Lies My Teacher Told Me Questionnaire


This past spring Mr. Liebman and I suggested to our students a reading for the summer. To encourage those students who made the effort to read the book we want to assign a massive portion of extra credit points. I call them above and beyond points. To accomplish this task we have this questionnaire based on the book. The time frame for completion is flexible but it is subject to our individual preferences.




1.   Review the questions (below before you read the book.) optional

2.   Answer the questions. This is an assignment that requires you to think critically. There is no right or wrong  

3.   Your responses should be typed, double-spaced, size 10 or 12 font using a standard (New times roman or Arial) font. Some answers may be only a paragraph (5-7sentences) while others may be several paragraphs. The goal is to answer them as completely as possible.

4.   Responses are due by the end of the 1st nine weeks.

5.   Be prepared to discuss the book in roundtable discussion throughout the year as we study the appropriate   topics. This will mean that you will want to take notes while you are reading the book.


Lies My Teacher Told Me


1.   (Chapter 1) How does Loewen define heroification? Do you agree with his definition?

2.   Why is comparing the life and accomplishments of Woodrow Wilson to Helen Keller significant in understanding the heroification process?

3.   Compare the coverage of Woodrow Wilson on line and with Lies my teacher told me.. What are the similar aspects of the coverage? What are the differences?

4.   (Chapter 2) Why is chapter 2 titled “1493"?

5.   Compare the reasons for European Exploration online with Lies. What are the differences?

6.   Why do American History textbooks promote the belief that the most important developments in world history are traceable to Europe?

7.   What are some of the myths surrounding Columbus according to Loewen?

8.   (Chapter 3) What are some of the myths of the First Thanksgiving? What are some of the truths?

9.   What significance does Loewen attach to disease in the development of U.S. History?

10. (Chapter 4) Why do American textbooks gloss over (trivialize) events between Native Americans and white Americans in the 19th and 20thcenturies?

11. What do you think were the major reasons why acculturation did not work with Native Americans? What does Loewen say about this? What reasons are given online? How does portraying Native American history as a tragedy affect our understanding of U.S. history? (p.133)

12.  (Chapter 5) What examples are used to show that white-black-red racial relations were significant in the development of political, cultural, and economic values in the U.S?

13. How has slavery impacted foreign policy and territorial expansion in the United States?

14. What is meant by the “confederate myth” referred to on page 160?

15. Why is it, according to Loewen, important to focus on white racism between the years 1890 and 1920 in  the treatment of African-Americans? (p.161)

16. (Chapter 6) What is the significance of John Brown’s statement that “this question is still to be settled”  (p. 172), in understanding how history textbooks are written to present a particular point of view?

17. Critique, "Loewen’s" analysis of the Gettysburg Address (pp. 182-83).Do you agree or disagree with his analysis? Why?

18. According to Loewen, why is it important to understand the roles of “carpetbaggers” and “scalawags” in  understanding the Reconstruction Era?(pp.196-199)

19. (Chapter 7) Why do you think American History textbooks routinely leave out issues of social and  economic inequality? Your response should include an understanding of “social class” described on page   202.

20. (Chapter 8) Do textbooks paint a realistic picture of the American federal government? Why or why not? Be sure to include specific examples.

21. (Chapter 9) Why do American history textbooks gloss over the recent past? What, according to you, is the last date for history vs. current events? (E.g. do events in 2000 count as history? Or 1995? 1990?)

22. (Chapter 10) What do the last chapters of American History textbooks convey, according to Loewen?

23. (Chapters 11, 12, and Afterward) What are "Loewen’s' solutions to the problems in American History  textbooks?