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Connecting world history and Guam history (Part 1 of 3)


English, Social Studies, History, Art


Elementary, 4-5
Middle School, 6-8
High School, 9-12

Time required

45 – 50 minutes

Materials required


Related background reading

Articles on world historical events that can be related to Guam history.

Related documents


Related links


Lesson Plan


In this lesson, students will begin discussing the many ways World History has shaped history on Guam; the lesson will close in a brief exercise where students imagine a significant change to history, and the resulting impact on Guam.

Note: This lesson can serve as an activity on its own, without having to continue onto parts 2 and 3.


  • Students will learn recognize that historical events around the world have had a significant impact on the history of Guam and its people.
  • Students will discuss ways their current lives are shaped by world events.
  • Students will further explore the impact of these world events by re-imagining the impact of changed history.

Questions or Assessment

  • How have world events shaped the history of Guam?
  • How is your current life impacted by this shared history?
  • How would your life be different were these world historical events to have turned out differently?


Teacher prep
Research and identify a historical world event that has impacted Guam history significantly. Imagine how Guam history would change if this world event had turned out differently. Be prepared to present this example to the class, and to help guide them through a similar exercise of their own.

Introduction of Historical World Event (20 minutes)

  1. Using available resources, provide students with one or two examples of historical world events that have impacted Guam history. Do not immediately discuss the impact upon Guam; first, simply describe the historical event (ideally, this will be a recap of an earlier lesson covering this topic) and gauge how much students recall
  2. Ask students to describe the impact of the events on world history.
    • Encourage them to draw connections between the events being discussed and other historical moments.
      • Empire building leading to global conflicts
      • WWII leading to the Cold War
  3. Ask students to describe how these events have shaped daily life around the world.
    • Guide the class toward drawing connections between these world events and contemporary life.
    • Encourage them to brainstorm and guide each other’s responses. If time allows, permit them to discuss this at length.
    • Note these examples on the board.
    • Note: For younger students (elementary and middle), this may be a difficult task.

Feel free to provide answers for them in a conversational manner (e.g. “Did you know that today many areas of Africa speak French because their countries used to be controlled by France?” or “Did you know pirates came to Guam to loot the Spanish galleons carrying good from Mexico?”)

Connecting World Historical Events to Guam History (15 minutes)

  1. Using the same example(s) previously discussed, ask students to draw connections to Guam History.
    • Proper responses to this section will differ according to the historical event cited.
    • If students have already brought up Guam history examples in the previous exercise, encourage them to further explore the connections they have identified or to discover overlooked examples.
    • Write these examples on the board.
  2. Share the significance of these examples with students; explain to the class that world events not only impact the history of Guam, but they also shape the way we live on island today.
  3. Explain to students that we will further explore the impact these world events have on our lives by re-imagining how things would be different had these events turned out differently.

Short Re-imagining Exercise (10-15 minutes)

  1. Ask students to re-imagine the outcome of the previously cited historical world events.
    • For example, if you cited Missionary initiatives, have them imagine what would happen if the Catholic Church did not emphasize missionary work around the world.
  2. Have students discuss and share examples of how world events, and Guam history, would be different. Write these examples on the board.
    • For example, if you cited the Spanish American War, students may discuss if the CHamoru people are more or less equally valued today as they were in the past?
  3. Have students briefly discuss how their own lives would be different (if they believe any difference would result) had this historical event been different.
    • For example, if you cited “missionary initiatives,” students may note that Guam would not have as many churches, and that Rosaries and other common cultural touchstones would be vastly different or completely non-existent.

Recap (5 minutes)
Recap what we’ve done and learned in the lesson:

“Today we explored the impact of world events on historical and contemporary lives around the world. We built upon this understanding by citing specific examples that these world events have upon Guam history and the way we live today; drawing upon your knowledge of world history and Guam history, we were able to draw these connections and recognize the manner by which our island is connected to these historical milestones. We finished by demonstrating the significance of these historical events by re-imagining how Guam and the world would be different if things had turned out differently.”

Ask students for their favorite parts of the lesson.