Lesson Plan

Extremism in America


Is the justice system in the United States responding to increased extremism appropriately? What is at stake? Who should address increasing violence? Students will engage in the inquiry process by developing questions related to extremism, building contextual knowledge and assessing the effectiveness of interventions to address extremism.

Content Advisory:

This film and accompanying resources deal with sensitive topics thatmay be triggering for some students. The exploration of hate groups, white supremacyand violence are topics that should receive great care in the classroom. Some schooldistricts may employ YouTube content filters that block the material. If you needaccess, please email David Olson at dolson@retroreport.com.


Students will:

  • Guide their own learning by engaging in the inquiry process
  • Examine defining moments of Extremism in the United States
  • Assess the effectiveness of various approaches to disrupt extremist ideology
  • Civics & Government
  • U.S. History
  • Social Studies
  • 1990s America
  • 1980s America
  • Criminal Justice
  • Gun Violence
  • Barack Obama
  • Terrorism
  • Race in U.S. History
  • Civics and Government
  • U.S. History
For Teachers

Essential Questions

  • What is likely to happen if acts of hate and bias are allowed to escalate unchecked?
  • What are some effective methods of protecting against extremist ideology?

Additional Resources

Pyramid of Hate (Scaffolded Version)Anti-Defamation League  
National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism (Pages 15-29)The White House 
F.B.I.- “Strategic Intelligence Assessment and Data on Domestic Terrorism” Federal Bureau of Investigation 
Center for Prevention Programs and PartnershipsU.S. Department of Homeland Security 
Explanation of the TEA MethodAVUHSD Moodle 

Explain points of agreement and disagreement experts have about interpretations and applications of disciplinary concepts and ideas associated with a supporting question.

Explain how supporting questions contribute to an inquiry and how, through engaging source work, new compelling and supporting questions emerge.

Evaluate citizens’ and institutions’ effectiveness in addressing social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and/or international level.

Evaluate social and political systems in different contexts, times, and places, that promote civic virtues and enact democratic principles.

Evaluate multiple procedures for making governmental decisions at the local, state, national, and international levels in terms of the civic purposes achieved.

Analyze historical, contemporary, and emerging means of changing societies, promoting the common good, and protecting rights.

Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.

Analyze change and continuity in historical eras.

Analyze how historical contexts shaped and continue to shape people’s perspectives.

Use questions generated about multiple historical sources to pursue further inquiry and investigate additional sources.

Integrate evidence from multiple relevant historical sources and interpretations into a reasoned argument about the past.

Questions? Tips? Concerns? Reach out to our Director of Education, David Olson: dolson@retroreport.com