Lesson Plan

A Pathway to Peace - Jimmy Carter and the Camp David Accords

President Carter, President Sadat, and Prime Minister Begin celebrate Camp David Accords.
President Carter, President Sadat, and Prime Minister Begin celebrate Camp David Accords.


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Grade Level:
Fifth Grade-Twelfth Grade
Geography, Government, History, International Relations, Leadership, Political Science, Safety, Social Studies, U.S. Presidents
Group Size:
Up to 36 (6-12 breakout groups)
National/State Standards:
Era 10-Contemporary United States (1968 to the present)
Standard 1: Understands developments in foreign policy and domestic politics between the Nixon and Clinton presidencies


These lessons utilize primary sources and background information to help students understand the complex process of resolving conflict.  Students will analyze documents, photos, and political cartoons related to the Camp David Accords.  They will learn how and why the U.S., Israel, and Egypt negotiated this historic peace agreement.  They will also analyze the resulting agreement, understanding that every party doesn't get everything they want in a compromise.


Students will be able to:

o  describe reasons for conflicts between nations and possible ways to resolve those conflicts

o  identify causes of past conflict between Israel and Egypt

o  identify the three leaders who met at Camp David in September 1978

o  explain why President Carter wanted to negotiate peace between Israel and Egypt

o  analyze the difficulties and tensions that made an agreement difficult to reach

o  compare and contrast the positions of Israel and Egypt as the Camp David summit began

o  analyze and interpret primary source documents related to the Camp David Accords, including photos, political cartoons, handwritten notes, personal correspondence, audio clips, and video clips.

o  create an informative and effective essay, timeline, cartoon, news reports, or advice column that reflects knowledge and understanding of the Camp David Accords


Students will use a variety of resources from the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site and the Jimmy Carter Library.These include photographs, political cartoons, handwritten notes by President Carter, correspondence between President Carter and President Sadat and between Carter and Prime Minister Begin, audio clips of President Carter's reflections upon the Camp David Accords, and video clips related to the negotiations and the treaty signing.



Teacher will have many opportunities for formative assessment in this unit, including observation of student brainstorming and collaboration during Day One's activities, observation of completion of primary source analysis sheets, completion of related handouts, and through question-and-answer sessions during discussion. The summative assessment comes with the student-chosen final performance task.

Park Connections

Many of the primary source documents (photos, written documents, etc.) are available onsite through the education program at the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site. Classroom sets of Keeping Faith and other publications by President Carter are also available for us onsite at the park or for loan to schools from the park. Students visiting the park will have an opportunity to view and discuss the Nobel Peace Prize from 2002 and the connections between that prize and Carter's efforts at Camp David as well as in his post-presidency throughout the world.


There are many ways to differentiate for this unit, including the incorporation of more complex texts and documents for students who need enrichment. Students who are particularly interested in more information related to the Camp David Accords might read some of Rosalynn Carter's reflections on that September in First Lady from Plains. Further research can be done into the efforts of other presidents in achieving peace in the Middle East, particularly Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Bill Clinton. Students could even research the current administration's efforts in the region and assess their effectiveness. Students might analyze President Carter's Nobel Prize acceptance speech from December 2002 for further insights into his view of how and why we must accomplish peace in the world.

Additional Resources

o  First Lady from Plains by Rosalynn Carter (c) 1982

o  The Blood of Abraham by Jimmy Carter (c) 1993

o  Palestine: Peace not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter (c) 2006


compromise, negotiation, conflict, accords, treaty, Sinai peninsula, Six Day War, Yom Kippur (or 1973) War, Menachem Begin, Anwar Sadat, Camp David, shuttle diplomacy, Middle East, settlements

Last updated: April 14, 2015