Monday, October 17, 2005

Ch. 15, Tracing Themes, The American Dream

Tracing Themes
The American Dream

To explore Americans’ different definitions of the American dream.
To recognize the role of the American dream in inspiring immigration to and migration within America.

Focus & Motivate
Starting With the Student
The phrase “the American Dream” recurs in political discussions. What is meant by this term? Is the meaning the same for each generation?

More About. . . .
The American Dream for African Americans
African-American leaders have often defined the American dream as on of equal rights and opportunities for all Americans.
Martin Luther King, Jr., described it in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., in 1963. Two years earlier, at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, King delivered a commencement address entitled “The American Dream,” in which he told his audience: “America is essentially a dream, a dream as yet unfulfilled. It is a dream of a land where men of all races, of all nationalities and of all creeds can live together as brothers.”
By the by, note that King states “men” and not women.

Starting With the Student
What additions could be made to the chronological sequence on pp. 444-445.
What is your reaction to President Clinton’s definition of the American dream in the 1990s? What does he mean by “rules?”

Discussing Key Ideas
The American dream has inspired generations of Americans.
Its definition has varied for different Americans at different times.

History From Visuals
Reading the Images
Consider the pictures that illustrate the changing American dream.
List adjectives to describe your impression of each scene.
Example: The central image of the parents and child looking at the Statue of Liberty suggests hope, ambition, and a dream of a better life.
Which scene is especially moving, and why?

No comments: