This comprehensive lesson teaches students about origins, battles, and impact of the Spanish-American War, as well as providing several highlight activities on the significance of yellow journalism during this period.
Students begin by completing a comprehensive and engaging 3 page reading on the Spanish-American war covering:
- Spanish colonialism in Cuba and José Martí's leadership of the Cuban rebellion
- General Weyler's "reconcentration camps"
- Increasing U.S. business interests in Cuban sugar industry
- Hearst's and Pulitzer's use of yellow journalism in their newspaper circulation wars
- Frederic Remington's drawings; increasing American outrage towards Spain
- Impact of the "de Lôme letter" and the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine
- U.S. declaration of war and Commodore Dewey's attack of Spain in the Philippines
- war in Cuba: Buffalo Soldier, Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders, and Battle of San Juan Hill
-Treaty of Paris, U.S. acquisition of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines
- impacts of increasing U.S. imperialism
Students then complete a 3 page worksheet with a key terms matching activity, and answer summative and analytical questions based on the reading.
To conclude, students read two primary source news accounts of the sinking of the Maine (one yellow journalism; one more reliable). They complete a compare/contrast activity to analyze the criteria required in assessing media reliability.
Also included are two additional optional pages of teaching material, class discussion questions and teacher notes, and a link to a November 2016 "Chicago Tribune" article comparing today's "fake news" with historical yellow journalism. (See Preview.)
A detailed answer key and teacher guide are included.
You may be interested in the following related resources:
Rise of U.S. ImperialismYellow Journalism
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