Lesson Plans: Grades 9-12

Lesson Four. Writing a Diplomatic Toast

Created December 2, 2015


The Lesson


Diplomacy Challenge: Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror

Follower of Gentile Bellini, Portrait of Mehmet II (1432–1481).

Credit: National Gallery, London. Yorck Project. Public Domain 1.0

In this lesson students apply the intelligence gathered at the intelligence briefing and through their primary source analysis to prepare a toast for one Early Modern empire. 

Students can chose to toast any of the empires represented in class (Ashanti Slave Trading Kingdom; English Empire; Dutch Empire; Mughal Empire; Ottoman Empire; Qing Empire; Russian Empire; Safavid Empire; and Spanish Empire).

Learning Objectives

  • Students synthesize gathered intelligence to write a toast for another Early Modern empire. 

Lesson Activities

Activity 1. The Purpose of a Diplomatic Toast

To introduce students to the concept of a toast, show them a clip of President Obama toasting President Hu Jintao of China at a state dinner on January 19, 2011. While students watch, ask them to consider the following questions:

  • How does President Obama celebrate Chinese culture?
  • How does President Obama celebrate American culture?
  • What connections does President Obama make between China and the United States?
  • What do you think is the objective of this toast?
Activity 2. Writing a Diplomatic Toast

Students break up into their empire groups and use the worksheet to begin writing their own toast. Students refer to the graphic organizer from the intelligence briefings and their document analysis to identify key details to include in their toasts.


Ask each group to state what they learned from composing their diplomatic toast.

The Basics

Grade Level


Time Required

1-2 class periods

Subject Areas
  • History and Social Studies > Place > Africa
  • History and Social Studies > Themes > Common Core
  • History and Social Studies > Place > Europe
  • History and Social Studies > World > The Modern World (1500 CE-Present)
  • History and Social Studies > Place > The Middle East
  • History and Social Studies > Place > Asia
  • Critical analysis
  • Critical thinking
  • Interpretation
  • Making inferences and drawing conclusions
  • Textual analysis
  • Visual art analysis
  • Rob Hallock, Sammamish High School (Bellevue, WA)
  • Kathryn Smoot, Sammamish High School (Bellevue, WA)


Activity Worksheets