Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Global Connections: Using US Involvement in the Middle East
Diane Haywood
Time Frame:
1-3 class days
Cia Coup
Six Day War
Eisenhower Doctrine
Recognition Of Israel
Analyzing Primary Sources

Grade Levels:
9, 10, 11, 12

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:
  • The lesson will combine individual, co-operative, peer teaching and primary sources to be used in government during a unit with emphasis on global connections between our government and others.  Students will be given a brief time line of US involvement with some events of Middle East history from 1947 to the present, documents and excerpts to read, analyze and share with fellow classmates.  As a final project, the student will write and draw conclusions about US involvement in the Middle East and effects on both US and world politics.

  • This lesson will allow students to explore US involvement with the various nations of the Middle East    across a time frame of US administrations. The goal of this exploration is to open students to realization that they are members of a global community and to understand that US actions and the actions of citizens of one country affect people and nations in other parts of the world.
  • In Missouri, state mandated testing for Government does not include global connections, but often curriculum does.  This could be used as a post standard test mini unit to illustrate the US government as a member of the global community.

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

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
  • Brief time line of US/Middle East involvement-scanned at end of lesson for each student
  • Power point of lesson, background information, vocabulary, document list –power point
  • Definition of vocabulary needed-included on power point
  • Kissinger shuttle diplomacy timeline –scanned at end of lesson
  • Source analysis sheet-scanned at end of lesson (others available at trumanlibrary.org or nara.gov)
  • Optional-Butcher sheet with timeline dates for students to use during sharing of material-maybe add Presidential pictures

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
  • Truman-recognition of Israel (1948) scanned at end of lesson-primary
  • Eisenhower-CIA coup in Iran  (1953) scanned at end of lesson-secondary
  • Eisenhower Doctrine  (1954)-milestone documents-scanned at end of lesson-secondary
  • Johnson-Hot Line communication (Six Day War-1967)-pdf file-primary




  • Ford-Shuttle Diplomacy memo (1975)-pdf file-primary




  • Carter-Iran hostage diary entry (1977)-scanned at end of lesson-primary
  • Reagan-speech following marine barracks bombing (1983)-scanned at end of lesson-primary
  • Bush (41)-First Gulf War (1990)-National Security Directive 45-pdf file-

http://www.trumanlibrary.org/educ/mideastconference/Bush41pg1.pdf (Page 1)

http://www.trumanlibrary.org/educ/mideastconference/Bush41pg2.pdf (Page 2)

http://www.trumanlibrary.org/educ/mideastconference/Bush41pg4.pdf (Page 3)

http://www.trumanlibrary.org/educ/mideastconference/Bush41pg3.pdf (Page 4)

  • Clinton-Albright statement about US instigated coup of Iranian Prime Minister in 1953-scanned at end of lesson-primary
  • Bush (43) address to nation following 9/11 attack, draft and final-scanned at end of lesson-primary    

Full description of activity or assignment.
  • Open lesson with question soliciting student input-“Why does the US care about Middle Eastern politics?”
  • Encourage students to think back to World History classes-(cradle of civilization, early learning and knowledge, base of three of the great religions of the world, Crusades, center of transportation and trade. Look for answers about oil, terrorism, religious differences, Suez Canal.)
  • Share the brief timeline and vocabulary with students via the power point (attached).  You may want to give them a print out timeline (attached) to use as reference while reading documents. Have students first read and compete worksheet/worksheets (make sure to give equivalent documentation to all students) individually. Give some partner time for students with the same documents to consult.  In jigsaw form, allow students to compare and choose a spokesman to share document with peers.  In chronologic order, have students share a summary of the document.  You could ask student to share his or her views on consequences and historical causes if you choose and you can have the students place information on a timeline in front of class (butcher sheet).  You could open for class discussion after each document presentation if time allows or use directed discussion via teacher questions. 
  • As a final activity, students will write an essay on the following prompt:  “Defend or debunk ‘Actions taken by US Presidents since World War II in the Middle East have affected world affairs and  domestic policy and prove the hypothesis of a globally connected world.’”  An excellent essay must use events from history (events discussed in source material or students may be given library research time if applicable) and examples from at least three documents provided in class. 



  • Day One- Open lesson, Share power point, Pass our documents. (5 groups) Truman/Eisenhower/Carter; Johnson; Ford; Clinton/Reagan/Bush 43; Bush 41 would be my suggested division of materials.  Begin individual analysis.
  • Day Two- Complete individual analysis.  Set aside partner time (ten minutes).  Begin jigsaw.
  • Day Three- Complete jigsaw.  Assign and begin essay.

If you have time and access for research, that time would go after jigsaw.




Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:
  • Students will receive participation points for presentation and group experience
  • Students will receive credit for completing source sheets for documents assigned.
  • Student essays will be graded-credit assigned as decided by teacher and shared with students
  • An outstanding essay will be grammatically correct, contain historical events, and use a minimum of three documents or sources supporting student point of view.
  • An acceptable essay will be grammatically correct, contain historical events and use at least two documents or source supporting student point of view.
  •  A credited essay will have few grammar errors, contain historical events and use at least one document or source supporting student point of view.
  • An unacceptable essay will lack either actual historical events or documents supporting student point of view.