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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Tag > Literature in the History Classroom (x)

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African American Workers: Conflict on the Homefront

In this lesson students analyze a propaganda poster, a photograph, and a poem to understand the tensions unleashed by the entry of African Americans into the industrial workforce during World War II.

Who Fought for the Union?

In this activity students examine sheet music and letters from draft rioters to examine Union attitudes about the military draft during the Civil War.

Exploring Slave Life Through Found Poetry

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.) [...]

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 [...]

Exploring the Irish in America Through Found Poetry

In this lesson students read poems and letters that describe the work and lives of nineteenth-century Irish immigrants to the United States. As students read the documents, they choose words and phrases to create found poems that reflect their [...]

Art, Commentary and Evidence: Analysis of "The White Man's Burden"

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.

Exploring Race Through Literature

Diverse literary texts provide opportunities for making connections about race and hearing multiple voices and perspectives. In this activity, students read literature and poetry from different American writers, reflecting on the meaning and [...]

Reading Historical Fiction: The Journal of Sean Sullivan: A Transcontinental Railroad Worker

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 [...]

"Uncle Sam's Got Himself in a Terrible Jam": Protest Music and the Vietnam War

In this activity students analyze the lyrics to a popular Vietnam War protest song and discuss how music can be used to motivate people and for protest. Then students will create a new stanza for the protest song "I-Feel-Like-I'm Fixin'-To-Die [...]

Nos creemos americanos: Braceros in History and Song

In this activity students write original corridos (a type of Mexican folk song) based on the oral histories of braceros. Before writing their own corridos, students learn about the formulas and themes of corridos and analyze a World War II-era [...]