Eugene V. Debs and the Espionage and Sedition Acts of 1917

This Google Forms mini-lesson will guide students through understanding a time when freedom of speech was at odds with U.S. national security interests during WWI. I enjoyed how this form allowed me to include a variety of primary source documents and background information for students to analyze. The Google forms question prompt allows for a variety of assessment options and is fully customizable depending on the lesson at hand.

The target student group for this lesson would be high school U.S. history or government class. This mini-lesson would be part of a larger unit on WWI. If I were doing this mini-lesson in a classroom, I think it could be engaging to direct students to review the primary source materials, answer the questions and come back to discuss their opinions. This lesson could be part of a series of class stations students would work through covering related topics, with the Google Forms being used to help facilitate critical thinking and class discussion.

Here is a direct link to the Google Form.

4 Replies to “Eugene V. Debs and the Espionage and Sedition Acts of 1917”

  1. Loved feeling the Bern get into Deb’s speech. The words were from another era, but continue to ring true today. Maybe more so in light of BLM.

    Good management of the content via Google form. Like that it uses two different types of sources and formats. Thinking about the essential question from our last class – balancing security and liberty? This content adds whole other dimension.

    As someone who lived through the Vietnam war years of late 1960s, ironic to see Debs found guilty.

    1. There were some interesting things that happened the same day that article about Debs being found guilty ran. Further up the page is an article about marines capturing Pancho Villa’s horse, and a plea to American’s to heed superstitious beliefs about Friday the 13th, the day the article was written, as to not give German’s an advantage in the war!

  2. This is really interesting! I’ll be honest, I didn’t know much about this prior to your post. This gave me a lot to think about and more to look into regarding Debs. I also think making your 3rd question last was an important move because the work prior primed the student to form their own opinion and be better prepared to have an argument.

  3. Hi Nicolas,

    I found this post really interesting – like Angela said, it was not something I knew much about before. I agree with Prof. Pappas that the use of two different sources/formats was engaging and I like how you have a mix of multiple choice and short answer questions.

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