The Recent Past PowerPoint & Google Slides | American History



This PPT on the recent past in American history covers topics such Gulf War, election of 2020, September 11, War on Terror, Great Recession, and more. This engaging PowerPoint (or Google Slides) presentation covers the presidency of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.

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…

  • Dissolution of the U.S.S.R.
  • Gulf War
  • Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
  • World Wide Web
  • Lewinsky scandal
  • Election of 2000
  • September 11 attacks
  • War on Terror (Iraq War and War in Afghanistan)
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • The Great Recession
  • Tea Party Movement
  • Occupy Wall Street Movement
  • Obamacare
  • Climate Change
  • Rise of China
  • #MeToo Movement
  • COVID-19
  • George Floyd
  • January 6
  • 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)
  • 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 speech “Axis of Evil” by George W. Bush. 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

Resource Types

Full Units, Homeschool, PowerPoints


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