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Nice and quick 1 day research activity for students to learn about how the U.S. came into possession of Hawaii. Only resources you need are a laptop, projector, your brain. Students need a device with internet or a textbook with the appropriate information and paper.
Bellwork is for students to brainstorm and guess how the U.S. got the islands. Nice way to gauge prior knowledge, etc. Gets kids curious. I write what they say up on the board and start a tally for the common ideas.
Next slide is instructions to research and write at least 6 sentences about
1. how the U.S. acquired the territories
2. Why the United States wanted those territories.
There are a wide variety of possible answers for both questions, and since the subject matter is complex students can be paired to work together, etc. I paired students up and had groups share after about 30 minutes of research, small group instruction (and me grading their tests as fast as I could when I got a chance lol) .
There is also an arts supplemented component, which I put up once smarter students finish. They have to draw a cartoon about what they read. Political or comedic, etc.
After the time limit, I had students volunteer their findings and I wrote answers up on the board. You can also have students come up and write bullet points, etc. Lots of flexibility for instruction here.
After is a video from youtube, I think a high school student actually made it (so its kind of funny if you tell them that, they all pay closer attention for some reason) and it summarizes the issues pretty well.
After is a political cartoon I use to intrigue them. I give them time to analyze it then there is a discussion about the irony of U.S. having an empire, etc.
I use this lesson this year to lead into the Spanish American war, but you can use it however you want!