Teaching Activities (83 total)

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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 support the viewpoints of the various figures in the 1903 cartoon "The Immigrant." This activity also…

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2011

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 designed for middle school and high school students, as well as a suggested strategy for elementary…

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2011

In this activity students analyze a Chinese-English phrasebook from the late nineteenth/early twentieth century. Students match phrases from the textbook to specific historical understandings, write their own historical understanding, and then generate possible phrases for immigrants to the United States today.

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2010

In this activity, students are guided through a close reading of The Journal of Sean Sullivan: A Transcontinental Railroad Worker, a fictional book for young readers based on historical sources. Students will read a short excerpt from the beginning of the book and determine the meaning of key words. Working in groups, students will then read…
In this activity students learn about the people and places, and the social rules that governed them, in San Francisco's Chinatown in the 1800s. Students develop a character based on the real people who lived in Chinatown, and then create a walking tour of what life was really like in "their" neighborhood. Students analyze photographs and read…

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2010

In this activity students learn about the religious, class, and ethnic tensions between reformers and residents in the working-class Irish immigrant neighborhood of Five Points. Students research roles of a Protestant reformer and two Irish women debating whether the reformer should send Irish children to live with upper-class parents. This…

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2009

This activity helps students navigate and make sense of the information available in the Five Points census database. In the activity, students use the database to test hypotheses about life and residents in the Five Points. For this activity, students will need access to a computer with an internet connection. This activity can be followed up with…

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2010

In this activity, students use a range of primary and secondary sources about San Francisco's Chinatown (1880s-1920) to explore what the community meant to residents and to outsiders.
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 explains tensions among immigrants and African Americans in the Progressive Era.
In this activity students create a political cartoon about one of five key historical understandings of the Philippine-American War. This activity and its materials are Smartboard-friendly but can be completed without a Smartboard. This activity is designed to accompany the filmSavage Acts: Wars, Fairs, and Empire 1898-1904, but it can be adapted…

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2010