A class of 8th grade students from St. Richard’s Episcopal School in Indianapolis, Indiana visited the Guantánamo Public Memory Project’s traveling exhibit earlier this month as part of an assignment to debate the future of the base.
Teacher Andrea Neal delivered the lesson to the U.S. History class of 21 students because she wanted them to consider the real world impact of their previous studies about constitutional rights and due process. She also explained that debating the future of the site helped the students develop skills that will serve them well in high school and beyond: evaluating an issue and seeing it from different perspectives.
The students prepared to argue both sides of the question: “Should the United States return Guantánamo to Cuba?” Since they did not know the side they would be arguing until the day before the debate, they familiarized themselves with both sides of the issue, prepared sources they gathered from their independent research, and recalled the information presented in the exhibit.
The Guantánamo Public Memory Project will soon post lesson plans that teachers can use to supplement the traditional U.S. history curriculum.
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