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Isolationism Lesson Plan

Instructor: Tammy Galloway

Tammy teaches business courses at the post-secondary and secondary level and has a master's of business administration in finance.

If you are examining historical political policies, this lesson plan explores an important one, isolationism. Students will watch a video, participate in discussion questions, an activity and take a quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define isolationism
  • Discuss the history of isolationism
  • Describe specific examples of how countries instituted the policy

Length

60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.7

Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.11-12.2.B

Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience's knowledge of the topic.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.11-12.2.E

Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation provided (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).

Materials

Instructions

  • Begin the lesson by asking students if they have every poked their nose in someone else's business that did not involve them. Allow students to share their experience.
  • Then explain that there is a policy that countries should mind their own business in matters that do not affect them called isolationism, which we will explore further.
  • Distribute a copy of the Isolationism: Definition, Policy & Examples lesson, then start the video, pause at 02:12 and pose the following questions:
    • Define isolationism as outlined in the video
    • Why do you believe countries follow this policy?
    • Define non-interventionism and protectionism and discuss the relationship between the two.
  • Now restart the video, play until 07:12, shoulder pair students and ask these questions:
    • Have most countries adopted isolationism as a reaction or proactive measure?
    • Based on the video, China, Japan, Switzerland and Great Britain all adopted isolationism; which showed the greatest example of the concept? Explain.
    • Describe how America instituted isolationism.
    • Which American is the most famous isolationist? Why?
    • Has isolationism grown in modern times? Explain.
  • Allow pairs to share their responses, then reconvene the class and play the video until the end.
  • Afterwards, distribute a hard copy of the lesson quiz to demonstrate learning. Students may complete independently, in pairs or groups.

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