Lesson Plans: Grades 9-12

Lesson Six. Planning for Treaty Negotiations

Created December 4, 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

One of the important roles of diplomats is to negotiate treaties between countries. In this lesson student empire teams will analyze the intelligence they have gathered about other empires and outline their empire’s priorities in treaty negotiations.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will collaboratively analyze diplomatic intelligence and synthesize a treaty proposal

Preparation and Resources

Before class, the teacher should arrange the desks into groups of three or four by empire team.

Lesson Activities

Activity 1. Developing a Treaty Negotiation Plan

Explain to students that they will be developing a treaty negotiation plan with other empires.  Review the Sample Treaty Proposal text with them, noting the role of the preamble (“whereas statements”) and the agreements.

On their own, students will read and complete either the Land-Based or the Sea-Based Trade Policy Option Worksheet for their empire using the intelligence they have gathered from the Intelligence Briefings in Lesson 2, as well as the toasts from the diplomatic reception in Lesson 5. They should also review the Factors to Consider (click on the "Resources" tab in Lesson One).

Activity 2. Prioritizing Proposals

Students, working in their empire teams, will compare their treaty plans and collectively prioritize their treaty proposals.

Activity 3. Memo to the King or Emperor

Using the sample memo in the Trade Policy Options Worksheet, each empire team will write a memo to their king or emperor explaining their trade proposal decisions and strategy.

Students should bring two copies of their proposal to class for Lesson 7 to share with other empires.


As an exit ticket, each empire team writes down one non-negotiable treaty proposal and one proposal on which they are willing to negotiate. For this assessment, teacher can also collect each team’s Trade Policy Options memo.

The Basics

Grade Level


Time Required

1-2 class periods

Subject Areas
  • History and Social Studies > Place > Africa
  • History and Social Studies > Place > Europe
  • History and Social Studies > Place > The Middle East
  • History and Social Studies > Place > Asia
  • Critical analysis
  • Critical thinking
  • Interpretation
  • Making inferences and drawing conclusions
  • Map Skills
  • Rob Hallock, Sammamish High School (Bellevue, WA)
  • Kathryn Smoot, Sammamish High School (Bellevue, WA)


Activity Worksheets