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Overview


Subject/Sub-Subject: Social Studies/U.S. History


Title: The Marshall Plan


Summary:

Students investigate the details of the Marshall Plan by using primary source documents to construct a basic narrative overview of events, then explore and mine the documents for additional depth of detail.


Understanding Goal

Europe lay in ruins, and the United States launched the Marshall Plan which provided massive financial aid to rebuild European economies and prevent the spread of communism.

Investigative Question

What was the Marshall Plan, why was it needed, and what impact did it produce?

Grade(s): 11, 8
Audience: General
Learners: Designed for high-school general education classroom with approximately one third of the class receiving Special Education or learning English as a second language, with or without team teacher colleague present.
Required Vocabulary: N/A
Prior Content Knowledge: N/A
Standards

Virginia: Social Studies - Grade 11

VA.VUS.12.a. Virginia and United States History: The United States since World War II: The student will demonstrate knowledge of United States foreign policy since World War II by describing outcomes of World War II, including political boundary changes, the formation of the United Nations, and the Marshall Plan.

Field Tests

Click on the title to expand the description of each field test


Sources

The Marshall Plan

Understanding Goal

Europe lay in ruins, and the United States launched the Marshall Plan which provided massive financial aid to rebuild European economies and prevent the spread of communism.

Click on an image for more information.

Slideshow Icon View as a slideshow
"The American Bludgeon in the Solution of Market Problems." While the Shadow Lengthens Map from The Marshall Plan at the Mid-Mark, 1950. "Can He Block It?" Fred uden frygt : sikkerhed gennem samarbejde : Marshall-administrationens udstilling, den Internationale messe forum, Kobenhavn, 2.-11. marts Marshall Announces His Plan "The President Signs the Economic Assistance Act" The Men Responsible "This Generation's Chance for Peace." Dutch View of the Marshall Plan Benefits for the U.S. Economy Thanking America The Marshall Plan and the Future of U.S.-European Relations. Fred uden frygt: Sikkerhed Gennem Samarbejde.

Required Materials

Files

Directions_Marshall_plan_lesson.ppt
Marshall_Plan_document_sequence.doc
Marshall_Plan_PS_docs.doc

Analysis Tools

Document_Analysis_Guide_short.doc

Directions

Investigation

Step 1 Introduce the topic and the understanding goal.
Step 2 Display/distribute the activity directions. Divide the class into heterogeneous working groups of three or four students per group.

Files

Step 3 Distribute the sequencing document (one copy to each group) and the primary source copies (one set to each group).

Files

Step 4 Ask the students to work together within their working groups to study the documents about the Marshall Plan. Direct them to decide, by group consensus, the most appropriate chronological order for the documents in the set. Have them designate a recorder and write down this order using the sequencing sheet, assigning short names for each document as they write them. into the sequence.
Step 5 Ask the students in each group to contribute brief, one sentence explanations of the contents of the documents listed for each of the steps in their sequence. Tell them to think of and link these statements as an overall story of the Marshall Plan.
Step 6 Observe the work of the student groups as they finish their sequence narratives. Ask one or two of the groups with exemplary narratives to share their interpretations. Point out the potential for different interpretations of document contents and sequence at this stage, and that historians would seek information about the origin of the documents and their correlation with other evidence to refine these interpretations. Optional - discuss with the class how this would be done, what to look for as other sources.
Step 7 Direct each of the students in each group to select an interesting document in the set for further study. Distribute the document analysis sheets, and ask the students to study their chosen documents in greater depth using the template and questions presented via the analysis sheet. Optional - The students may repeat this process with other documents as warranted by time and student interest.

Analysis Tools

Step 8 Ask for volunteers to share their additional insights gained using this additional analysis step. Discuss and reinforce the relevance of the documents and the narrative to the understanding goal. Collect personal work at this stage to assess individual engagement and insight, and/or followed up by a short reflective writing response.

Best Practices


Analysis of Student Learning


This activity was initially tried with a different order of action steps, in which students explored different documents and their details first, and then built a broader narrative together. My experience with that variation was that students got too involved in the discrete steps and details of taking apart the specific documents and never got to work together on a big picture perspective. Once the order was changed into the version reflected here, the student groups could focus on getting a quick, shared impression of each document and then building a common narrative about the Marshall that could be retold to the rest of the class. Doing the detailed analysis afterwards allowed students to follow and build on their initial impressions and do so at more of their own pace.


Analysis of Best Instructional Practices (learn more)

Differentiated Instruction Differentiated Instruction (learn more)

Content

Product

Grouping Learners

Literacy Instruction Literacy Instruction(learn more)

Visual

Teaching for Understanding Teaching for Understanding(learn more)

Explicit Understanding Goal

Check Misconceptions

Assessing Understanding

Learners Explain Thinking

Reflections and Recommendations


It may be useful to split the detailed single-document analysis part into a late class period or have students finish it as homework for sharing and discussion in a later session. This did stretch a 90 minute block, although that included an opening activity. Providing a short name or designator for each source on the handouts might be useful to expedite the process. A title/designator line on the document analysis sheet was requested by some students.


Credits

Authors and Contributors

Wanlace Yates
Marshall High School, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia

Library of Congress Items

Library of Congress items used in this Lesson Plan.

Thumbnail Library of Congress Item
"The American Bludgeon in the Solution of Market Problems." Unknown. 1949. "The American Bludgeon in the Solution of Market Problems.". Library of Congress: Exhibitions, For European Recovery: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan.
While the Shadow Lengthens Marcus, E. 1948. While the Shadow Lengthens. Library of Congress: Exhibitions, For European Recovery: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan.
Map from The Marshall Plan at the Mid-Mark, 1950. Unknown. 1950. Map from The Marshall Plan at the Mid-Mark, 1950. Library of Congress: Exhibitions, For European Recovery: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan.
"Can He Block It?" Marcus, E. ca.1947. "Can He Block It?" . Library of Congress: Exhibitions, For European Recovery: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan.
Fred uden frygt : sikkerhed gennem samarbejde : Marshall-administrationens udstilling, den Internationale messe forum, Kobenhavn, 2.-11. marts Unknown. 1965-1980. Fred uden frygt : sikkerhed gennem samarbejde : Marshall-administrationens udstilling, den Internationale messe forum, Kobenhavn, 2.-11. marts. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs, Posters: Yanker Poster Collection.
Marshall Announces His Plan Library of Congress. n.d.. Marshall Announces His Plan. Library of Congress: Exhibitions, For European Recovery: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan.
"The President Signs the Economic Assistance Act" Unknown. 1948. "The President Signs the Economic Assistance Act". Library of Congress: Exhibitions, For European Recovery: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan.
The Men Responsible Harriman, A. 1972. The Men Responsible. Library of Congress: Exhibitions.
"This Generation's Chance for Peace." Unknown. 1947. "This Generation's Chance for Peace." . Library of Congress: Exhibitions, For European Recovery: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan.
Dutch View of the Marshall Plan Spier, J 1949. Dutch View of the Marshall Plan. Library of Congress: Exhibitions, For European Recovery: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan.
Benefits for the U.S. Economy unknown (May 1948). Benefits for the U.S. Economy. Library of Congress: Exhibitions, For European Recovery: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan.
Thanking America Harriman, A. 1972. Thanking America. Library of Congress: Exhibitions.
The Marshall Plan and the Future of U.S.-European Relations. Unknown. n.d.. The Marshall Plan and the Future of U.S.-European Relations. Library of Congress: Exhibitions, For European Recovery: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan.
Fred uden frygt: Sikkerhed Gennem Samarbejde. I. Chr. Sorensen & Co. ca.1951. Fred uden frygt: Sikkerhed Gennem Samarbejde. Library of Congress: Exhibitions, For European Recovery: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan.