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Herb - social history for every classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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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…

American Horse (1840-1908) was an Oglala Lakota chief who participated in the Sioux Wars of the 1870s. He was also a "keeper," responsible for maintaining his band's "winter count," which had been passed down from his grandfather, to his father, to…

This worksheet helps students compare two historical documents, a journal entry from the Lewis and Clark expedition and excerpts from a Lakota Winter Count. The sections of the worksheet align to major sections of the Common Core reading standards:…

This background essay, adapted from a Smithsonian Institution online exhibit, provides information about the Winter Count calendars kept by many Lakota Indian bands.

In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson hired Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the vast territory of the Louisiana Purchase, recently acquired from France. Lewis and Clark followed the path of the Missouri and Columbia Rivers through eleven…

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A massive labor strike in 1877 shook the very foundations of American politics and society. Starting with a spontaneous railroad strike in West Virginia, the “Great Uprising” spread rapidly across the country. In many cities, entire…

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Edward Curtis was a professional photographer of the American West. In 1906, the wealthy banker and art collector J.P. Morgan hired Curtis to produce a multi-volume series on Native Americans that would include essays, sound recordings, and 1500…

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The U.S. Army and the Apache tribe (who called themselves N’ne, meaning “the people”) engaged in armed conflict in the U.S. Southwest from 1851 through 1886. On September 4, 1886, the famed Apache leader Geronimo (or Goyahkla) surrendered to…

This essay discusses the impact of the transcontinental railroad on Native American life. It focuses on the role of buffalo hunters in the federal government's policy of Indian removal. This essay, and the related Iron Horse vs. the Buffalo activity,…

Entrepreneur George A. Croffut published several tourist guides and manuals encouraging Americans to visit and settle in the West. His guides prominently featured the expanding railroad network as the best way to explore the vast territory beyond the…
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