In this activity students create a "magic lantern show," or presentation that illustrates how African American defined freedom for themselves after emancipation and the challenges and threats they faced. Students use primary sources from the Reconstruction period. This activity can accompany a viewing of the filmDr. Toer's Amazing Magic Lantern Show: A Different View of Emancipation.
In this activity students examine documents from the period of the First Great Migration of African Americans to the North. As they look at the documents, they take notes to build a character of a migrant. Then they create a scrapbook that shows their characters' personal journeys and experiences during the Great Migration. This activity can be part of a unit that includes the film Up South: African-American Migration in the Era of the Great War. Students will need art supplies such as construction paper, tape or glue, scissors, and markers to make the scrapbooks.
In this activity students learn about the people and places, and the social rules that governed them, in San Francisco's Chinatown in the 1800s. Students develop a character based on the real people who lived in Chinatown, and then create a walking tour of what life was really like in "their" neighborhood. Students analyze photographs and read short background texts to gather information for their tours.
In this activity students create a political cartoon about one of five key historical understandings of the Philippine-American War. This activity and its materials are Smartboard-friendly but can be completed without a Smartboard. This activity is designed to accompany the film Savage Acts: Wars, Fairs, and Empire 1898-1904, but it can be adapted if the teacher does not have access to the film. To plan their cartoons, students will need scissors and glue or tape.
In this activity students investigate various perspectives on the debate over the annexation of the Philippines by the United States after the Spanish-American War. Students read a variety of primary sources on the annexation question and the struggle for Philippine independence, debate the relevant issues while in character of proponents of either side, attempt to reach consensus on the issue, and report the outcome to the class.
In this activity, students consider arguments for and against unrestricted immigration during the Ellis Island era. Students analyze political cartoons, letters, newspaper articles, posters, and other sources, noting evidence in the documents to support the viewpoints of the various figures in the 1903 cartoon "The Immigrant." This activity also includes modifications for low-level readers.
In this activity students analyze a timeline and official and unofficial documents that reveal the events of the Iran-Contra Affair. This activity also models the types of questions that can help students analyze foreign policy documents from other events. The activity instructions include suggestions for how to differentiate the activity for students with different reading levels.
In this activity students read two letters (one from Hoover, one from FDR) to determine different political beliefs that guided the presidents in their responses to the Great Depression.
This short activity helps students compare two drafts of the Preamble to the United States Constitution. It contains scaffolds for low-level readers.
In this lesson students will examine three documents about the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956) to determine the importance of local activists, especially women, in the civil rights movement. This lesson might serve as an introduction to a unit on the civil rights movement.
Diverse literary texts provide opportunities for making connections about race and hearing multiple voices and perspectives. In this activity, students read literature and poetry from different American writers, reflecting on the meaning and experiences of race in the United States. Due to copyright restrictions, we cannot reproduce the texts here, but the instructions below include anthologies and links to online sources where the texts can be printed out.
In this lesson students look at primary source images and read short secondary texts to understand slave life. In the activity, the teacher models and students practice differentiating between different types of text (primary, secondary, etc.) they might encounter in the social studies classroom. Students show their understanding of a passage's central concepts by selecting words and phrases to compose a "found poem" about the main ideas of the text. This lesson was designed for struggling readers and ESL/ELL students.
In this lesson students read poems and letters that describe the work and lives of nineteenth-century Irish immigrants to the United States. As students read the documents, they choose words and phrases to create found poems that reflect their understandings of the Irish-American experience.
In this activity students learn about the goals of the Civilian Conservation Corps and the opportunities it provided for young men. Students create poster presentations about different aspects of the CCC by combining photographs and quotes from primary sources. Students will need poster-making supplies (including poster board or paper, markers, scissors, and glue/markers).
This activity asks students to analyze three primary documents about the experiences of young women who worked in textile factories in New England during the 1830s and 1840s. It provides worksheets to guide and support students in writing a paragraph that cites evidence about the documents.
This is a textbook to accompany a fieldwork course in early childhood education.
In this activity students consider different viewpoints on whether former slaves should be given land at the end of the Civil War. Students read one of five primary sources and summarize the author's viewpoint. This activity makes a good introduction to a unit on Reconstruction or to sum up a unit on the Civil War. This activity was designed to help students with language processing challenges synthesize historical documents.
In this activity students read about slavery's effect on women from the perspectives of an enslaved woman and a plantation mistress. Then students create a dialogue between the two women.
In this activity students read letters from ordinary people to government leaders in the Roosevelt Administration. Then they interpret the range of attitudes about the changing role of the federal government during the New Deal. The letters for this activity all contain reading supports and teachers can differentiate this activity for different levels of learners by choosing which letters to use in the activity.
In this activity, students read two primary documents from the early 1800s: a journal entry from the Lewis and Clark expedition and a Lakota Indian "winter count" calendar. Using an analysis worksheet, students identify key ideas and details from the documents, while also examining the craft and structure of each document. They draw upon both the content and form of the documents to make inferences about the respective cultures of Euro-Americans and Native Americans in the early 1800s.