Choices Blog

Voting in 2020: Values and Policies during a Pandemic

Jo Fisher

Students assess the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the 2020 election; identify and prioritize the values that shape their personally held beliefs; explore the presidential candidates’ positions on key policy issues; and gather evidence to analyze an issue and its role in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

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When the Games Stop: Athletes Unite in Historic Sports Shutdown

Jo Fisher

Students explore the perspectives, motivations, and goals of athletes protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake, analyze polling data, examine primary sources, and consider the achievements and limitations of collective action by athletes.

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Oral History and September 11

Jo Fisher

In this lesson, students explore the human dimension of the September 11 attacks by conducting an interview and considering the benefits and limitations of using oral history to learn about the past.

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Black Lives Matter, the Killing of George Floyd, and the Long Fight for Racial Justice

Jo Fisher

Students review a timeline of black activism, identify patterns and themes, consider accomplishments of civil rights activists and the enduring obstacles to racial equality, and evaluate platforms for activism and the role of social media in protests.

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Taking It to the Streets: A Year of Global Protests

Jo Fisher

Students examine photographs of protests from around the world, analyze the origins and causes of protest movements, and identify similarities, differences, and patterns.

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The State of the Union Address

Jo Fisher

Students review the origins of the State of the Union in the Constitution and then watch significant moments in selected historical addresses and identify important themes, continuities, and discontinuities.

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The United States-Iran Crisis

Jo Fisher

Students review the history and consider the current status of U.S.-Iran relations as they develop media source analysis skills and analyze different perspectives on the current situation.

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Refugee Stories: Mapping a Crisis

Jo Fisher

New update: December 2019.
Students gain an understanding of the current refugee crisis by mapping data and exploring personal accounts of refugees.

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Political Cartoon Analysis: Understanding Brexit

Jo Fisher

This lesson presents arguments supporting and opposing the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Union using an analysis of political cartoons.

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The Impeachment Process and President Trump

Jo Fisher

This lesson helps students understand the Constitutional basis and historical precedents for impeachment.

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Teaching About Controversial Issues: A Resource Guide

Jo Fisher

This resource guide provides teachers with resources and pedagogical tools to feel more prepared to address controversial issues in the classroom.

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Seeking Asylum in the United States

Jo Fisher

Students review a timeline of major laws and policies related to asylum in the U.S.

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On the Brink of Nuclear War: Leadership and the Cuban Missile Crisis

Jo Fisher

Re-release: May 2019.
In this lesson, students will understand the significance of the Cuban Missile Crisis and consider lessons from the missile crisis for today.

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U.S.-China Trade Tensions

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students examine primary sources from U.S. officials, scholars, journalists, and business leaders supporting and opposing Trump administration trade policies with China.

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Resource Guide: Transgender Identities and Rights

Jo Fisher

A collection of resources that may prove useful to educators looking to learn more about transgender identity, discuss transgender identity in the classroom, and to support transgender students.

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#WontBeErased: Source Analysis

Jo Fisher

Students read a general overview text about transgender identity in the United States and analyze social media posts as sources about transgender identity today.

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Gerrymandering: One Person, One Vote?

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students understand the reasons for and process of redistricting after a census.

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An Interactive Timeline: U.S. Immigration Policy, Past and Present

Jo Fisher

Students review a timeline of U.S. immigration policy and laws from European colonization to today, collaboratively synthesize their findings, and present them to the class.

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Safeguarding Democracy: Understanding Allegations of Russian Election Interference

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students analyze the issues and controversies surrounding Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.

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Debating the U.S. Response to Violence in Syria

Jo Fisher

Students explore, debate, and evaluate multiple perspectives on U.S. policy towards Syria through a role-play activity.

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South China Sea: Maritime Conflicts

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students explore, discuss, and evaluate multiple perspectives on maritime disputes in the South China Sea.

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Puerto Rico’s Recovery After Hurricane Maria: Who is Responsible?

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students learn about the post-hurricane situation in Puerto Rico within a broader context of U.S.-Puerto Rican relations.

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Syrian Refugees: Understanding Stories with Comics

Jo Fisher

In this lesson, students will read stories of Syrian refugees to learn more about the ongoing civil war and refugee crisis in Syria.

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Myanmar and the Rohingya

Jo Fisher

In this free Teaching with the News lesson, students learn more about the Rohingya people of Myanmar and the current conflict.

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North Korea Nuclear Crisis

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students will understand the current threats of a nuclear crisis between North Korea and the United States.

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History in Dispute: Charlottesville and Confederate Monuments

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students will understand the idea of historical memory and contextualize the August 2017 events in Charlottesville within a larger historical controversy.

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Values and Public Policy

Jo Fisher

Students identifying values as a way to understand the views of others, find common ground where it exists, and work together to find ways to form policy.

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Debating the U.S. Response to Syria

Jo Fisher

Students explore, debate, and evaluate multiple perspectives on U.S. policy towards Syria through a role-play activity.

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Famine Today: The Greatest Humanitarian Crisis Since World War II

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students learn about two historical famines and the current food crises in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen.

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President Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration and Refugee Policy

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students practice source analysis skills, consider bias, audience, and author expertise to assess source reliability.

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From Washington to Trump: Comparing Inaugural Addresses

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students explore significant moments in selected historical inaugural addresses and identify important themes, continuities, and discontinuities

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Youth Activism and the Dakota Access Pipeline

Jo Fisher

Students discuss the controversy over the Dakota Access Pipeline, read and analyze letters from native youth activists who oppose the project, and reflect on the role of youth in social movements.

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The Candidates and Their Values: Election 2016

Jo Fisher

Students examine their personally held values, explore the platforms of presidential candidates, assess how their own values and beliefs align with those of the candidates, and discuss the potential impact of the upcoming election.

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Resource Guide on the Orlando Nightclub Shooting

Jo Fisher

An annotated list of sources that offer suggestions for various classroom approaches to these tragic events.

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Surveying State of the Union Addresses

Jo Fisher

Students explore significant moments in 20th century State of the Union Addresses and identify important historic themes.

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Resource Guide on the Terrorist Attacks in Paris

Jo Fisher

An annotated list of online sources that may be helpful for approaching some key aspects of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

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Negotiating Climate Change: Paris 2015

Jo Fisher

Students examine the need for, and challenges associated with, creating an international agreement on climate change.

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The Iran Nuclear Deal

Jo Fisher

Students interpret political cartoons to better understand the role of the U.S. in the debate about the Iran nuclear deal.

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Cuba and the United States: A New Chapter

Jo Fisher

Students explore the changing relationship between the United States and Cuba.

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Greece and the EU: Navigating Debt and Austerity

Jo Fisher

Students learn about the European Union and the eurozone, identify the lasting effects of the 2008 financial crisis on Greece, and brainstorm solutions for Greece and the EU.

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Governing Global Health: The World Health Organization and Ebola

Jo Fisher

Students explore the structure of the World Health Organization (WHO) and its role in the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, discuss challenges the WHO has faced in responding to the Ebola outbreak, identify what resources are needed to bring the epidemic under control.

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Nigeria and Boko Haram: Inequality, Injustice, Insurgency

Jo Fisher

Students gather information about Nigeria and the Boko Haram insurgency and identify core challenges faced by the government and people of Nigeria.

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The Struggle to Define Free Speech: From Skokie to Paris

Jo Fisher

Students consider how different societies define freedom of expression, analyze historical sources that reveal contrasting views on freedom of expression in the case of Skokie, Illinois, where a Nazi group attempted to demonstrate in the 1970s, and explore the current free speech controversy in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

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The Conflict in Syria

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students work in groups to research the perspectives of a variety of domestic and international actors on the conflict in Syria.

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The Umbrella Movement: Protests in Hong Kong

Jo Fisher

Students analyze photographs of the protests in Hong Kong and explore the symbols and messages that protesters use to express their views.

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Good Atoms or Bad Atoms? Iran and the Nuclear Issue

Jo Fisher

Students analyze the issues that frame the current debate on U.S. policy towards Iran and recent international negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program.

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ISIS: A New Threat

Jo Fisher

Students use political cartoons to explore the role of ISIS in the Middle East.

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Unrest in Ukraine

Jo Fisher

This lesson provides a background to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, has students analyze political cartoons, and asks them to monitor the Ukrainian crisis in the news.

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Graffiti in Egypt’s Revolution

Jo Fisher

Students will assess the role of graffiti in political protest, use a short video to analyze the relevance of graffiti during the Egyptian revolution and articulate opinions on graffiti and censorship.

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The Egyptian Revolution: An Interactive Timeline

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students review an interactive timeline of events in Egypt over the past three years and identify core themes of Egyptian protest movements.

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Debating the U.S. Response to Syria

Jo Fisher

Students will explore, debate, and evaluate multiple perspectives on U.S. policy towards Syria through a role-play activity.

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Fifty Years after the March on Washington: Students in the Civil Rights Movement

Jo Fisher

Students hear stories from former civil rights activists, analyze what motivated students to join the movement, what their experiences were like, and consider the relevance today.

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Debating U.S. Drone Policy

Jo Fisher

Students will explore, debate, and evaluate multiple perspectives on U.S. policy regarding drones.

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Following the U.S. Presidential Election

Jo Fisher

In this lesson student track news coverage of the 2012 presidential campaigns and form their own opinion on policy issues and the candidates.

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U.S. Policy in the Middle East: Analyzing Political Cartoons

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students explore current issues in the Middle East and their relation to U.S. policy by interpreting political cartoons.

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The United States and the Iranian Nuclear Program

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students analyze the issues that frame the current debate on U.S. policy towards Iran.

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The Costs of War

Jo Fisher

In this online lesson students explore the human, economic, social, and political costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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The Arab Spring: One Year On

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students learn about various Arab Spring protest movements in the Middle East and North Africa.

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The Iraqi Refugee Crisis

Jo Fisher

Students explore firsthand accounts of Iraqi refugees’ experiences and gain an understanding of the causes and scope of the crisis.

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Famine in Somalia

Jo Fisher

In this lesson student use news sources to explore the crisis in Somalia and consider a variety of factors exacerbating the famine.

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The Future of the Middle East: The Arab Spring and the Death of Osama bin Laden

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students consider the impact of Osama bin Laden’s death on different groups of people.

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Protests, Revolutions, and Democratic Change

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students consider the role of the United States and international community and analyze the potential effects of the protests on democracy and stability in the Middle East and North Africa.

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After Mubarak: A New Middle East?

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students identify the connection between the demonstrations in Egypt and other protests in the region.

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Egypt’s Uprising

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students will identify the causes of the demonstrations in Egypt and explore the role of traditional and social media in the uprising.

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Pakistan’s Floods

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students identify the immediate and long-term effects of the flooding on Pakistan.

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Darfur: Violence and the Media

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students will explore events in Sudan using multiple sources.

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The Lessons of Iraq

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students analyze how the lessons of Iraq may influence U.S. leaders.

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The Gulf Oil Disaster

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students explore a range of issues raised by the 2010 oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico including impact, accountability, U.S. oil dependency, and energy policy.

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The United States in Afghanistan: Analyzing Political Cartoons

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students interpret political cartoons and place them in the context of political discussion about Afghanistan.

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Looking at the Tank Man: The 20th Anniversary of Tiananmen

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students consider the concept of censorship and analyze the merits of censorship versus freedom of information.

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A Nuclear North Korea?

Jo Fisher

In this lesson student watch videos and answer questions.

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India: Conflicts Within

Jo Fisher

This collection of lessons accompany India: Conflicts Within, a program of the Pulitzer Center.

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India and Pakistan in the Wake of the Mumbai Attacks

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students understand the circumstances surrounding the Mumbai terrorist attacks and examine the historical relationship between India and Pakistan.

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Water Wars

Jo Fisher

This is a 2-day lesson plan to accompany “Water Wars,” a series by the Common Language Project (CLP) and AfrikaNews.org with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

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Globalization and the Economic Crisis

Jo Fisher

In this lesson students consider the connections between globalization and the current economic crisis.

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