1865 to the present many of the choices Americans have made have impacted
upon the sustainability of our future. As the chronological units
are taught throughout the year, there is an opportunity to view sustainability
within the curriculum. During each time period guiding questions are
raised; students create a T-Chart showing attitudes and choices of
the people during the time period studied; and, as a culminating activity,
students have the opportunity to reflect on the role of sustainability
in their journals. Readings and videos connecting the period to sustainability
are used. This lesson models the period of Imperialism. Other periods
that might be used along with their guiding questions are:
Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/ Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
- L.8.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 8 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
- SL.8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
- SL.8.4 Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
- RH.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
- RH.6-8.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
- WHST.6-8.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
- WHST.6-8.2 Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
for Sustainability Core Content
How can we all live well within the means of nature?
As global citizens, how will our attitudes and choices impact our
Why did the United States look outside of North America to find natural
resources rather than create sustainable solutions locally, regionally,
Why is Hawaii a perfect example of American imperialism?
Resources/Materials for this lesson:
the beginning of the unit on imperialism pose the guiding question,
why did the United States look outside of North America to find natural
resources rather than create sustainable solutions? Have students
brainstorm possible reasons and record them on a piece of chart paper.
Hang it somewhere in the classroom.
Have students create a T - Chart showing attitudes and choices of
the people during the period of imperialism.
Proceed to teach the imperialism unit. When attention is turned to
Hawaii, include the following questions in the discussion:
was the relationship between the native Hawaiians and the land before
the Americans arrived?
was the role of the fruit and sugarcane companies in relation to
the native people and land use?
What happened to the lifestyle and economy of the native Hawaiians?
the video clip, “Evaluating the Effects of Colonialism and Imperialism”
and discuss why Hawaii is a perfect example of American imperialism.
In their sustainability journals students are to respond to the following
prompt: How do fair-trade practices change the political, social,
and economic impact of world trade compared to 1900’s imperialism?
Preservation and Transformation
pertains to given era: Possible Points: 0, 1
evidence of their knowledge of sustainability: Possible Points:
demonstrates critical thinking by connecting the historical topic
with sustainable/unsustainable practices: Possible Points: 0,
- the actions by which one nation is able to control other, usually
smaller or weaker, nations