viewAre walls an example of Middle Ages philosophy? ... and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone. ... Classroom Law Project

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October 18, 2016


Topic: Walls


UN Chief Ban Ki-moon Deplores Divisive Politicians Who Build Walls (10/14) (Huffington Post)

Raising Barriers: A New Age of Walls (3 episodes) (10/14) (The Washington Post)

Island mentality: UK is flirting with protectionist walls, India can counter by pushing reforms (10/7) (The Times of India)

Turkey sealing Syrian border with giant wall (9/28) (Hurriyet Daily News)

A World of Walls (5/19) (The Atlantic)

World of Walls: How 65 countries have erected fences on their borders four times as many as when the Berlin Wall was toppled as governments try to hold back the tide of migrants (8/21) (Daily Mail)

Questions to Consider

What is a wall? Do walls separate? Who are the wall builders?

What is a bridge? Do bridges connect people and nations? Who are the bridge builders? What is a gate?

What are the reasons why people build walls? To keep people out? To keep people in? To keep ideas out? To keep ideas a secret from others? To keep products out?

How does the fear of terrorism encourage wall building? Are walls effective in keeping out undesirables?

How have walls become involved in politics?

What are the non-structural walls we build to exclude others?

What is the relationship between immigration policy and building walls?

How do walls protect us from floods and fires?

How do walls or lack of walls reflect foreign policy? Specifically the US Mexico border, the Israel-Palestine borders, the Austria-Italy border? What is border control?

What is psychological impact of living behind a wall?

Does the building of walls mean that we are moving away from globalization and international connectedness?

Are walls an example of Middle Ages philosophy? What was the reason for walled cities in medieval times?

Who builds walls? Is slave labor associated with historical walls?

How do you tear down a wall?

When and why would you build a wall?

What is the connection between refugees and walls? What is the connection between nationalism, anti-globalization and protectionism and walls?


Pre-teaching, Extensions & Further Reading

Why Build a Border Wall? (NACLA)

Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall President Ronald Reagan (US Diplomacy Center)

Should the United States Continue to Build a Fence or Wall along the US/Mexico Border? (6/2) (

10 of the Best Medieval Walled Cities (4/2012) (CNN Travel)

Shootout: Build a Fence Along the Southern Border? (7/2008) (

Mending Wall (Robert Frost) (Poetry Foundation)

Lesson Plans

Immigration: Then and Now (Scholastic)

Great Wall of China (Discovery Education)

From Concrete to Memory: Scrapbooking the Berlin Wall (The Learning Network)

Whats the Connection?


Jeffersons Wall of Separation Letter (U.S. Constitution)


Ah Hee Diggings (Chinese Walls) (The Oregon Encyclopedia)


Indoor rock climbing gyms get kids wiggles out (9/29) (Chicago Parent)

Oregon State Social Science Standards

8.20. Analyze the changing definition of citizenship and the expansion of rights.

8.21. Analyze important political and ethical values such as freedom, democracy, equality and justice embodied in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

8.26. Examine a controversial event, issue, or problem from more than one perspective.

HS.31. Describe United States foreign policy and evaluate its impact on the United States on other countries.

HS.33. Explain the role of government in various current events.

HS.35. Examine the pluralistic realities of society (e.g., race, poverty, gender, and age), recognizing issues of equity, and evaluating need for change.

HS.59. Demonstrate the skills and dispositions needed to be a critical consumer of information.

HS.60. Analyze an event, issue, problem, or phenomenon from varied or opposing perspectives or points of view.

CCSS Anchor Standards

2. Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

4. Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

6. Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

We the People Lesson Connections

Middle School, Level 2

Unit 6, Lesson 28: What is the relationship of the United States to other nations of the world?

Unit 6, Lesson 29: What are the rights and responsibilities of citizenship?

High School, Level 3

Unit 6, Lesson 37: What key challenges does the United States face in the future?

Unit 6, Lesson 38: What are the challenges of the participation of the United States in world affairs?