Activity #1: Joseph McCarthy & "McCarthyism":
Step 1: Tell students that the “war” against expansion of Communism impacted the “home front” in some powerful ways. Explain that the “hysteria” helped the rise of politicians and others that tapped into American’s fear of communism.
Step 2: Project / review slide 1 from presentation. Students record information on their Cornell Notes. Students should use a note page for every 2-3 slides. Additionally, students should also rely on a Characterization Chart throughout the powerpoint and the film (included in step 3).
Step 3: Tell students that they will be viewing a film, Biography of Joseph McCarthy, in 10- 12 minute segments. At each break, they will add information to their graphic organizer.
Note: There are many alternates available (streaming and otherwise) from Amazon and iTunes and also a number of excellent YouTube segments available if the DVD is not available.
Step 4: Begin film. Run film for 10 - 12 minutes
Step 5: STOP film and tell students to add details to their graphic organizer that they consider to be “important and/or interesting”
Step 6: Teacher asks students to share what they recorded and creates graphic organizer on board based on responses.
Step 7: Begin film. Repeat process until film is finished.
Activity #2: Check for Understanding:
Have students use their Cornell Notes and the Characterization Chart to complete the Socialism Definition Map. This can be used as an informal assessment to ensure students understand the topic, the powerpoint lecture, and the Biography of Joseph McCarthy film.
Activity #3: McCarthy’s Telegram to President Truman:
- fellow travelers
Vocabulary Support Activities:
- Word Wall: Students create a poster with definitions
- Capsule Activity: Students works in pairs or groups and write as many sentences they can with 2 to 3 of the vocabulary words. Or try to use all the vocabulary words in as few sentences as possible.
- Open Mind Worksheet (complete after reading the telegram): use these handouts (print them back-to-back) to allow students to analyze the message (Open Mind and Open Mind2).
Step 1: Teacher explains what a telegram is and provides brief background on purpose of national archives.
Step 2: Teacher pre-teaches identifies and pre-teaches vocabulary words. Suggested words are: harbor; nest; falsity; fellow travelers; screen.
Step 2: Teacher provides context for telegram and asks students to identify emotions and mood of telegram.
Step 3: Teacher reads telegram aloud dramatically.
Step 4: Teacher invites students to share reactions to telegram.
Optional extension: Share President Truman’s un-mailed response to telegram.
Again, ask students to identify mood and characteristics of letter.