Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Truman's Recognition of Israel - A Role Play
Author:
Derek Frieling
Course:
US History
Time Frame:
2 class periods
Subjects:
Middle East
,
Recognition Of Israel

Grade Levels:
11

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:
  • Students will role-play Truman's decision to recognize the state of Israel.  Students will role-play the leading advisors of Truman and the President himself.  Students will analyze primary documents to help determine the stance they take as an advisor and thereby use to make their recommendation to President Truman.

Rationale:
  • Students need experience analyzing primary documents and developing talking points in a debate.
  • Students need to develop an understanding of foreign relations between the United States and the rest of the world, especially the Middle East.

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


 

  • MO:  3aW-Describe and evaluate the evolution of United States domestic and foreign policies including isolationism, immigration policy, two world wards, Cold War, and global interdependence.
  • MO:  3bG-Describe the dominant characteristics, contributions of, and interactions among major civilizations of Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East.
  • MO:  6K-Compare and contrast the major ideas and beliefs of different cultures
  • MO:  7A-Distinguish between and analyze primary sources and secondary sources.
  • MO:  7C-Distinguish between fact and opinion and analyze sources to recognize bias and points of view

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

Full description of activity or assignment.
  • Students will be divided into groups representing the advisors to President Truman.  These groups will include Clark Clifford-Special Counsel to the President, George Elsey-Assistant to the Special Counsel to the President, David Niles-Administrative Assistant to the President, George Marshall-Secretary of State, Robert Lovett-Under Secretary of Sate, Loy Henderson-Director of the State Department Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs, and Charles Ross-Press Secretary.  One student will be held out of the groups to be President Truman.  Students will be provided the above-mentioned primary documents to develop their opinion for the possible recognition of Israel.  On the first day, students will meet in their personal group to develop a consensus for the role they must fill as that advisor.  The documents will be analyzed to determine what is the best course for that role.  Meanwhile, the student representing President Truman will receive the same documents, but will be sequestered from the other students to provide individual analysis without being swayed by preliminary opinions.
  • On the second day of the activity, students will meet as a whole with the student chosen as President Truman.  The students will try to convince President Truman the best course of action concerning Israel.  Students will be required to use evidence from primary documents in their arguments.  Focus should be on placement of the Jewish population and future diplomatic relations in the Middle East and around the rest of the world. 
  • Upon conclusion of the debate, President Truman will recess and write a press release.  He/she will announce the decision to the class and the reasoning behind that decision.  While Truman is preparing his/her press release the rest of the class will be given the following roles and will be asked to speculate what their reaction would be to Truman’s announcement:  Chaim Weizmann of Israel, David Ben-Gurion of Israel, King Abdullah I of Jordan, King Farouk of Egypt, Shah Reza Pahlavi of Iran, Vincent Auriol of France, Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, Clement Attlee of Great Britain, and a consensus of American people.
  • Upon the conclusion of the activity, students will be required to write a reflection paper assessing the decision and the implication of diplomacy.

Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:
  • Students will be evaluated on the following criteria:
  • Providing a logical and well defended argument supporting their role.-30 points
  • Use of primary source documents in their defense.-10 points
  • Reflection paper effectively analyzing the implications of the decision on diplomatic relations.-20 points

 

 

Name Tags:

 

Clark Clifford

Special Counsel to the President

George Elsey

Assistant to the Special Counsel to the President

David Niles

Administrative Assistant to the President

George Marshall

Secretary of State

Robert Lovett

Under Secretary of Sate

Loy Henderson

Director of the State Department Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs

Charles Ross

Press Secretary

Harry Truman

President of the United States

Clark Clifford

Special Counsel to the President

George Elsey

Assistant to the Special Counsel to the President

David Niles

Administrative Assistant to the President

George Marshall

Secretary of State

Robert Lovett

Under Secretary of Sate

Loy Henderson

Director of the State Department Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs

Charles Ross

Press Secretary

 

Clark Clifford

Special Counsel to the President

George Elsey

Assistant to the Special Counsel to the President

David Niles

Administrative Assistant to the President

George Marshall

Secretary of State

 

 

Robert Lovett

Under Secretary of Sate

Loy Henderson

Director of the State Department Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs

Charles Ross

Press Secretary

 

Clark Clifford

Special Counsel to the President

George Elsey

Assistant to the Special Counsel to the President

David Niles

Administrative Assistant to the President

George Marshall

Secretary of State

Robert Lovett

Under Secretary of Sate

Loy Henderson

Director of the State Department Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs

Charles Ross

Press Secretary

 

 

 

Chaim Weizmann

of Israel

David Ben-Gurion

of Israel

King Abdullah I

of Jordan

King Farouk

of Egypt

Shah Reza Pahlavi

of Iran

Vincent Auriol

of France

Joseph Stalin

of the Soviet Union

Clement Attlee

of Great Britain

Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni of Palestine

Eddie Jacobson

of the United States

 

Chaim Weizmann

of Israel

David Ben-Gurion

of Israel

King Abdullah I

of Jordan

King Farouk

of Egypt

Shah Reza Pahlavi

of Iran

Vincent Auriol

of France

Joseph Stalin

of the Soviet Union

Clement Attlee

of Great Britain

Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni of Palestine

Eddie Jacobson

of the United States

Chaim Weizmann

of Israel

David Ben-Gurion

of Israel

King Abdullah I

of Jordan

King Farouk

of Egypt

Shah Reza Pahlavi

of Iran

Vincent Auriol

of France

Joseph Stalin

of the Soviet Union

Clement Attlee

of Great Britain

Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni of Palestine

Eddie Jacobson

of the United States