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Unit Plan Overview

Unit: The Reagan Era
Stage 1- Desired Results
Connections to Context:
The unit I will be teaching is The
Reagan Era (essentially America in
the 1980s). This unit is important to
teach to high school students
because the presidency of Ronald
Reagan is the epitome of the rising
conservative tide in American
society. The “Reagan Revolution”
marks a critical shift in the American
political conversation, away from
New Deal/Great Society liberalism to
the more current conservative ideas
that dominate society today. This
unit is also important to teach
because more recent history is rarely
covered and if it is, it is not covered
well.
(How does this fit with students’
experiences, the school goals, and the
larger societal issues?)

Established Goals
GLCEs
Standard 1: Recent developments in
foreign and domestic policy
Standard 1B: The student
understands domestic politics in
contemporary society
 Explain the conservative
reaction to liberalism and
evaluate supply-side
economic strategies of the
Reagan and Bush
administrations. [Compare
and contrast differing sets of
ideas]

Transfer
Students will be able to independently use their learning to…
 Gain deeper knowledge of the “new conservatism” and how its ripples still affect today’s society
 Driving Question: What lessons can be learned from Reagan’s presidency?

(What kinds of long-term independent accomplishments are desired?)

Meaning
UNDERSTANDINGS
ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS
Students will understand that…
Students will keep considering…
 With the election of Ronald Reagan, there was
 Why did the 1980 election mark a turning
a shift in the American political course/culture
point in the United States history?
 Reagan’s economic policies were both highly
 How did the tax cutting policies
influential and controversial
Reaganomics influence the future of
American
 This time period was crucial in terms of US
Economy?
foreign policy
 How does the American involvement in
 The political climate that we are all a part of
foreign scandals reflect the continuation of
today holds its roots in the conservative tide
American imperialism?
that rose in the 1980s
 Did the stern rhetoric of Ronald Reagan
ultimately cause the fall of the Soviet
Union?
(What specifically do you want students to
understand?
What inferences should they make?)

(What thought-provoking questions will foster inquiry,
meaning- making and transfer?)

Acquisition of Knowledge, Skill and Values/Commitments/Dispositions
Students will know…
Students will be skilled at…
Students will exhibit…
 Terms:
 Reading and interpreting
 Learners will be able to
documents
determine the main
 Ronald Reagan
points of Reagan’s First

Articulating
thoughts
in
 Election of 1980
Inaugural Address, and
essay,
or
short
answer
 Conservatism
create an accurate
form
 Taxpayer’s Revolt
summary that void of

Learners
will
be
able
to
 Moral Majority
prior knowledge or
evaluate Reagan’s

Based on Wiggins and McTighe (2011) The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units and Van Brummelen (2002) Steppingstones to
Curriculum







Examine the impact of the
“Reagan Revolution” on
federalism and public
perceptions of the role of
government. [Examine the
influence of ideas]
 Analyze constitutional issues
in the Iran-Contra affair.
[Identify issues and problems
in the past]
 Evaluate the impact of
recurring recessions and the
growing national debt on the
domestic agendas of recent
presidential administrations.
[Compare and contrast
differing policies]
Standard 1C: The students
understand major foreign policy
initiatives
 Assess U.S. policies toward
arms limitation and explain
improved relations with the
Soviet Union. [Examine the
influence of ideas]
 Examine the U.S. role in
political struggles in the
Middle East, Africa, Asia, and
Latin America. [Analyze
cause-and-effect
relationships]
 Evaluate Reagan’s efforts to
reassert American military
power and rebuild American
prestige. [Hypothesize the
influence of the past]
 Explain the reasons for the
collapse of communist
governments in Eastern
Europe and the USSR.
[Analyze multiple causation]

Jerry Falwell
“Misery Index”
The Reagan Revolution
Reaganomics
Deregulation
1982 Recession
Gramm-Rudman-Hollings
Balanced Budget Act
 “Standing Tall”
 Strategic Defense Initiative
(SDI)
 Boland Amendment
 Grenada
 Iran-Contra Affair
 Mikhail Gorbachev
 Glasnost
 Perestroika
 The INF Agreement
Learners will be able to
distinguish among fact,
opinion, and reasoned
judgment in the speech (lesson
1)
Learners will be able to
determine the main points of
Reagan’s First Inaugural
Address, and create an
accurate summary that void of
prior knowledge or opinions
(lesson 1)
Learners will be able to
determine the central ideas
and themes of Reagan’s First
Inaugural Address, and create
an accurate summary that
makes clear relationships
among key ideas and details
(lesson 1)
Learners will be able to
understand what is meant by

speech both in terms of
oral communication
(strictly the words
spoken) as well as the
visual of Reagan’s
speech giving
ability(lesson 1)
Learners will be able to
identify aspects of the
speech that reveal
Reagan’s point of view
and purpose for the
speech (lesson 1)
Learners will be able to
distinguish among fact,
opinion, and reasoned
judgment when learning
about and evaluating
Reagan’s economic
policies (lesson 2)
Learners will be able to
analyze and evaluate the
presidency of their
assigned president in
order to apply that
knowledge in an
argument as to why their
president deserves to be
ranked number 1 all time
(lesson 2)
Learners will be able to
find, understand and
analyze information from
a variety of sources to
bolster their argument
(lesson 2)
Learner will be able to
develop, create and
clearly articulate their
argument for their
assigned president
being ranked as the best

opinions (lesson 1)
Learners will be able to
determine the central
ideas and themes of
Reagan’s First Inaugural
Address, and create an
accurate summary that
makes clear relationships
among key ideas and
details (lesson 1)
Learners will be able to
analyze and evaluate the
presidency of their
assigned president in
order to apply that
knowledge in an
argument as to why their
president deserves to be
ranked number 1 all time
(lesson 2)
Learner will be able to
develop, create and
clearly articulate their
argument for their
assigned president
being ranked as the best
president of all time
(lesson 3)
Learner will be able to
thoughtfully respond to
the oppositions
arguments with factual
data (lesson 3)
Learners will be able to
describe how the
websites present their
data (lesson 4)
Learners will be able to
cite specific textual
evidence to support their
opinions/answers to the
“loaded statements”

Based on Wiggins and McTighe (2011) The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units and Van Brummelen (2002) Steppingstones to
Curriculum

Standard 2: Economic, social, and
cultural developments in
contemporary United States
Standard 2A: The student

understands economic patterns
since 1968
 Explain the increase in
income disparities and
evaluate its social and
political consequences.
[Analyze cause-and-effect
relationships]
Standard 2C: The student
understands changing religious
diversity and its impact on American
institutions and values
 Analyze the position of major
religious groups on political
and social issues. [Analyze
cause-and-effect
relationships]
 Explain the growth of the
Christian evangelical
movement. [Consider
multiple perspectives]
 Analyze how religious
organizations use modern
telecommunications to
promote their faiths.
[Interrogate historical data]
Standard 2E: The student
understands how a democratic polity
debates social issues and mediates
between individual or group rights
and the common good.
 Evaluate to what degree
affirmative action policies
have achieved their goals and
assess the current debate
over affirmative action.
[Consider multiple
perspectives]

“Reaganomics” and how
Reagan’s economic policy
affected the country (lesson 2)
Learners will be able to cite
specific textual evidence to
support their opinions/answers
to the “loaded statements”
posed (lesson 5)

(What facts and basic concepts
should students know and be
able to recall?)

president of all time
(lesson 3)
Learner will be able to
thoughtfully respond to
the oppositions
arguments with factual
data (lesson 3)
Learner will be able to
draw on and utilize
information from a
variety of sources in
order to strengthen their
argument (lesson 3)
Learner will be able to
apply all of the
knowledge they have
learned in this unit to
successfully debate the
topic (lesson 3)
Learners will be able to
cite specific textual
evidence to support their
answers posed in the
Web Quest activities
(lesson 4)
Learners will be able to
read, understand and
analyze information from
a variety of sources in
order to create clear and
well reasoned responses
to the questions posed
(lesson 4)
Learners will be able to
cite specific textual
evidence to support their
opinions/answers to the
“loaded statements”
posed (lesson 5)
Learners will be able to
determine the central
ideas or information of a

posed (lesson 5)
Learners will be able to
determine the central
ideas or information of a
source, and provide an
accurate summary in
order to state and defend
their opinion on the
“loaded statements”
(lesson 5)
Learner will be able to
draw information from
various sources and cite
specific information to
address the question
(lesson 5)

(What values and commitments and
attitudes should students acquire or
wrestle with?)

Based on Wiggins and McTighe (2011) The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units and Van Brummelen (2002) Steppingstones to
Curriculum

Common Core:
 RH 6-8.2: Determine the
central ideas or information of
a primary or secondary
source; provide an accurate
summary of the source
distinct from prior knowledge
or opinions
 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.
 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.
 RH 6-8.6: Identify aspects of a
text that reveal an author’s
point of view or purpose (e.g.,
loaded language, inclusion or
avoidance of particular facts).
 RH 6-8.8: Distinguish among
fact, opinion, and reasoned
judgment in a text.
 RI 5.7: Draw on information
from multiple print or digital
sources, demonstrating the
ability to locate an answer to
a question quickly or to solve
a problem efficiently.
 RH 11-12.3: Evaluate various
explanations for actions or
events and determine which
explanation best accords with

source, and provide an
accurate summary in
order to state and defend
their opinion on the
“loaded statements”
(lesson 5)
Learner will be able to
draw information from
various sources and cite
specific information to
address the question
(lesson 5)

(What discrete skills and processes
should students be able to use?)

Based on Wiggins and McTighe (2011) The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units and Van Brummelen (2002) Steppingstones to
Curriculum

textual evidence,
acknowledging where the text
leaves matters uncertain.
RH 11-12.8: Evaluate an
author’s premises, claims,
and evidence by
corroborating or challenging
them with other information.
RH 9-10.1: Cite specific
textual evidence to support
analysis of primary and
secondary sources
RH 6-8.5: Describe how a text
presents information (e.g.,
sequentially, comparatively,
causally).
RI 5.6: Analyze multiple
accounts of the same event
or topic, noting important
similarities and differences in
the point of view they
represent.

(What content standards and programor mission-related goal(s) will the unit
address?
What habits of mind and crossdisciplinary goal(s)- for example 21st
century skills, core competencies- will
this unit address?
Include source and identifying number)

Evaluative Criteria
Students must be able to clearly
articulate their thoughts throughout
the unit (whether that is orally or in
written form). Depth of historical
knowledge is also necessary as well
as an accurate account of American
Society/History in the 1980s.

Stage 2- Evidence
Students will show their learning by…
PERFORMANCE TASK(S):
Lesson 1:
 Students will answer questions posed by the teacher at various part of Reagan’s first inaugural
address to make connections to notes taken and important information covered in the class –
checking that the students are understanding the speech material
 Students will write a short (1-2 paragraph) summary of the speech, outlining its main points and
extrapolating on the implications of the policies Reagan alludes to in this address (to this point
they will not have covered the effects of his policies, but I am asking them to conjecture)

Based on Wiggins and McTighe (2011) The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units and Van Brummelen (2002) Steppingstones to
Curriculum

Students will have to explain the
importance of Reagan’s presidency
and how many of his political
decisions changed the way the
country looked at politics, both then
and today.
(What criteria will be used in each
assessment to evaluate attainment of
the desired results?)

Lesson 2:
 Brief review of material covered in lesson 1, so that information is hammered home and
connections can be made between past and future material to be covered
 Taking time during the PowerPoint presentation of Reagan’s economic policy to ask students
what the effects of his policies might be. Examine a political cartoon on the topic. Engage in
discussion (informal, formative assessment to make sure that students are understanding the
material)
 Students will create a Google Slides presentation outlining their assigned president’s domestic
policy, foreign policy, leadership and highlights, with a final slide arguing why their assigned
president should be considered the best president of all time (I will look at these presentations
and provide a grade for them)
Lesson 3:
 Students will be presenting their Google Slides arguing for their why the president they were
assigned is the best of all time, I will informally assess their arguments
 A culminating discussion will take place as the scholarly ranking of the top 11 presidents is
revealed and is compared to the rankings the whole class came up with (how time changes the
view of presidents?)
Lesson 4:
 Students will complete a Web Quest on the Reagan presidency, and turn it in online. I will grade
the answers submitted
Lesson 5:
 Assessment for this topic will largely be informal as I assess student’s answers to
questions/statements posed, and the defense of their opinion on the statements
 A quiz on the unit will be given
(How will students demonstrate their understanding- meaning-making and transfer- through complex
performance?)

(Regardless of the format of the
assessment, what qualities are most
important?)

OTHER EVIDENCE:
 Informal assessments collected during each class period to make sure that each student has a
good handle on the material that is being presented
(What other evidence will you collect to determine whether Stage 1 goals were achieved?

Based on Wiggins and McTighe (2011) The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units and Van Brummelen (2002) Steppingstones to
Curriculum

Stage 3- Learning Plan
The pre-assessment process for this unit will be very informal. The unit will begin with a brief overview of everything that happened in the
1970s and then we
will launch into a brief discussion on the dominant social and political beliefs of the decades preceding the rise of conservatism in the 1980s.
We will
then discuss as a class the students prior knowledge of Reagan before diving into the introductory notes.
(What pre-assessments will you use to check students’ prior knowledge, skill levels, and potential misconceptions?)
(Toward which goal does
Learning Events
each learning event build?)
Acquisition

Student success at transfer, meaning, and acquisition depends upon their
participation in these learning events…

Meaning
Transfer




Students will take notes on the Reagan Era as I present the
information to them in PowerPoint form
Students will watch/read along and analyze the Ronald Reagan’s First
Inaugural Address in order to understand his policies
Students will create a Google Slides presentation assessing their
assigned president’s greatness in order to better understand the
connection between past and present. How we think about
things/people now versus 20, 40, 100 years down the road
Students will participate in a Web Quest in order to take charge of
their own learning on this era of US history
Students will defend their stance on the “loaded statements
continuum” so that they are applying all of the knowledge learned in
the unit as well as pulling in their own biases and beliefs to defend
their position on various topics

Progress Monitoring

(How will you monitor students’
progress toward acquisition,
meaning, and transfer during
lesson events?)

Student progress toward
acquisition, meaning, and
transfer will be monitored
largely by whole class activities
and discussions. I think that
this would be the most effective
way to go about this because in
order to engage in meaningful
discussions, one must have a
good grasp on the material
being discussed.

(How will students monitor
their own progress toward
acquisition, meaning, and
transfer?)

Students will monitor their own
progress as they prepare and
engage in these class activities
and discussions. As well as
through short review sessions in
class and connections made to
other material.
Star the multiple means of representation; underline the multiple means of
action and expression; circle the multiple means of engagement
(Are all three types of goals (acquisition, meaning, and transfer) addressed in
Based on Wiggins and McTighe (2011) The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units and Van Brummelen (2002) Steppingstones to
Curriculum


the learning plan?)
(Does the learning plan reflect principles of learning and best practices?)
(Is there tight alignment with Stages 1 and 2?)

(What are potential rough spots
and student misunderstandings?)

Difficulty in understanding the
material and seeing
connections with this material
to today and material
previously covered in class

(How will students get the
feedback they need?)

Oral interactions with the
instructor, written feedback on
assignments

Based on Wiggins and McTighe (2011) The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units and Van Brummelen (2002) Steppingstones to
Curriculum