USH May 31 / June 3

Learning Target: EQ- Do the actions of Whistleblowers help or hurt society? How was Daniel Ellsberg a Whistleblower. Use your prior knowledge and multimedia resources to develop evidence and analysis to answer the essential question

Agenda (85 Min Period)

(1 Min) Announcements and Expectations: Remind students that i am attending saturday school. Please advise them to work with me to get support this saturday! Cell phones should be put away and only used under instructor permission to use them.

( 4 Min) Warm-Up: Silent Journal or Partner Discussion. Tell the class that a “whistleblower” is someone who uncovers and publicly raises concerns about misconduct or wrongdoings from within an organization. Have them refresh their memory by identify how Daniel Ellsberg Was a Whistle Blower. Remind students that we explored Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon papers in 2 previous classes through the reception tea party and trial last class.

( 40 + Min extend as needed) Review Daniel Ellsberg Whistle Blowing of the Vietnam War

  • Explain that you are going to show the class a series of brief video clips that tell the story of a whistleblower named Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked top secret government documents to the press during the Vietnam War in order to show how U.S. presidents had misled the American public about their intentions for the war. (This is all review)

  • Distribute the Whistleblowers handout. Then, ask the students to note details about Ellsberg’s story in the first three rows of the second column of the handout as they watch the clips. Explain that Daniel Ellsberg specialized in crisis decision-making and the command control of nuclear weapons. He worked for the RAND Corporation, which provided strategic information and analysis to key U.S. military decision-makers, such as Robert McNamara, who was then secretary of defense. Show the class the Vietnam War map (or google) and let students know that it depicts Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and early 1970s. Point out the location of the Gulf of Tonkin and show Clip 1. (This is all review)

  • Clip 1: “Gulf of Tonkin Incident” (length 2:53) The clip begins at 2:24 with an aerial shot of the Pentagon and ends at 5:17 when Ellsberg says, “. . . including me.”

  • Next, explain that three years after the Gulf of Tonkin incident, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara asked the RAND Corporation to put together a full history of U.S. decision-making on Vietnam from the early 1940s through March 1968. Thirty-six men, including Daniel Ellsberg, worked on the project. Then, show Clips 2 and 3. (This is all Review)

  • Clip 2: “What Ellsberg Learned From the Pentagon Papers” (length 1:46) The clip begins at 30:41 with the narration “In August of 1969 . . .” and ends at 32:27, when Ellsberg says, “. . . with no end in sight.”

  • Clip 3: “Willing to Risk Prosecution” (length 2:44)The clip begins at 40:51 with the narration “Keeping silent in public . . .” It ends at 43:35, when Ellsberg says, “. . . and headed home.”

  • After watching Clip 3, review the content provided in the fourth and fifth rows of the second column of the handout.

  • You can hold a whole class, small group, or silent journal: Do students think that Ellsberg did the right thing by leaking top secret government documents to the public? Why or why not?

(Remaining Time) The second part of class you can choose your own adventure.

Option #1: The B-61 Computer Lab is reserved or allow cellphone use and stay in the classroom, students who do not have cell phones can use one the three computers available in the room.

  • Have students form pairs. Ask each pair to refer to POV’s Whistleblower Timeline or use their amazing google research powers and choose a “present-day” whistleblower to study (2000-present). Partners should then work together to complete the third column of the handout with information about this person. Pairs should refer to the timeline and research additional reference materials as needed. Ask students then to complete the handout Analysis and Application questions individually.

  • POV Whistleblower TImeline An Interactive Timeline of WhistleBlowers

  • All links to support students with this will be posted to my website. If i can make enough copies in time, I will also provide printed copies of modern day whistleblowers

  • This is HW is not completed

Options #2: Have students stay in the classroom and write narratives about a time they were whistleblowers.

  • Use the Blowing the Whistle Personal Narrative Writing Quotes to spark interest

  • The Assignment is described on the back

  • There are exemplars and checklists for students who want this scaffolding and modeling. I find that grouping students into a writers workshop helps some students get started. For those who do not want this extra support they can feel free to start writing.

  • A Rough Draft is homework is not completed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *