Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Amy Turner
American History; Cold War; World History; government
Time Frame:
4 days minimum
Bill Of Rights
Huac Trials
Machine Politics

Grade Levels:
9, 10, 11, 12

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:

Individual assignments using primary sources – transcripts from HUAC investigations; The US Constitution


Students will understand their constitutional rights and responsibilities

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:

  • Knowledge of Bill of Rihts
  • Understanding of Cold War events, McCarthyism,
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of historical events to current events

Missouri Standards

1. Principles expressed in the documents shaping constitutional democracy in the United States

2. Continuity and change in the history of Missouri, the United States and the world


Kansas Standards


Benchmark 2: The student understands the shared ideals and diversity of American society and political culture.

1. (K) recognizes that a nation’s values are embodied in the Constitution, statutes, and important court cases (e.g., Dred Scott vs. Sanford, Plessy vs. Ferguson, Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka).

2. (K) understands core civic values inherent in the United States Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence that have been the foundation for unity in American society (e.g., right to free speech, religion, press, assembly; equality; human dignity; civic responsibility, sovereignty of the people).


Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
  • textbooks
  • A+ computer program
  • Video: The Majestic

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
  • HUAC transcripts
  • US Constitution
  • Video from HUAC hearings
  • Photocopy of loyalty oaths

Technology Required:

 Computer programs, Truman Library Website, DVD/TV

Full description of activity or assignment.

Students will read through the Bll of Rghts and put into their own words what those rights mean today. They will then prioritize those rights as they apply to students.


Students will view videos on the HUAC hearings, read transcripts taken, and write a 1 page reflection paper on those events.


Students will view the video The Majestic and write a brief summary of the video explaining how it relates to this topic.


Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:

I will give the students a 25 point test including matching, short answer, and 1 essay question which will demonstrate their knowledge of terminology, names of people involved, and their interpretation of the phrase “Does the end justify the means?” as it relates to Cold War issues.