Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Marshall Plan: Convince the American People
Author:
Matt Basinger
Course:
AP US History
Time Frame:
3 days (dependent on the class size)
Subjects:
Marshall Plan
,
Cold War

Grade Levels:
11, 12

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:

This lesson plan requires the classroom to be divided into proponents and opponents to the Marshall Plan.  Using primary documents from the Truman Library website (http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/doctrine/large/index.php) , the proponents will create a persuasive speech trying to convince a skeptical American public to support the measures of rebuilding war-torn Europe.  The opponents will use general arguments against the plan to formulate questions to ask the proponents after their speeches.  After presentations, students will construct an essay detailing both sides of the arguments and ultimately taking a side in the debate.

Rationale:

Basic skills are required for college and career readiness.  Of these, oral expression and supporting opinions with facts are keys to success.  This assignment allows students to develop these skills and acquire knowledge of the Marshall Plan.

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


  • AP-8  Describe and evaluate the evolution of United States domestic and foreign policies, including: Cold War
  • AP-11  Examine all of the wars of the twentieth century (i.e., World War I and II), including: causes, comparisons, consequences and peace efforts
  • AP-15  Determine the economic consequences of personal and public decisions
  • AP-17  Explain the United States role in the global economy and of the roles of trade, treaties, international organizations and comparative advantage in the global economy
  • Common Core Social Studies – Reading Informational Text: Key Ideas and Details 11-12
    • 1.  Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text

says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining

where the text leaves matters uncertain.

  • Common Core  Social Studies – Writing: Text Types and Purposes 11-12
    • 1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts,

using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence

  • a.  Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the

claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and

create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaims,

reasons, and evidence.

  • b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the

most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and

limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge

level, concerns, values, and possible biases.

  • Common Core Social Studies – Writing:  Production and Distribution of Writing 11-12
    • 4.  Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization,

and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific

expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)

  • Common Core Social Studies – Speaking and Listening: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas 11-12
    • 4.  Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear

and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning,

alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization,

development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a

range of formal and informal tasks.

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
  • Nation of Nations
  • Nick Cullather, Indiana University.  “CIA and the Marshall Plan:  The Paradoxes of Liberal Anti-Communism”.  Presented at Ninth Annual Truman Library Teachers Conference.  The Legacy of the Marshall Plan.  July 9-13, 2012

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
  • “Who is the Man Against the Marshall Plan?”, Committee for the Marshall Plan to Aid European Recovery.  Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, The Legacy of the Marshall Plan. Marshall Plan, p.25.
  • Speech by Dean Acheson, "The Requirements of Reconstruction", May 8, 1947 
  • Development of Foreign Reconstruction Policy, March-July 1947, ca. September 1947 
  • "The Immediate Need for Emergency Aid to Europe", September 29, 1947 
  • Report, "German Agricultural and Food Requirements", February 26, 1947 
  • Correspondence between Ray Moseley and Harry S. Truman, November 26, 1947 

Full description of activity or assignment.
  1. Start Activity – Display the following quick writing prompt so all students can see, “What would be the advantages and disadvantages of rebuilding a country we have defeated in war?”  Discuss the student answers to get a preview of the pros and cons of this issue.
  2. Provide the necessary background information necessary for students to have a basic knowledge of the Marshall Plan.
  3. Divide the class into 2 groups.  Assign one group to research arguments supporting the Marshall Plan and the other group to develop arguments against the Marshall Plan.
  4. Provide students with a packet of the following primary documents from the Truman Library website: http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/doctrine/large/index.php
  5. Provide time for student groups to analyze the primary documents and review the secondary sources.  Assign the remaining analyses to be done at home.  Instruct students to bring to class any questions they have about the documents the next day.
  6. Provide time for the student groups to develop arguments, speeches, and questions for the opposing side.  It is the teacher’s option whether to provide time to revise student speeches.
  7. Present the speeches in favor of the Marshall Plan.  After each speech, allow students that are part of the opposing side to ask questions or present arguments against the Marshall Plan.

As a capstone, students will write a persuasive essay on whether to accept or reject the Marshall Plan

Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:
Persuasive Essay : Marshall Plan

CATEGORY

4 - Above Standards

3 - Meets Standards

2 - Approaching Standards

1 - Below Standards

Score

Attention Grabber

The introductory paragraph has a strong hook or attention grabber that is appropriate for the audience. This could be a strong statement, a relevant quotation, statistic, or question addressed to the reader.

The introductory paragraph has a hook or attention grabber, but it is weak, rambling or inappropriate for the audience.

The author has an interesting introductory paragraph but the connection to the topic is not clear.

The introductory paragraph is not interesting AND is not relevant to the topic.

 

Focus or Thesis Statement

The thesis statement names the topic of the essay and outlines the main points to be discussed.

The thesis statement names the topic of the essay.

The thesis statement outlines some or all of the main points to be discussed but does not name the topic.

The thesis statement does not name the topic AND does not preview what will be discussed.

 

Evidence and Examples

All of the evidence and examples are specific, relevant and explanations are given that show how each piece of evidence supports the author's position.

Most of the evidence and examples are specific, relevant and explanations are given that show how each piece of evidence supports the author's position.

At least one of the pieces of evidence and examples is relevant and has an explanation that shows how that piece of evidence supports the author's position.

Evidence and examples are NOT relevant AND/OR are not explained.

 

Transitions

A variety of thoughtful transitions are used. They clearly show how ideas are connected

Transitions show how ideas are connected, but there is little variety

Some transitions work well, but some connections between ideas are fuzzy.

The transitions between ideas are unclear OR nonexistent.

 

Closing paragraph

The conclusion is strong and leaves the reader solidly understanding the writer's position. Effective restatement of the position statement begins the closing paragraph.

The conclusion is recognizable. The author's position is restated within the first two sentences of the closing paragraph.

The author's position is restated within the closing paragraph, but not near the beginning.

There is no conclusion - the paper just ends.

 

Sources

All sources used for quotes, statistics and facts are credible and cited correctly.

All sources used for quotes, statistics and facts are credible and most are cited correctly.

Most sources used for quotes, statistics and facts are credible and cited correctly.

Many sources are suspect (not credible) AND/OR are not cited correctly.

 

 

http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php

 

Class Debate : Marshall Plan

Teacher Name: Ma fds 


Student Name:     ________________________________________

 

CATEGORY

4

3

2

1

Information

All information presented in the debate was clear, accurate and thorough.

Most information presented in the debate was clear, accurate and thorough.

Most information presented in the debate was clear and accurate, but was not usually thorough.

Information had several inaccuracies OR was usually not clear.

Rebuttal

All counter-arguments were accurate, relevant and strong.

Most counter-arguments were accurate, relevant, and strong.

Most counter-arguments were accurate and relevant, but several were weak.

Counter-arguments were not accurate and/or relevant

Use of Facts/Statistics

Every major point was well supported with several relevant facts, statistics and/or examples.

Every major point was adequately supported with relevant facts, statistics and/or examples.

Every major point was supported with facts, statistics and/or examples, but the relevance of some was questionable.

Every point was not supported.

Organization

All arguments were clearly tied to an idea (premise) and organized in a tight, logical fashion.

Most arguments were clearly tied to an idea (premise) and organized in a tight, logical fashion.

All arguments were clearly tied to an idea (premise) but the organization was sometimes not clear or logical.

Arguments were not clearly tied to an idea (premise).

Understanding of Topic

The team clearly understood the topic in-depth and presented their information forcefully and convincingly.

The team clearly understood the topic in-depth and presented their information with ease.

The team seemed to understand the main points of the topic and presented those with ease.

The team did not show an adequate understanding of the topic.

 

http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php