Grade 10 Unit 9 Contemporary America

West Haven Public Schools

Unit Planning Organizer

Subject:   U.S. History                                         

Grade:  10

Unit:  Contemporary America                          

Pacing:  Two weeks

Essential Questions:

  1. What are the responsibilities of the United States as the last remaining superpower?
  2. How has the internet and other new technologies impacted Americans politically, economically, and socially.
  3. How have the terrorist attacks of September 11th changed American policy at home and abroad?

Big Ideas:

  1. American interactions with global societies are diverse, creating varied perspectives, contributions and challenges.
  2. Scientific and technological developments affect people’s lives, the environment and transform societies.
  3. Conflict resolution can involve aggression, compromise and cooperation.

CT State Standards


1.1.3:  Trace the changing role of American participation and influence in world affairs.

1.1.10:  Analyze the impact of technology and scientific discovery on American society.

1.1.2:  Trace the evolving nature of citizens’ rights.


1.1.1:  Describe the forces of migration within the United States.

1.1.4:  Explain the changing nature of the American economy.

1.1.6:  Compare and contrast various American beliefs, values and political ideologies.

1.1.7:  Analyze the influence of nationalism on American society.

1.1.8:  Analyze the influence of sectionalism on American life.

1.1.9:  Assess the significance of the evolving heterogeneity of American society.

1.1.11:  Analyze how the arts, architecture, music and literature of the United States reflect its history and the heterogeneity of its culture.

1.1.12:  Evaluate the role and impact of the individual on historical events.

1.2.1:  Using local and state examples, analyze how events and people in Connecticut both reflect and have contributed to developments in United States history.

1.2.2:  Compare and contrast the experiences of Connecticut citizens with other U.S. citizens throughout American history.

1.3.1:  Explain how the arts, architecture, music, and literature of a civilization reflect its culture and history.

1.3.2:  Explain the significance of globalization on the world’s nations and societies.  (e.g. cross-border migrations, economic trade, cultural exchange)

1.3.4:  Explain examples of conflict and cooperation in world affairs.

1.3.5:  Compare and Contrast political systems across historical time periods.

1.3.6:  Compare and contrast economic systems across historical time periods.

1.3.8:  Analyze the impact of technological and scientific changes on civilizations.

1.3.9:  Analyze the impact of nationalism on the world.

1.3.12:  Evaluate the impact of major belief systems on societies and nations.

1.4.1:  Explain how technological developments have changed our sense and understanding of location and space in the modern world.

1.6.3:  Analyze patterns of migration both within and among nations.

1.6.4:  Analyze man-made factors that cause human movement.

1.7.1:  Compare and contrast how different national governments throughout the world attempt to meet the needs of their citizens.

1.7.2:  Analyze the relationship between national governments and international organizations.

1.9.2:  Analyze the tension between the need for national security and protecting individual rights.

1.9.3:  Analyze historical and contemporary examples of the need to ensure human rights at both the national and international levels.

1.10.1:  Describe how a nation’s availability of resources has changed over time.

1.10.2:  Analyze how the abundance or scarcity of resources affects the nation and the individual.

1.11.2:  Analyze how government activity can influence an individual’s economic decisions.

1.11.3:  Analyze how government policies can influence how people and businesses use resources.

1.12.3:  Analyze ways in which governments and international organizations can promote or inhibit economic development.

1.12.4:  Analyze factors that encourage businesses to relocate to another country.

“Unwrapped” Concepts and Skills, and Bloom Levels (BL)

Concepts(Need to Know)

Skills(Able to Do)


-Changing role of American participation and influence in world affairs

      *U.S. as sole superpower

      *United Nations, conflicts

      *War on Terror


-Impact of technology and scientific discovery on American society

      *Growth of technology and how it has

          changed American life (internet, cell

          phones, etc)


-Evolving nature of citizens’ rights

      *impact of War vs. Terror at home

      *political climate and what it means






























Common Formative Pre- Assessment:





-In class individual and small group work


-Q and A

-Closure Activities


Common Formative Post- Assessment:

-Unit Test

Instructional Planning

Suggested Resources/Materials:


Primary/Secondary Sources

Map Activity

Graphic Organizer


Power Point/Smartboard


Student Created Posters


Suggested Research-based Effective Instructional Strategies:

Current Event Analysis, UpFront magazine, Decades Project (Pop Culture), 9/11 Impact/experience activities

Vocabulary/Word Wall


Interdisciplinary Connections

Watergate, OPEC, Camp David Accords, Iran Hostage Crisis, Immigration issues, Chernobyl and 3 Mile Island (nuclear power), Earth Day, EPA, abortion (Roe vs. Wade), Star Wars, Iran-Contra Affair, Gorbachev, end of Cold War, Saddam Hussein, Gulf War, Desert Storm, NAFTA, Clinton impeachment, WTO, EU, Bush vs. Gore (election of 2000), terrorism, al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, Homeland Security Department, Iraqi Freedom, Afghanistan, internet, Election of 2008, John McCain, Barack Obama 

-BER Handbook, Personal Timeline, (p. 15)

-Crossword #42, Presidential Quotes

-Crossword #40, Bill Clinton

-Crossword #39, Carter/Reagan/Bush

-For the Record, Robert D. Putnam, “Bowling Alone”, (p. 450), Richard M. Valelly, “Couch Potato Democracy”, (p. 455)

-Literature:  Research biographical accounts of 9/11 and soldier accounts from the War on Terrorism

-Math:  Create charts showing impact of Government Bailouts, GNP, Outsourcing of Labor, Housing Crisis/Foreclosure rates, Unemployment rates

-Science:  Research=      *infectious diseases of Modern Times (AIDS, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, West Nile)

*impact of technology and the changing nature of society because of technology

*Need for improvements and the decaying Infrastructure of U.S.

*Global Warming


*Alternative Energy Sources