Choices Blog

The United States in Afghanistan

Jo Fisher

Students grapple with questions regarding the involvement of the United States in Afghanistan by exploring Afghanistan’s culture and history and then examining the events that led to the Soviet invasion, the arrival of Osama bin Laden, and the situation today.

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The American Revolution: Experiences of Rebellion

Jo Fisher

Students consider the perspectives of various stakeholders—colonists, enslaved Africans, and native peoples—and explore the factors that led to rebellion, war, and the independence of the U.S.

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Brazil: A History of Change

Jo Fisher

The largest South American country has an often surprising and overlooked history. In this unit, students see Brazil as a unique, dynamic country with an important history, diverse culture, and its own path of development.

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China on the World Stage: Weighing the U.S. Response

Jo Fisher

Students explore the history of U.S. relations with China and consider the implications of China’s economic growth, societal transformation, and increasing international role.

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Freedom Now: The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi

Jo Fisher

Students trace the history of the black freedom struggle from Reconstruction through the 1960s. Readings and activities focus on the grass-roots movement to achieve civil rights for African Americans.

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The Civil War and the Meaning of Liberty

Jo Fisher

Students probe the history of the United States from 1830 to 1865. Using primary sources, readings, and lessons, students consider the experiences of people in the United States as well as the issues driving the political confrontation over slavery and the meaning of liberty.

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Climate Change and Questions of Justice

Jo Fisher

Students examine the causes and effects of global warming and delve into questions of who is most responsible for and vulnerable to the changing climate. Students also grapple with how to respond to climate change in ways that are both effective and fair.

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Colonization and Independence in Africa

Jo Fisher

Students explore Africa in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and consider the changes colonialism imposed on African governments, economies, and societies. Students consider the ways Africans responded to European colonialism.

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History, Revolution, and Reform: New Directions for Cuba

Jo Fisher

Students trace Cuba’s history from the country’s precolonial past to its most recent economic, social, and political changes. Students re-create the discussions Cubans on the island are having about their country’s future.

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The Cuban Missile Crisis: Considering Its Place in Cold War History

Jo Fisher

Students probe the complex relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, and examine the crisis that brought the world to the brink of war. The unit incorporates groundbreaking research on the Cuban missile crisis.

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Teacher’s Guide for The Fog of War

Jo Fisher

A series of lesson plans to accompany Errol Morris’ Academy Award winning full-length documentary, which examines issues of war and peace in the twentieth century through the lens of one of the century’s pivotal figures, Robert McNamara.

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Dilemmas of Foreign Aid: Debating U.S. Policies

Jo Fisher

Students explore the history of U.S. foreign assistance and institutions that distribute aid today, considering the trade-offs of aid and articulating views on the future direction of U.S. policy.

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The French Revolution

Jo Fisher

Students trace the history of France during this epoch and explore France’s political and social organization, as well as its competition for empire, its financial crises, and the efforts to reshape French society.

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Confronting Genocide:
Never Again?

Jo Fisher

Students explore the evolution of the international community’s response to genocide and examine how the U.S. has responded to six cases of genocide.

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The Haitian Revolution

Jo Fisher

Students trace the development of the American colonial world and one of the greatest wealth-producing colonies in world history. They consider the groups involved in the conflict and reflect on the legacies of one of the most successful revolts of enslaved people in history.

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Competing Visions of Human Rights: Questions for U.S. Policy

Jo Fisher

Students probe the history of human rights and consider options for defining and protecting rights.

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Immigration and the U.S. Policy Debate

Jo Fisher

Students explore the history of immigration to the United States and current U.S. immigration policy in the Trump era as they consider the complexities of U.S. immigration policy and prepare to articulate their own views about this issue.

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Indian Independence and the Question of Partition

Jo Fisher

Students examine the history leading up to the British withdrawal from the Indian subcontinent in 1947 and the legacies of partition that remain today.

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International Trade in a Globalized World

Jo Fisher

Students explore the controversies surrounding international trade and consider the issues that affect trade including globalization in the United States and abroad.

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The Iranian Revolution

Jo Fisher

Students trace the history of Iran from its early dynasties to the present and explore Iran’s cultural history, its efforts to establish a representative democracy, and the role the great powers played in shaping events in Iran.

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A Global Controversy: The U.S. Invasion of Iraq

Jo Fisher

Readings and activities explore the history of Iraq, help students understand events surrounding the U.S.-led invasion, and examine the effects of the war on Iraq, the United States, and the international community.

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Between World Wars: FDR and the Age of Isolationism

Jo Fisher

Students examine the events in the United States and overseas in the early years of World War II and then recreate the great debate that took place in the United States over the Lend-Lease Act.

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Japanese American Incarceration in World War II

Jo Fisher

In this FREE unit, students examine U.S.-Japanese relations before World War II, experiences of incarcerated Japanese Americans, and ways the Japanese American community and others in the U.S. have remembered incarceration.

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Between Two Worlds: Mexico at the Crossroads

Jo Fisher

Students explore Mexico’s economic and cultural transformation and probe Mexico’s complex identity and history, coming face-to-face with the difficult policy choices confronting the people of Mexico today.

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The Middle East: Questions for U.S. Policy

Jo Fisher

Students examine oil and geopolitics, issues between the Palestinians and Israel, the significance of the Iranian Revolution, and other issues that have shaped U.S. relations in the region.

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We the People:
A New Nation

Jo Fisher

Rather than taking the usual approach of learning history from only the perspective of the elite political leaders, students consider the opportunities, hardships, aspirations, and questions facing people across society in the United States in its earliest years—from 1783-1830.

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Nigeria: History, Identity, and Change

Jo Fisher

Students explore Nigeria’s history—from the precolonial to the present—and consider the future of Africa’s most populous country.

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The Challenge of Nuclear Weapons

Jo Fisher

Students probe the history of nuclear weapons and the concept of deterrence. They examine arguments for and against nuclear weapons, and the challenges of leftover Cold War arsenals, proliferation, and the threat of nuclear terrorism.

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Racial Slavery in the Americas: Resistance, Freedom, and Legacies

Jo Fisher

This unit provides a wide-ranging overview of racial slavery in the Americas and the opportunity for students to consider how the past shapes the present.

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Russia’s Transformation: Challenges for U.S. Policy

Jo Fisher

Students survey the economic issues and political developments that have shaped the outlook of policymakers in the Kremlin and Washington, D.C.

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The Russian Revolution

Jo Fisher

This is a major, must-have overhaul and replacement for this popular unit. Students explore the events leading up to Lenin and the Bolsheviks’ assumption of power; the political and economic conditions that led to the fall of the Tsar; and the competing political ideologies in revolutionary-era Russia.

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Freedom in Our Lifetime: South Africa’s Struggle

Jo Fisher

Students examine the history of South Africa and the development of a race-based society, the effects of apartheid, and the use of violence by some members of the anti-apartheid community.

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The Syrian Civil War

Jo Fisher

Students explore the history of Syria from the Ottoman Empire to French colonial rule, Syrian independence, and the rise of the Assad regimes as historical background to understand the recent conflict.

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Responding to Terrorism: Challenges for Democracy

Jo Fisher

Students consider the changing nature of terrorism, the motivations of terrorists, and the policy challenges for the United States.

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Empire, Republic, Democracy: Turkey’s Past and Future

Jake Camara

Students trace the final years of the Ottoman Empire, the struggle for independence, and Turkish resistance against European imperialism.

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The U.S. Role in a Changing World

Jo Fisher

Students identify global issues, assess national priorities, and decide for themselves the role the United States should play in the world as they consider the array of economic, political, and social transformations taking place both at home and abroad.

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The United Nations: Challenges and Change

Jo Fisher

Students consider the record of the United Nations since its founding and examine the UN’s role in the world through an evaluation of three areas of UN work: the Security Council, peacekeeping, and human rights.

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Westward Expansion:
A New History

Jo Fisher

Students explore the transformation of North America in the nineteenth century and probe this complicated and violent history, considering the major events and policies that accompanied U.S. growth and the effects at a local level.

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