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The Philippines “A Sea of Troubles”

General MacArthur Memorial
Lesson Plan Author(s): 
Alexa Zeeff and Trevor Cline
The Philippines
Teaching Area: 
Regions and People of the Eastern Hemisphere
Human Systems-7; Key Ideas and Details- 3
Grade Level: 
Teaching Level: 
Middle Childhood
Origins Item(s): 

This lesson plan introduces the meeting that occurred on July 7, 2015 between President Barack Obama and Nguyen Phu Trong, the leader of the Vietnamese Communist Party, at the White House. Using the Origins article, A Sea of Troubles: The Philippines and Pacific Geopolitics by Gregory Kupsky, students not only learn about this historic meeting, but also get the opportunity to explore the long and complicated relationship between the Philippines and the United States. First, students will analyze a political cartoon to begin to understand the complex history between the United States, Philippines, and China. Then, using key events from the article, students will work together to create a timeline tracing the history of the Philippines and their relationship with neighboring countries throughout the last century. After completing this lesson students will have a better understanding of the significance of the Philippines and the United States working together to counter a growing Chinese influence and the struggles that the Philippines has experienced in attempt to find their own national identity.

Files for download:

Lesson Plan


Key Words: 
United States, Philippines, political cartoon, timeline