Cuban Defenders or Eager Imperialists?: Causes of the Spanish-American War

Target Student Group: 11th Grade United States History

Lesson Context: This activity would serve as part of an introduction into a unit entitled “The Emergence of Modern America,” which I would begin by discussing the United States’ transition into an imperial power after the Spanish-American War.

Lesson Delivery in a Virtual Classroom: After providing a brief overview about Spain’s involvement in the Americas, US public opinion about Cuba, and the political situation of the US government at the time, I would give this activity to students to complete during asynchronous class time. The expectation is that they use their knowledge gained during our synchronous class period to further explore all the possible reasons for US involvement in the Spanish-American War.

How Google Forms will be used to achieve this goal: The Google Form allows the students to have the necessary background information on the same screen during asynchronous learning, which is beneficial because the student would not have the teacher for this information during asynchronous time. The format of Google Forms also easily allows for a direct comparison to be made between the two documents, and it give the teacher immediate feedback on the student’s progress due to the questions.

Direct Link to Google Form

2 Replies to “Cuban Defenders or Eager Imperialists?: Causes of the Spanish-American War”

  1. Excellent design, presentation and layout. Very clearly defined task that will make effective use of asynchronous setting. Glad to see you made use of Chronicling America. Such a rich source.

    Your use of the newspaper is skillful – with a focus on the big image, headlines, sub heads – not the detail text. In that era many Americans, especially immigrants, had limited reading ability and that may be all they got. As an extension it would be interesting to compare the Yellow Journalism of the era to our modern social media where people retweet something without even reading the article – much less fact check it.

    I’ve not seen the Berryman cartoon. It’s perfect for this lesson. Very easy for students to interpret without much background knowledge.

  2. I thought this activity was very clear and thorough. I liked how you led students to questioning what other motives might have been involved during the Spanish American war. I also like how you point out that this was the media that people were consuming but its obviously skewed information. I think this helps students walk through why its important to learn multiple perspectives.

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