Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Factors Contributing to US recognition of Israel
Tracy Murray
AP European History
Time Frame:
5-6 days
Middle East
Recognition Of Israel

Grade Levels:
9, 10, 11, 12

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:

This lesson is designed to provide students an opportunity to use primary sources to arrive at a research based answer to a big question in history.  Students will review background information, analyze primary sources, work in groups, and use technology to present their ideas.


This lesson is designed to help students understand the complex issues that contributed to the US recognizing the State of Israel.  In addition will it will help to put that action into a bigger picture of Cold War diplomacy and politics.

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

  • Kansas State Standards: Social Studies: 1. Choices have consequences

                                                                       3. Societies are shaped by beliefs, ideas, and diversity

                                                                              4. Societies experience continuity and change over time

                                                                              5. Relationships between people, place, idea, and

          environments are dynamic

  • CCSS.ELA Literacy RH 11-12.1,.2,.3,.7,.8,.9,.16
  • CCSS.ELA Literacy WHST 11-12.1,.4,.7,.8,.9

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

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

Full description of activity or assignment.
  • Day 1: The first day will be spent setting the stage.  To help students understand the climate global politics, and the US role in them during this time period students will look over the chronology of events provided by the Truman Library on line at http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/index.php?action=chrono. This will be done as a whole class discussion/presentation that is teacher led.  At the end of the overview students will be asked to make connections to other information we have already studied in class as well as ask any questions they currently have.  After this discussion students will be broken into groups of three or four and will be given access to the documents provided at http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/index.php?action=docs.  Students will then be instructed to begin processing through the documents keeping the “big question” in mind: “What factors most significantly contributed to the US decision to recognize the State of Israel?” The students will also be told that they are to generate a thesis to answer this question, and that the thesis must be supported with evidence from the documents. 
  • Day 2: Students will continue to process through the documents and look for an answer to the big question.
  • Day 3: Students will finish up document analysis and begin to work with their groups to generate a thesis and an outline that answer the question.  Students must get their thesis and outline approved before beginning the development of their presentation.
  • Day 4: Students should begin working on assembling their presentation
  • Day 5: Students must finish their presentations
  • Day 6: Students present their thesis and evidence to the class.

Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:
  • Students will be assessed during the process through a check of their thesis statement and their outline.

The final assessment will be made using the attached rubric to evaluate the quality of their presentation




(for grades 9-12; Common Core ELA aligned)


Below Standard

Approaching Standard

At Standard

Above Standard


Explanation of Ideas & Information 

•  does not present information, arguments, ideas, or findings clearly, concisely, and logically; argument lacks supporting evidence; audience cannot follow the line of reasoning

•  selects information, develops ideas and uses a style inappropriate to the purpose, task, and audience (may be too much or too little information, or the wrong approach)

•  does not address alternative or opposing perspectives

•  presents information, findings, arguments and supporting evidence in a way that is not always clear, concise, and logical; line of reasoning is sometimes hard to follow

•  attempts to select information, develop ideas and use a style appropriate to the purpose, task, and audience but does not fully succeed

•  attempts to address alternative or opposing perspectives, but not clearly or completely

•  presents information, findings, arguments and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically; audience can easily follow the line of reasoning (CC 9-12.SL.4)

•  selects information, develops ideas and uses a style appropriate to the purpose, task, and audience (CC 9-12.SL.4)

•  clearly and completely addresses alternative or opposing perspectives
(CC 11-12.SL.4)



•  does not meet requirements for what should be included in the presentation

•  does not have an introduction and/or conclusion

•  uses time poorly; the whole presentation, or a part of it, is too short or too long

•  meets most requirements for what should be included in the presentation

•  has an introduction and conclusion, but they are not clear or interesting

•  generally times presentation well, but may spend too much or too little time on a topic, a/v aid, or idea

•  meets all requirements for what should be included in the presentation

•  has a clear and interesting introduction and conclusion

•  organizes time well; no part of the presentation is too short or too long


Eyes & Body 

•  does not look at audience; reads notes or slides

•  does not use gestures or movements

•  lacks poise and confidence (fidgets, slouches, appears nervous)

•  wears clothing inappropriate for the occasion

•  makes infrequent eye contact; reads notes or slides most of the time

•  uses a few gestures or movements but they do not look natural

•  shows some poise and confidence, (only a little fidgeting or nervous movement)

•  makes some attempt to wear clothing appropriate for the occasion

•  keeps eye contact with audience most of the time; only glances at notes or slides

•  uses natural gestures and movements

•  looks poised and confident

•  wears clothing appropriate for the occasion





































•  mumbles or speaks too quickly or slowly

•  speaks too softly to be understood

•  frequently uses “filler” words (“uh, um, so, and, like, etc.”)

•  does not adapt speech for the context and task

•  speaks clearly most of the time

•  speaks loudly enough for the audience to hear most of the time, but may speak in a monotone

•  occasionally uses filler words

•  attempts to adapt speech for the context and task but is unsuccessful or inconsistent

•  speaks clearly; not too quickly or slowly

•  speaks loudly enough for everyone to hear; changes tone and pace to maintain interest

•  rarely uses filler words

•  adapts speech for the context and task, demonstrating command of formal English when appropriate (CC 9-12.SL.6)


Presentation Aids 

•  does not use audio/visual aids or media

•  attempts to use one or a few audio/visual aids or media, but they do not add to or may distract from the presentation

•  uses audio/visual aids or media, but they may sometimes distract from or not add to the presentation

•  sometimes has trouble bringing audio/visual aids or media smoothly into the presentation

•  uses well-produced audio/visual aids or media to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence, and to add interest (CC 9-12.SL.5)

•  smoothly brings audio/visual aids or media into the presentation


Response to Audience Questions 

•  does not address audience questions (goes off topic or misunderstands without seeking clarification)

•  answers audience questions, but not always clearly or completely

•  answers audience questions clearly and completely

•  seeks clarification, admits “I don’t know” or explains how the answer might be found when unable to answer a question







Participation in Team


•  Not all team members participate; only one or two speak

•  All team members participate, but not equally

•  All team members participate for about the same length of time

•  All team members are able to answer questions about the topic as a whole, not just their part of it