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Middle School Activity

Objective: Students will be able to describe the varying degrees of neutrality


Essential Questions: What are the varying degrees of neutrality?
Write on Board:

Isolationism:
Having no ties to
other countries.
Completely to
ones self

Neutrality:
Remaining
partial or
implicit to two
separate nations
at war

NonBelligerency:
Not engaged in a
war or conflict
militarily,
however
favoring one
side to win

Diplomatic
Involvement:
Being involved
diplomatically
and working to
resolve the issue
short of
deploying
military
resources

Combative
Involvement:
Being militarily
involved in a
conflict

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Isolationism

Neutrality

Non-Belligerency

Diplomatic

Combative

Involvement

Involvement

Activity 1: The teacher will present scenarios in which students must determine where the
student within the scenario falls within this continuum.
Scenario: It is lunchtime on a Friday afternoon and the atmosphere within the lunchroom
suddenly shifts as many students notice loud yelling at one end of the lunchroom. All of a sudden
you see a crowd of students move towards that end of the lunchroom. You get up from your place
and join your peers to quickly realize that there is a dispute between two students over another
student. Alex, who is on the basketball team, and Peter, who is on the wrestling team, are
shouting at each other because Alex has been flirting with Jen, Peters girlfriend. The situation
continues to escalate and Peter throws a punch at Alex.
April: Upon finding out what the commotion is about, April leaves the lunchroom and
walks to her next class. (United States at beginning of WWI)
Patrick: Patrick joins Peter in the fight because Alex had once flirted with Patricks
girlfriend, Jessica, thus Patrick feels empathy for Peter and wants to help him out. (Australia and
New Zealand Troops Battle of Gallipoli, Turkey)
Carolina: Carolina, although seeing the fight, continues to sit at her seat and enjoy her
lunch, showing no interest in the fight. (Switzerland)

Wrestlers: The wrestlers quickly get up to support their fellow teammate Patrick,
however, they do not actually join the fight rather they just chant Patricks name in support.
(Spain during War)
Basketball Players: The basketball players quickly get up to support their fellow
teammate, Alex, and even hand him lunch trays to hit Peter with, however, they do not actually
join the fight themselves. (Lend/Lease act)
Teachers: The teachers move in and tell everyone that they need to chill and go back to
their seats. (Britain)
You: You get along well with both Peter and Alex, however, you are currently lab
partners with Alex and you secretly favor him to win this fight. (United States much of 19151916)

Activity 2: After moving through activity one, the teacher will then move on to activity two and
use the students new found knowledge of neutrality continuum and apply it to the following
scenarios:
1) Sinking of an unarmed commercial ship that resulted in tens of deaths (Sussex)
a. What if the ship was merely halted and forced to return back the way in which
it came
b. What if the ship was halted and seized, however, crew and cargo were not
harmed
c. What if the crew was allowed to disembark the ship and flee to safety before it
was destroyed
d. What if what the crew was taken hostage and then the ship was destroyed
e. What if the crew was armed and the ship was destroyed with the crew on it?
f. What if the ship was destroyed with an unarmed crew aboard
2) A nation invades a neutral county and reportedly killed large numbers of unarmed
citizens. (Belgium)
a. What if you are at odds with the neutral country?
b. What if you are allies with the invading nation?
c. What if intervening would have a negative economic impact on your country?
d. What if intervening would put you at odds with a much more powerful
country
e. What if intervening would result in the loss of countless lives and resources?