Imperialism: What and Why?

European History, U.S. History, World History

5th, 6th, 7th, 8th

Activities, Printables

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This download serves as an introduction to your unit on Imperialism. It includes four separate, yet related, activities on the "what", "why", and "how" of imperialism.


1) Introductory article comparing "imperialism" and "isolationism". Extra margin space is provided for annotating purposes. Have students write the main idea of each paragraph in the margin and answer the questions in the thought bubble.


2) A "read for meaning" worksheet corresponds to the article. Students should determine whether each central statement is true or false by finding evidence in the article.


3) A one-page article focuses on how a current event relates to the issue of imperialism. A second page includes six comprehension/reflection questions on the article.


4) A worksheet identifies the four primary types of imperialism, defines them, and provides scenarios where students have to identify the type of imperialism being described.


Bonus: Anchor chart for how to annotate nonfiction.