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The Poetry of Chinese Immigration
In this activity students read poems written by Chinese immigrants to understand the hopes of and challenges faced by Chinese immigrants during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Then students write an original poem about the Chinese [...]
Decoding U.S. Foreign Policy: The Iran-Contra Affair
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 [...]
Scaffolded Reading of "Drawing of an African Burial Ground Grave In Situ"
This brief activity leads students through analysis of an archaeologist's sketch of the grave of an African buried in colonial New York.
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 [...]
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 "Great Cause for Better Citizens"? Attitudes Towards the New Deal
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 [...]
Adding to the Picture: The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
In this activity, students examine three documents to better understand the goals, participants, and leaders of the 1963 March on Washington.
Social Movements and Constitutional Change: Women's Suffrage
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 [...]
Debating Immigration Restriction: The Ellis Island Era
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 [...]
New Liberties and New Threats During Reconstruction
This activity features differentiation and scaffolding to help students understand the new social freedoms and new threats to the families of freedmen during Reconstruction. Students work in heterogeneous skill-level groups to analyze several [...]