Two Nations Struggle for Independence
by Amy Morgan

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Grades 5-8

Suggested Curriculum Areas: Social Studies, Civics

Lesson Goals:

Students will be able to:

  • compare the struggle for independence of the United States with that of India
  • understand the idea of “British Rule” as it affected both countries
  • explore the idea of taxation as a way to control the resources of a country
  • compare the preamble and ideas of the American Constitution with that of the Indian Constitution.

Lesson Objectives:

As a result of this lesson, the students will have a greater understanding of the similarities between the American struggle for independence against the British as compared to the Indian struggle for Independence. They will also be able to see how these similarities also help shape the formation of a democratic
government in each country.

Background Information for Teachers: India’s struggle for independence against British Colonial Rule is very similar to the struggle faced by the colonists during Colonial America. Students will be able to make comparisons between the Boston Tea Party during the American Revolution and the Salt Marches during India’s movement for independence. After studying the Boston Tea Party, the American struggle for Independence and the establishment of our democracy, this lesson will help reinforce those ideas.

I have include some websites to consult for background information. These are just a few of the websites I found with information on the Gandhi Salt March of 1930. I’m sure that there are more out there.

Salt March Websites:
www.algonet.se/~jviklund/gandhi/ENG.MKG.salt.html
http://campus.northpark.edu/history/WebChron/India/IndiaInd.CP.html
http://library.thinkquest.org/C0125481/gandhienglish/dandi.html
http://campus.northpark.edu/history/WebChron/India/SaltMarch.html
www.emory.edu/ENGLISH/Bahri/Dandi.html

Constitution Website:
http://parliamentofindia.nic.in
http://www.goidirectory.nic.in/
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/in.html#Govt
http://www.hciottawa.ca/dynamic/political.html#s3
http://www.indiagov.org/dydemo/political.htm
http://indiacode.nic.in/coiweb/coifiles/preamble.htm
http://business.indiaserver.com/government-india.html (political structure)

Background Information for Students:

I would direct the students to the websites above. The two websites listed below provide good background reading material for students at the middle level.

www.emory.edu/ENGLISH/Bahri/Dandi.html
http://campus.northpark.edu/history/WebChron/India/SaltMarch.html

Lesson Outline:

Day 1:

Venn Diagram- Boston Tea Party vs. Salt March The students will be put into groups of two and given a handout on The Salt March to Dandi. The students will need to read the article making note of similarities between the Boston Tea Party and Salt Marches. After the group has finished reading, they will work together to construct a Venn Diagram noting these comparisons. (see handout 1) After completing the Venn Diagram, students will draw a political cartoon about The Salt Marches of 1930.

Day 2:

Unscramble the Preambles and Rights- students will be given a handout containing the goals and rights outlined in the American Constitution and the Indian Constitution. They must decide which constitution they would be found in. Once they have finished unscrambling the preambles, discuss the answers as a whole group. (Can be done on magnetic paper)

Day 3:

Constitution Connections- The students will research the political structures of both the United States and India. This information will be used in a culminating powerpoint activity.

 

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