Social History for Every Classroom

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Social History for Every Classroom

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A Chinese Immigrant Tells of Labor in a New Land (shortened, with text supports)

Since their arrival in the United States in the 1850s, Chinese immigrants confronted social, political, and economic discrimination. Many Americans believed that the Chinese posed a threat to white workers and should not be eligible for citizenship. [...]

Immigrants by the Numbers Elementary worksheets

These worksheets are designed for elementary students to use in the activity "Immigrants by the Numbers". For the teacher's convenience, a key is provided.

A Doctor Decries the Public Health Danger of Immigrants (with text supports)

Starting in the 1890s, many Americans feared that the arrival of large numbers of immigrants from countries in Eastern and Southern Europe was bad for society. They claimed that immigrants could not easily assimilate, or fit in, and that they were [...]

A Boston Union Urges Immigration Restriction (with text supports)

In 1896 Congress passed a bill which would require all immigrants to be able to read at least 40 words in any language in order to enter the country. The bill was supported by the Immigration Restriction League. They worried that the increasing [...]

Claiming We the People: Political Participation in Revolutionary America

In this activity students will learn about how groups without political power—African Americans, women, and working-class men—sought to expand their political power in the Revolutionary era. Students will analyze primary sources to determine the [...]

Comparing Slaves and Servants in Colonial New York

In this activity students read a list of laws regulating Africans and African Americans and a servant's indenture contract from colonial New York. Then students find evidence in the primary sources to support a series of statements about the [...]

Lessons in Looking: Contraband in Paintings

In this activity students analyze Theodor Kaufmann's 1867 painting On to Liberty. Students practice finding information and making inferences based on the painting by completing a graphic organizer. Then students read a descriptive paragraph of the [...]

Liberty for All: Voices from the Revolution

In this activity students read short excerpts of documents that show how the expectations of women, African Americans, and working white men were raised by the rhetoric of liberty during the American Revolution. Students write petitions to the [...]

A Congressman Denounces Immigration Quotas as "Un-American" (short version, with text supports)

Restrictions on immigration, largely aimed at would-be migrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, gained considerable popular support during the 1920s. Anti-immigrant sentiment culminated in the Quota Act of 1921, which effectively reduced [...]

Immigrants by the Numbers

In this activity, students work with quantitative data (charts, graphs, and tables) from the 1910 census and the 1911 Dillingham Commission Report to understand the lives of immigrants in the Ellis Island era. The activity includes an option [...]

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