" to investigate candidates' positions on political issues and decide on an endorsement for President.

The Future of Social Security | We The Voters

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Social Security is a “pay-it-forward” system that will theoretically benefit all of us. Fixes were made to take care of the retiring baby boomers, but what about young people? Can they rely on government help in retirement? Use this video along with the lesson "Know Your Vote" to investigate candidates' positions on political issues and decide on an endorsement for President.

So You Think You Can Vote | We The Voters

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With 50 states, 5 territories, and over 7,000 voting districts, our elections can get pretty chaotic. A quick look at the history of U.S. voting rights shows how we got here, and what obstacles might prevent you from voting. Use this video along with the lesson plan "To Vote or Not to Vote" to evaluate the importance of voting.

Plessy vs. Ferguson | A More or Less Perfect Union

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Where did "separate but equal" come from? Homer Plessy challenged separate railroad cars before the Supreme Court. It didn't go as he'd hoped.

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