Conservative Resurgence Comprehensive Unit: Interactive Slides, Student Questions, & Primary Source



This PPT on the resurgence of conservatism in America covers topics such as economic policies of Ronald Reagan, popular culture, the end of the Cold War, and more. This engaging PowerPoint (or Google Slides) presentation on the 1980s details the presidency of Ronald Reagan and explores the positive and negative developments during the decade.

To make this PowerPoint lesson more interactive, students are provided with questions they need to answer while you present the material. It also includes a primary source activity.

This PPT and Primary Source Activity will teach your students…

  • Overview of Jimmy Carter’s presidency
  • Economic problems from the 1970s (stagflation, oil crises, etc.)
  • Elections of 1980 and 1984
  • Reaganomics (“trickle down” economics)
  • Tax policies during the 1980s
  • PATCO strike
  • Military spending and national debt
  • Early 1980s recession
  • Welfare reforms
  • Farm crisis of the 1980s
  • Challenger disaster
  • Black Monday stock market crash
  • Popular culture (movies and MTV Generation)
  • Apple computers
  • Abortion debate
  • Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority
  • AIDS
  • African American life during the 1980s
  • Reagan Doctrine
  • Iran Hostage Crisis
  • Invasion of Grenada
  • Iran-Contra Affair
  • End of Cold War
  • Star Wars program
  • Dissolution of the Soviet Union
  • and much more!

Files in this download include:

  • Editable PowerPoint (Google Slides option available)
  • Primary Source PDF (Google Drive option available)
  • Student Study Guide Notes (print for students or load to LMS)
  • Editable Word Document version
  • Fillable PDF version
  • PDF version
  • Answer key
  • Teacher Guide PDF (print one copy for you)

If you are a busy social studies teacher that expects the best for your students and want to feel confident in front of your class, this PPT is perfect because it is professionally designed, useful, and enjoyable for the students.

Zero to minimal preparation necessary. Just print the Teacher Guide Sheet for you (if you deem it necessary), then print the Student Study Guide Notes and primary source for students. If you want to save time (and paper), you could simply upload these files to your Learning Management System (LMS) and students could use the files on their devices.

To make the lesson more interactive, one slide directs the students to read the song lyrics of “My Hometown” by Bruce Springsteen. Students can work in groups, read the primary source, answer the questions (which can be found on their Student Study Guide Notes), then you can have a class discussion.

The design is professional and with the right amount of words on each slide (i.e. NO death by PowerPoint). The content is very detailed in the notes, so if you are busy, you could simply open the slides in front of the class and read the notes (it is suggested you review the slides before class though).

Furthermore, it includes a teacher guide sheet that you can print and use when presenting. The information in the guide sheet and PPT notes include additional information that is not on the slides (in other words, it will make you look smart!). This way, you can add interesting little comments or data to each slide. You can either print the whole guide sheet, or just the pages you need help with.

You can make changes to the PPT, if you deem it necessary. This presentation can be used in Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides (if you want to use Google Slides, just click the link which is found on the first slide).

This PPT follows standard American history textbooks.

How to use this presentation:

  • Present the PowerPoint (or Google Slides) in the classroom; one slide includes an interactive primary source activity for students to complete
  • Present and discuss – while presenting, get students involved and ask discussion questions that get students thinking like a historian and comparing historical events to current events
  • Students fill out the Student Study Guide Notes while you are presenting

Additional information

Grade Level

8th, 9th, 10th

Resource Types

Full Units, Homeschool, PowerPoints, Google Slides


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