Lesson Plans: Grades 9-12

Lesson Two. Empire Intelligence Briefings

Created November 6, 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

A key role of diplomats is to gather and analyze intelligence. In this lesson, students acting as diplomats will present a short “intelligence briefing” to the representatives of the other Early Modern empires. The goal for the other diplomats is to gather and analyze this “intelligence” and begin to use it to make decisions about the empires they want to engage in diplomacy and trade with.

This lesson is the second in a seven lesson sequence. Teachers may link to the unit overview with Guiding Questions, College and Career Readiness standards and Background. Lesson 2 aligns with CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.7.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will learn about, record and analyze the distinct characteristics of their own Early Modern empires
  • Students will compare other Early Modern empires with their own

Preparation and Resources

Before class, organize desks to accomodate teams of three.

Provide each team with a small white board and marker.

Lesson Activities

Activity 1. Reviewing Intelligence

At the beginning of class, students meet with their empire team and review their intelligence briefings.

Activity 2. Gathering Intelligence

Each team briefly presents its Intelligence Briefing PowerPoint. As an empire presents, the other empires take notes (gather intelligence) on the Intelligence Briefing Graphic Organizer.


There are two formative assessments for this lesson.

Formative assessment 1. After each presentation, each empire team briefly discusses the presentation and determines on a scale from 1–10 how interested they are in engaging in diplomacy with the other empire.

Students can write this on their individual team white boards, which are held up at the same time. This provides all the empires with immediate intelligence about which empire is interested in negotiating with which.

Formative assessment 2. After all the empires have presented, each empire writes their first and last choice empires on their white boards and brings them to the front of the class. If there is time, the teacher can ask students if they see any clear partnerships or potential adversaries.

The Basics

Grade Level


Time Required

1 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
  • Rob Hallock, Sammamish High School (Bellevue, WA)
  • Kathryn Smoot, Sammamish High School (Bellevue, WA)


Activity Worksheets