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In this activity students explore how Progressive Era reforms did not apply universally, but rather varied depending on issues like race and class. Students watch the 30-minute film Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl and read an article that [...]
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 [...]
In this activity students compare an excerpt of a WPA interview with an ex-slave with a more famous statement by Frederick Douglass to arrive at their own interpretations of slave resistance. This lesson is designed to work with the film Doing As [...]
In this activity students learn about literacy tests and other barriers that kept black Southerners from being able to vote. Students also take a 1960s literacy test from Alabama.
This activity compares a runaway slave ad and an abolitionist poster to explore the causes and effects of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law. The law changed how many northerners viewed slavery and intensified conflicts that brought the nation closer to [...]
In this activity, students examine three documents to better understand the goals, participants, and leaders of the 1963 March on Washington.
In this activity, students analyze documents to arrange events on a timeline of women's suffrage. The timeline and documents will help students understand the intersection of social movements and constitutional change. This activity can be modified [...]
In this activity students will examine how attitudes towards slavery and the Civil War changed between 1860 and 1865. What began in the minds of President Lincoln and most northerners as a war to preserve the union changed, over the course of the [...]
In this lesson students read a series of documents about the American and Mexican reasons for and against the 1846 U.S.-Mexico War. As they read the documents students identify when the authors employ various foreign policy ideologies such as [...]
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 [...]