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Teaching with the News

Lessons Plans on Foreign Policy from the Choices Program

Logo of the Choices Program at Brown University
The Choices Program’s Teaching with the News initiative provides online curriculum materials and ideas to connect the content of the classroom to the headlines in the news. Its lesson plans cover a range of foreign policy and international issues, from analyzing U.S. efforts to combat terrorism to exploring policy alternatives for relations with Iran.

We have selected four Teaching with the News lesson plans. You can find the full set here. Pair the lesson plans with related YES! articles to show your students a different approach to media coverage: positive journalism. Explore how different stories about the same issue can change our perception of the world.

GO TO TEACHING MATERIALS AND EXPLORE RELATED YES! STORIES FOR EACH ACTIVITY:
:: U.S. Role in the World
:: The U.S. and Iran: Confronting Policy Alternatives
:: Conflict in Iraq: Confronting Policy Alternatives
:: Nuclear Weapons: What Should Our Policy Be?


Cover of Lesson Plans from the Choices Program

U.S. Role in the World

Choices Button:: SEE Lesson Plan

We are in a period of heightened public debate in the United States concerning America’s role in the world. What do we think? What issues are of most concern to us? What kind of world do we want in the 21st century?

This lesson plan explores four distinct alternatives—or futures—that frame the current debate on the U.S. role in the world.



YES Story button The Way to a Just Foreign Policy

It’s time to leave behind old ideas of superpowers. A changing world brings new opportunities for peace and the chance to join a community of nations.
YES! Magazine #46, A Just Foreign Policy

YES Archive button U.S. Role Turned Upside Down

5 indicators that show how U.S. economic, military, and covert influence is waning—and why that’s a good thing.
YES! Magazine #42, Latin America Rising

YES Archive button Book Review: After the Empire

What do Europeans know about the United States that we don’t know about ourselves? French demographer Emmanuel Todd’s After the Empire, a critically acclaimed best seller in Europe, presents a sobering view of the U.S. role in a changing world.
YES! Magazine #31, Can We Live Without Oil

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Superpower? Get Over It :: YES! Magazine Cover image, Summer 2008, Issue 46
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The Summer 2008 issue of YES! focuses on A Just Foreign Policy.

 

Cover of Lesson Plans from the Choices Program

The U.S. and Iran: Confronting Policy Alternatives

Choices Button:: SEE Lesson Plan

News about the U.S. relationship with Iran and Iran’s uranium enrichment program appears frequently in the headlines these days. The Bush administration, as well as many other leaders around the world, worry that Iran may be preparing to build nuclear weapons. Iran claims it is only developing nuclear power, which it has a right to do under international law.

The U.S. and Iran: Confronting Policy Alternatives is an interactive lesson plan that engages students in consideration of divergent policy alternatives concerning U.S. policy on Iran.


YES Story button How Iran Could Help the United States

Iran helped the United States overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan, and it could help bring peace to Iraq and the region.
YES! Magazine #46, A Just Foreign Policy

YES Archive button A Practical Guide to Diffusing the Iran Crisis and Halting Nuclear Proliferation

Alice Slater spells out a diplomatic solution to the crisis over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
YES! Online, Guest Columnists

YES Archive button Prevent War with Iran

The Bush administration is increasing pressure on Iran. Many say a U.S. attack on Iran is planned. What would another war mean and what can we still do to stop it?
YES! Online, Prevent War with Iran

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Life in Iran. Photo Essay by Arash Shiva.
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Get a surprising glimpse of daily life in Iran in this Photo Essay by Arash Shiva.

 

Cover of Lesson Plans from the Choices Program

Conflict in Iraq: Confronting Policy Alternatives

Choices Button:: SEE Lesson Plan

An important debate is taking place in the United States concerning U.S. policy on Iraq. This is not a new debate. Some would date it back to the pre-war period in 2002 through early 2003. Others would begin with the discussion prior to the first Gulf War in 1991. At this point in the conflict, discussion is focused on the question of the U.S. presence in Iraq. What is our purpose? Who should be involved in solutions? Are U.S. troop levels right? How long should U.S. troops stay? What does this mean for the larger question of America’s role in the world today?

Conflict in Iraq: Confronting Policy Alternatives is an interactive lesson plan that engages students in consideration of divergent policy alternatives concerning Iraq.


YES Story button Candidates for Congress Show the Way Out

The 2006 mid-term election sent a clear signal: Americans want out of Iraq. As the occupation drags on, 10 candidates for the U.S. Congress announce a plan to bring all the troops home.
YES! Magazine #46, A Just Foreign Policy

YES Archive button Iraq Veterans, Activists for Peace

Understanding the reality of war by listening to the stories of the people who are serving.
YES! Magazine #42, Latin America Rising

YES Archive button An Honorable Exit from Iraq

The United States should not win in its war against Iraq. It should change its strategy to being just. Poka Laenui uses the issue to offer a 7-step plan to end terrorism.
YES! Magazine #43, Stand Up to Corporate Power

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Suzanne Opton's photo-portrait of veteran 'Jefferson.' From her exhibit 'Soldiers.'
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"Jefferson." From Suzanne Opton exhibit “Soldiers.” Portraits of veterans were made at Fort Drum, New York, between 2004 and 2005 shortly after each soldier’s return from Iraq or Afghanistan. www.suzanneopton.com

 

Cover of Lesson Plans from the Choices Program

Nuclear Weapons: What Should Our Policy Be?

Choices Button:: SEE Lesson Plan

Today, the world faces many complex challenges. We can see the results of terrorism, environmental issues, and disease, yet for most of us nuclear weapons remain out of sight and out of mind. For many, the abstract theories and jargon that surround nuclear weapons combined with the nearly unimaginable consequences make thinking about the challenges of nuclear weapons difficult.

In this interactive lesson plan, three policy options have been framed to help students think about divergent policy alternatives, each driven by different underlying values, each with merits and trade-offs. This one-week curriculum unit gives students the tools they need to wrestle with the questions that surround the future of nuclear weapons.


YES Story button George Shultz: No Nukes

George Shultz, who helped build our nuclear arsenal, says it’s time to ban the bomb. Sarah van Gelder conducts this fascinating interview with the former Secretary of State.
YES! Magazine #46, A Just Foreign Policy

YES Story button 7 Steps Towards Abolition

If the nuclear powers wish to be safe from nuclear weapons, they must surrender their own. The United States, as the owner of the biggest nuclear arsenal, must take the initiative and lead the world.
YES! Magazine #46, A Just Foreign Policy

YES Archive button The ABCs of Nuclear Disarmament

An urgent call for nuclear abolition by no less a peace activist than Henry Kissinger, joined by old cold warriors Sam Nunn, George Schultz, and William Perry.
YES! Online, Guest Columnists

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Nuclear Free Zone graphic
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The YES! Resource Guide on A Just Foreign Policy lists organizations working to abolish nuclear weapons.

 


 

Choices Program logo
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Teaching with the News is one of several teaching resources tailored to secondary educators by the Choices Program at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. Choices is non-partisan in its approach to contested international issues and is committed to providing opportunities for students to weigh all sides of an issue and listen to the views of others before coming to their own decisions.

A complement to Teaching with the News is Scholars Online, which brings university scholars into secondary level classrooms. Each video discusses a specific question and includes graphics to help students better understand the scholar’s answer to the question.

Find out more about their lesson plans to complement your teaching on current issues. You can also sign up for their free newsletter.

 


 

snapshot of June 2008 Newsletter


The above resources on A Just Foreign Policy accompany the June 2008 YES! Education Connection Newsletter

READ NEWSLETTER: Teaching with the News

 

 

 



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