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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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Active Viewing: Becoming American: The Chinese Experience

In this activity, students watch short clips of the PBS/A Bill Moyers Special production of Becoming American: The Chinese Experience (2003). The documentary clips and accompanying materials cover the arrival of Chinese in California, their work on [...]

An English-Chinese Phrasebook (Short Version)

This phrase book was published in 1875 and distributed at Wells Fargo bank offices throughout the West, in cities and towns where Chinese immigrants lived and worked. Modeled on the traditional Chinese method of memorizing and reciting [...]

A Country within a Country gallery walk worksheet

This worksheet is used by students to gather evidence from a gallery walk in the activity A Country within a Country

"The Balloon Man"

As this photograph of a Jewish balloon man on Dupont Street shows, there were many non-Chinese peddlers in San Francisco's Chinatown. Chinatown was a popular tourist destination in the late 19th century, and many peddlers sold novelty goods to [...]

Let's Make an Immigration Deal

In this game, students are assigned different immigrant identities and advance based on their access to economic opportunity and religious, political, and social liberties at different times in U.S. history.

A Montana Miner's Union Boycotts Asian-Owned Businesses

In the 19th century, Asian Americans faced widespread hostility. In this 1898 flyer, the labor movement claimed that Asian-American workers "[lowered] standards of living and of morals." Particularly in the West, union organizers agitated for the [...]

Create a Walking Tour of San Francisco's Chinatown

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 [...]