Monroe Doctrine Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use this lesson plan to explore components of the Monroe Doctrine. Examine formal and informal language and apply concepts in a writing exercise.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify major components of the Monroe Doctrine
  • explain why the Monroe Doctrine was necessary
  • list applications of the Monroe Doctrine


  • 1 hour


  • Copies of the Monroe Doctrine
  • Chart paper

Key Vocabulary/Historical Figures

  • Monroe Doctrine
  • Neutral
  • Hostile
  • James Monroe
  • John Quincy Adams
  • James Polk
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Theodore Roosevelt

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.1

Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.2

Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.3

Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).


  • Build background knowledge and connect students to learning by asking the class to recall a time when it was necessary to set boundaries with a friend or family member. Allow students to share with table mates, then with class.
  • Tell students they will be reading and analyzing an historical document called the Monroe Doctrine.
  • Show our video lesson Monroe Doctrine: Definition, Purpose, & Summary.
  • Set a purpose for learning by asking students to listen for the connection between their warm-up exercise and the video. Allow note taking.
  • Pause at 2:13 to review the four main points of the Monroe Doctrine. List on chart paper and have students write in notebooks. Ask:
    • Why did the United States create the Monroe Doctrine?
    • How did Monroe feel about the document?
  • Discuss the similarities between the document and setting personal boundaries.
  • Play the remainder of the video. Discuss the effectiveness of the document and reasons for its impact.
  • Review the historical applications. Record on chart paper and notebooks.


  • With your students, review the Monroe Doctrine. Notice the formal language used. Discuss central points of the document and translate with students into more informal language.
  • Create a T-chart listing the formal and informal translation.
  • Find and highlight major points in the document. Allow students to work with partners to rewrite the formal language into informal language.
  • For homework, ask students to rewrite a section of the Monroe Doctrine using informal language.


  • Investigate political cartoons of the Monroe Doctrine. Discuss and allow students to create their own political cartoons on a modern topic, like student testing or climate change.
  • Create a timeline outlining the events discussed in this lesson. Discuss their importance in American foreign policy.

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