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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…

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2009

In this activity students gather and analyze data from the 1855 census of the Five Points neighborhood. Students compare stereotypes of Irish immigrants with evidence from the census. Then students compare their census research with other primary sources describing life in Five Points to conclude how accurate different types of sources about…

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2010

In this activity students analyze Kipling's famous poem about imperialism and read several poems that were written in response to it. Students discuss how effective the poems are as art, political commentary, and historical evidence.

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2008

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 primary sources and prepare to write a paragraph about freedmen's new social freedoms. The activity in…

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2010

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…

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2008

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 immigrant experience in the U.S. This activity uses materials in both English and Spanish and…

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2008

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…

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2010

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…

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2010

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…

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2010

In this activity students analyze a political cartoon, a presidential speech and an anti-immigration pamphlet from the early 20th century. After analyzing the documents, students write about why the United States passed immigration quotas in the 1920s.

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2008