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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Tag > Role Play and Debate (x)

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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 [...]

Decoding U.S. Foreign Policy: The Iran-Contra Affair

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 [...]

Debate: How Should African Americans Achieve Equality?

In this activity students role play a debate among four African-American leaders at the turn of the century, about what strategy the black community should adopt to achieve full equality in the twentieth century. Students research their roles by [...]

Debate: Should the U.S. Annex the Philippines?

In this activity students investigate various perspectives on the debate over the annexation of the Philippines by the United States after the Spanish-American War. Students read a variety of primary sources on the annexation question and the [...]

The New York City Draft Riots: A Role Play

In this activity students research roles as either Irish immigrants or African-American residents in the midst of the New York City Draft Riots that took place in July 1863. Students gather evidence from primary sources to develop their characters, [...]

Reformers versus Residents in Five Points: A Role Play

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 Abolitionist Strategies

In this lesson, students will host an abolitionist meeting in the 1850s, after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act. Three strategies for ending slavery will be presented, and students will evaluate and debate the strengths and weaknesses of each [...]

To Strike or Not to Strike in 1830s Lowell: A Role Play

In this activity students perform a role play of a talk show between Lowell workers and factory owners. To research their characters, students analyze primary sources. This activity is used to teach with the film Daughters of Free Men, but can be [...]

Jim Crow On Wheels

In this role-play activity, students act out a scene on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama prior to the famous bus boycott to learn how segregation operated on public transportation.

Rights in Early America

In this activity, students are assigned roles as different members of early American society and move to different areas of the classroom according to whether they could always/sometimes/never exercise different rights in the 1770s and 1780s. This [...]