Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


NSC 68 and the Patriot Act
Author:
Mary Barcroft
Course:
American Government, American or World History, 20th Century Studies
Time Frame:
One to two class periods
Subjects:
Cold War

Grade Levels:
9, 10, 11, 12

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:

This lesson will be a paired learning activity using primary sources, technology, and will address cross-curricular studies through the use of a writing assessment.

Rationale:

The students will use a historical document (NSC-68) and compare it with the Patriot Act to determine similarities and differences between the two documents.  The purpose is to help students understand that in times of crisis, the government often infringes on civil liberties to protect national security.

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


Missouri:  Show Me Standards

 

  • Social Studies 3:  The principles and processes of governance systems.
  • Social Studies 6:  The relationships of individuals and groups to institutions and cultural traditions.
  • Social Studies 7:  The use of tools of social science inquiry (such as surveys, statistics, maps, documents.
  • Performance Goal 1:  Students in Missouri public schools will acquire the knowledge and skills to gather, analyze and apply information and ideas.
  • Performance Goal 2:  Students in Missouri public schools will acquire the knowledge and skills to communicate effectively within and beyond the classroom.
  • Performance Goal 3:  Students in Missouri public schools will acquire the knowledge and skills to recognize and solve problems.

KANSAS STANDARDS

U.S. History

Benchmark 3: The student uses a working knowledge and understanding of individuals, groups, ideas, developments, and turning points in the era of the Cold War (1945-1990).

4. (A) evaluates the foreign policies of Kennedy and Johnson during the Cold War (e.g., Cuban Missile Crisis, Berlin Wall, Vietnam War, Peace Corp).

5. (A) analyzes domestic life in the United States during the Cold War era (e.g., McCarthyism, federal aid to education, interstate highway system, space as the New Frontier, Johnson’s Great Society).

World History

Benchmark 4: The student uses a working knowledge and understanding of individuals, groups, ideas, developments, and turning points of the World Since 1945.

1. (A) analyzes the Cold War as the competition between two competing ideologies or world views and its impact on various regions of the world. (e.g., roots in WWII, Mao’s China; the Cold War in Europe; NATO, Warsaw Pact, and the competition for nonaligned nations; collapse of Communism in Europe).

 

National Standards:

U. S. History:

 

  • Era 9, Postwar United States (1945 to early 1970s)
    • Standard 1A
      • Analyze the impact of the Cold War on the Economy
    • Standard 1B
      • Explain the rapid growth of secondary and collegiate education and the role of new government spending on educational programs.
    • Standard 1C
      • Explore the new relationship between science and government after World War II created a new system of scientific research and development.
    • Standard 3 A:  The student understands the political debates of the post-World War II era.
      • Explain the relationship between post-war Soviet espionage and the emergence of internal security and loyalty programs under Truman and Eisenhower.

World History

  • Era 9, The 20th Century since 1945:  Promises and Paradoxes
    • Standard 1B:  The student understands why global power shifts took place and the Cold War broke out in the aftermath of World War II.
      • Analyze interconnections between superpower rivalries and the development of military, nuclear, and space technology.
    • Standard 2E:  The student understands major worldwide scientific and technological trends of the second half of the 20th century
      • Describe the worldwide implications of the revolution in nuclear, electronic, and computer technology.
    • Standard 3A:  The student understands major global trends since World War II.
      • Explain why the Cold War took place and ended and assess its significance as a 20th century event.

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
  • Historical information about the growth of the defense industry  and cultural changes after the issuance of NSC-68 (a variety of materials available to students)

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
Technology Required:

Computer access for research on societal changes after issuance of both bills.

Full description of activity or assignment.

TTW present a short lecture to the students regarding the history of NSC-68 and explain why it was enacted.  TTW divide students into pairs and pass out copies of Section 10 (NSC 68 Summary) and copies of the summary of the Patriot Act issued after September 11, 2001.  TSW compare the two documents, creating a Venn diagram to provide a visual representation of similarities and differences between the two acts.

After the students have completed their Venn diagrams, TTW explain that NSC-68 and the Patriot Act both brought about societal changes, and at times infringed on civil liberties.  TSW will have time to research these changes individually, and produce a short essay comparing and contrasting the two situations.

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

Each student will individually produce a short (3-5) paragraph essay of their findings.  The statement will be graded with the attached rubric.

 

 

SCORING RUBRIC FOR NSC-68/PATRIOT ACT  ESSAY

 

 

 

 

Strong

Moderately

Strong

 

Average

Moderately Weak

 

Weak

 

Discusses the societal changes brought about by each act

 

5

4

3

2

1

Provides specific examples from the plan to support your discussions

 

5

4

3

2

1

Provides a clear, concise summary of their findings illustrating differences and similiarities

 

5

4

3

2

1

Conveys clear meaning by using proper grammar, spelling and punctuation

 

5

4

3

2

1

Follows instructions with regard to mechanics of writing the paper

5

4

3

2

1

 

 

Remember this is an ANALYSIS of the movie, not a movie review.  I do not care if you thought the movie was good or bad.  I want to know if you understand why the movie was shown in your class, and what you learned from watching it.

A 5 paper presents a well-developed critique of the discussion and demonstrates good control of the elements of effective writing.  A typical paper in this category

  • clearly identifies important features of the analysis and develops them in a generally thoughtful way.
  • develops ideas clearly, organizes them logically, and connects them with appropriate transitions
  • sensibly supports the main points of the analysis
  • demonstrates control of the language, demonstrating ability to use the conventions of standard written English but may have occasional flaws.

A 4 paper presents a competent analysis and demonstrates adequate control of the elements of writing. A typical paper in this category

  • identifies and analyzes important features of the analysis
  • develops and organizes ideas satisfactorily but may not connect them with transitions
  • supports the main points of the analysis
  • demonstrates sufficient control of language to convey ideas with reasonable clarity generally follows the conventions of standard written English but may have some flaws. 

A 3 paper demonstrates some competence in analytical writing skills and in its control of the elements of writing but is plainly flawed. A typical paper in this category exhibits one or more of the following characteristics:

  • does not identify or analyze most if the important features of the discussion, although some analysis is present
  • devotes most of its time to analyzing irrelevant issues
  • is limited in the logical development and organization of ideas
  • offers support of little relevance and value for points of the analysis
  • does not convey meaning clearly, or contains occasional major errors or frequent minor errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics

A 2 paper demonstrates serious weaknesses in analytical writing skills. A typical paper in this category exhibits one or more of the following characteristics:

  • does not present a critique based on logical analysis, but may instead present the writer's own views on the subject
  • does not develop ideas or is disorganized
  • provides little, if any, relevant or reasonable support
  • has serious and frequent problems in the use of language and in sentence structure, containing numerous errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics that interfere with meaning.

A 1 paper demonstrates fundamental deficiencies in analytical writing skills. A typical paper in this category exhibits more than one of the following characteristics:

  • provides little evidence of the ability to understand and analyze
  • provides little evidence of the ability to develop an organized response
  • has severe and persistent errors in language and sentence structure, containing a pervasive pattern or errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics that results in incoherence

0----Off-topic