This unit will give a short history of the EU and how it has developed over the last fifty or so years. Post WWII European activities to develop a more cohesive political unit will be explored to lay a foundation for further unit activities.
The use of Professor Nicholas Entrikin's Table I "Towards European Integration" will be used to give a foundation of selective dates for the development of the EU.
- First, a general understanding of why the EU developed from a global perspective will be developed. A tie-in to the multicultural aspect of the cooperation of various long, long-standing European nations will be developed.
- Second, the needs of various nations to form economic alliances will be discussed. After WWII, needs of European nations brought about the assistance of the Marshall Plan. This helped to bring about a somewhat stabilization of the European community.
- Third, the progressive development of stages of EU development will be discussed.
- The timeline from Professor Entrikin will be used and handed out to students. The progression of developments of the EU will be discussed.
- As a homework assignment, students will be asked to take two items from the outline presented and write one paragraph on each for information gained from the internet or research material.
- Web activity will be done in class.
- Timeline from Professor Entrikin.
- Web activity will be handed out in class for completion.
- The day after this lesson, homework assignments will be read in class off the timeline presented. Each item of the outline given out will be read by someone in the class.
- The Web activity will be discussed again as an overview of the assignment.
- At the conclusion of this activity, the students should have a basic overview of the origination and composition of the European Union.
The completion of the homework assignment will be used to evaluate the work that went into this lesson. In addition, the questions asked during discussion activities will be judged as to how well the students understand the overall EU.
This unit will develop the geographic development of the EU. It is important for students to be able to visualize the size and scope of the EU and the countries that have been added to it through the last half-century.
Maps obtained off the Internet can help show the location of all countries in the EU plus where those countries in waiting to become members are located.
General objectives include showing the physical makeup of the EU. Since the EU will be described after the unit on World War II is taught, aspects of the countries that fought in the war will be discussed along with how they eventually aligned after the war.
Another objective is to give students a picture of Europe as it is today and to help them to relate to its size, composure of countries changes in geography in the last 100 years, strategic locations of major bodies of water, and how geography can affect trade and commerce.
Another objective is to give students a good overview of what Europe looks like today. The changes since World War Il will be emphasized. Major changes in the old Soviet Union, the Balkans, and Eastern Europe will be discussed.
Websites that were given by Nicholas Entrikin will be utilized by students to enable them to look at the composition of Europe. A list of these websites will be given to all students for their use in the assignment.
Students will be asked to outline in color the countries in the European Union.
A map of present day Europe will be provided to each student.
Discussion will mainly be on the appearance of Europe today in relation to the changes that have taken place in the last fifty years. This overall unit on the European Union will take place some time after the unit on World War 11 and students should have a basis for seeing the geographic changes that have taken place. Emphasis will be on the attempt of Germany to dominate the world and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The end of World War Il brought about changes in Eastern Europe which have now changed again in a dramatic manner. The European Union is not changing country boundaries but it has been affected by the recent past. This geographic unit will try to give students a better understanding of how the changes in Europe have brought about a desire for countries to form a major economic alliance among themselves.
Maps will be collected from each student and graded as to accuracy and completeness.
These maps will be discussed in class and students will be asked to talk about the project. Overhead maps contained in the classroom will be used to aid in discussion with students being asked to come to the front of the class and point out the countries in the European Union.
This unit will have students exploring the main objectives of the European Union and looking at how the fifteen member countries work together to meet common goals.
The main emphasis of this lesson will be on having students explore the reasons for countries joining the EU and the benefits that they get out of becoming a partner with other nations. Students should find out the reasons behind a country wanting to join an alliance and look at the economic, political, and societal factors behind the decision.
These reasons for a country joining the union will help students in developing reasons for the overall objectives of the union. Emphasis of this unit will also be on how countries work together to keep the European Union strong and viable.
From the map developed in Unit Two, students will be asked to speculate on how the fifteen member nations of the EU might benefit from being in an alliance with each other.
Key objectives of the EU will be explored and the impact of these objectives on the nations as a whole will be developed.
The concept of nations forming general alliances should be explored. The reasons why a country feels that an alliance is beneficial and what it has to gain and also give should be developed in this lesson.
The impact of the EU as a global power should be explored. The strength of member nations forming into a larger entity for various reasons is an important aspect of the entire learning exercise here.
Students will be divided into five groups. Each group will be assigned one of the main objectives of the European Union (new rights for citizens, freedom of movement, employment, enlargement of the European Union to include central and eastern Europe, launching of the euro). Using the Internet each group investigates the following aspects of their assigned EU objective (these will be written on the board for easier student reference):
- Why is this objective a key element of the European Union?
- How is the EU attempting to meet this objective?
- What will meeting this objective mean for the EU member countries (politically, economically and/or socially)?
- What successes and obstacles have EU member countries met in trying to meet this objective?
- Groups record the answers to their questions on a large piece of construction paper titled with their studied objective. Each group then provides a brief overview of their EU objective for the class, using their poster as a guide.
Everyone in the group must participate in this assignment.
A recorder to complete the poster and a reporter to speak to the class will be selected.
Try to use at least two sources from the Internet to get your data.
Priortize your answers with the most important items listed first and lesser ones at the end of each question if there are various answers.
Do not spend too much time on each answer and pace yourselves to answer all of the questions.
If the participants want different answers, do not argue but list each answer (we will discuss the various answers in class).
Make sure that the poster is PRINTED WITH LARGE LETTERS with proper spacing which is easy to read from the back of the class.
Use different colored markers to emphasize headings.
The discussion items are already noted in question three under procedure. The group in front of the class will discuss each question. Time will be allotted for questions from the class.
This lesson will probably run for two class sessions. The first session will be used to gather the information and complete the poster. The second session will be used for each group to present their material with class discussion held at that time.
Students will be evaluated based on initial journal response, thoughtful and thorough group research and presentation on an objective of the European Union, participation in class discussion, and fmal reflective response.
While the students are working in groups, I will actively move around the classroom to see that all students participate and give input into the project.
If the reporter has trouble with the presentation, other students in the group will be prompted to help out.
Students will be told that they will be evaluated on participation and that the oral presentation is an important part of the exercise. Just getting up in front of the class is hard for many students and they will be highly encouraged to work as a group and help each other out.
Units 4 and 5
This unit will introduce a 2-week project which will involve students in formulating a travelogue or travel guide on one of the EU countries. The travelogue will comprise the following:
History - A short 3-5 paragraph on the history of the country. Only highlights must be presented but should give an overview of the country, its origins, major characters, and summary of prominence in world history. This may seem like a lot of detail but it will be emphasized that only the highlights must be presented as a basis for understanding the country and its people.
Political Structure - A summary of the type of present day political structure of the country. In this section, an overview of the different types of political divisions within the country can be outlined but emphasis should be on where the country is today in relation to other countries as to its political orientation and how this orientation affects its relationship to the EU as a whole.
Culture - What are the people like and what values are important to the mainstream citizens? If there are various groups comprising major identities, there should be an analysis of the types of people and how they differ from one another. This section should describe the people in the country and explore what values are important to the society as a whole. Questions such as the importance of religious groups, customs, identity questions, and what cultural aspects in the country history brought them to where they are today.
Language - What languages are prominent? Have old languages been kept intact or have they faded from usage? What is being done to keep old languages intact and alive?
Economy - What is the economy like? Is the country growing and what are the major imports and exports? Is the country a major producer of a few or many products? Is it dependent on other nations or more self-sufficient?
The main objective will be for the student to develop an understanding of how the country developed. Students should develop a sense of what values the country has and where emphasis is placed by its citizens.
Another objective will focus on developing a sense of where the country is today economically in relation to other countries in the EU. Students should also be able to describe the political structure of the country.
Students should be able to describe the geography of the country and any effects it has on its economy and people. If the country has tourist sites, these should be known as to the value to the country.
- A general outline of the travelogue will be required which gives a basis for the overall product.
- A map of the country will be drawn, taken from a reproduced source, or taken off of the Internet. Major cities and geographical locations such as rivers, lakes, mountains, forests, deserts etc. should be highlighted.
- Visits to the library and computer lab will be held to gather data and facts for the project.
- Rough drafts are to be submitted during the first week of the project, which should give an outline or rough picture of the final product for teacher's inspection. This will be used to keep students on target and avoid them missing the major objectives of the project.
- Final travelogue submitted at the end of the second week of the project.
- Oral reports from selected students will be held for a one or two-day period which highlight the best projects submitted.
- Reports will be put on display during International Night, which is held one evening each semester where parents are invited to view student work, eat ethnic foods, and view musical presentations.
This will mainly involve the dissemination of websites, which the students can use in obtaining information about their countries. It will basically give them information about how to use google, navigator, and other sites to narrow their search on country information The school technical coordinator also gives this information to them during sessions in the Internet lab.
Each student already has outlines, which the computer laboratory instructor provides him or her with.
Discussion questions that would follow the presentation of the country project are as follows. These questions would be given to each student at the beginning of the project:
- Why do you think the country you chose wanted to become part of the European Union?
- Did anything change in the country since becoming part of the European Union (economy, people, immigration, travel opportunities, etc?)
- Could you find any evidence of the feelings of the people in being part of the European Union? Are the people happy with the choice or dissatisfied?
- Can you name any changes that would have taken place if the country did not join the Union?
- Do you think the country made the right choice in joining the Union?
Travelogues will be graded as to how thorough the student was in completing the assignment. Each item requested should have been addressed with appropriate care and not just skimmed over.
I will stress that the visual appearance of the travelogue is important and that time should be spent in making it look pleasing and appealing. Neatness is important here and the layout of the product should be inviting.
I will stress that the length of the product is not nearly as important as the content of the evaluation. This should be a process of outlining important facts and disregarding those items that do not add to the finished product.
Discussion will take place for a couple of days after the submission of the travelogues. Oral reports will be given for selected countries and questions will be asked and answered about many of the countries chosen for the project. Questions, which will be stressed during this time, are as follows:
- What were the most important things that you learned about the country that you have chosen?
- How does the country's involvement in the European Union affect it economically and politically?
- Why is the country an asset or detriment to the European Union?
- Do you feel that the country should stay a part of the European Union? Why?
The projects will be graded as to the depth of analysis of each country and the relationship of it to the European Union. Students will be told that a summary of country facts without relationship to the overall European Union will not be highly graded. I want a general history, view of geography, outline of major cities and products, but most of all an analysis of the country in view of its membership in the European Union.
Test on the European Union
- What is the European Union?
- Identify ten out of the fifteen member nations in the European Union.
- Name two major objectives of the European Union.
- What criteria does the Union look for in accepting new members?
- Name one political, economic, and social reason for joining the Union.
- What obstacles does the Union face in the future?
- How has the Union strengthened the participating countries?
- Why would a country not want to become a member of the Union?