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Activity Overview


The 1980s came with several social issues, many of which Reagan aimed to address with his domestic policies. Using a spider map, students will analyze and explain different social issues in the 1980s and the actions Reagan took regarding them. This activity will help students understand the stance Reagan took on these social issues, how his New Right conservative views influenced his actions, and the effects of the actions he did or didn't take on the communities and the country as a whole.

Teachers may pre-select issues for students to address in their spider maps. Below are several suggestions!


Reagan and the Social Issues of the 1980s

  • Women’s Rights
  • Aids Epidemic
  • War on Drugs
  • Civil Rights
  • Immigration Reform
  • The Wealth Gap

Extended Activity

Have students create a spider map to explain and analyze the stance and actions of another president on certain social issues, namely ones related to the issues Reagan dealt with during his presidency. An example could be Obama’s actions concerning immigration, health care, and education.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-12

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group



Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Student Instructions

Create a spider map examining Reagan's actions concerning the major social issues of the 1980s.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the title boxes, identify the different social issues.
  3. Write a description analyzing the issue and Reagan's stance and response to it.
  4. Create illustrations using appropriate scenes, items, and characters.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.


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Presidency of Ronald Reagan





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