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Japan’s Attack on Pearl Harbor

The Japanese attack on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii forever altered the course of WWII. Although the attack left the American fleet crippled, it failed to strike a fatal blow. From the death and destruction of December 7th rose a nation dedicated to rebuilding and avenging the loss of Pearl Harbor. Using this primary source set students will be able to evaluate how the attack impacted those who were there and how they responded on that fateful day.

Social Security: What is the Federal Responsibility to Care for Vulnerable People?

In this lesson, students learn about the Social Security Act and its provisions to care for the elderly, the unemployed, mothers and children, and children and adults with disabilities.  Students will examine several primary source images and documents related to the New Deal era, using a primary source analysis organizer. The lesson offers options in how students can show their learning. This lesson plan has a special feature: the teacher who authored it offers reflections on how teaching the lesson worked with her class when she taught it the first time.

Puerto Rican Identity

Civics and U.S. History courses raise the question: What does it mean to be an American? The case of Puerto Rico is an interesting one because Puerto Ricans find themselves in limbo between American citizenship and Puerto Rican nationalism. The following primary source sets explore the unique relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States including the different factors that influence Puerto Rican identity, including nationalism, political status, culture, and migration. By examining these primary sources, students will gain an understanding of:

Propaganda Posters of the Spanish Civil War

Emerging America, in a partnership with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, has a produced a primary source-filled lesson on the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) – arguably the start of World War II. In this complex conflict, all sides used propaganda to sway the opinions of Spanish citizens and nations around the globe. The most apparent form of propaganda used was posters created by each side of the war. The Library of Congress has over 120 colorfully detailed posters. Students will use these posters to discuss and evaluate the tools of persuasion.

Boston, Then and Now: Change in the Urban Environment

Boston Public Schools teachers collaborated on this lesson to engage students with the sweep of American industrial and urban history. Due to Boston’s breathtaking changes in landscape, including the filling of much of Boston Harbor to create neighborhoods–the city offers a dramatic case study of change across the ages. Emerging America brings this lesson to you thanks to the outstanding map resources of the Library of Congress. Aligned to Common Core and Massachusetts State History standards

Exemplary Assessment (DDM): Changing Waterways – Grade 7 Geography

A model district-determined measure for 7th grade Geography, developed by the Collaborative in 2015 for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. A pre-assessment utilizes documents on the building of the Quabbin Dam in Central Massachusetts in the 1930s. The post-assessment utilizes documents on the building of the Aswan Dam in Egypt in the 1960s. Students use graphic organizers to prepare and then write a short essay on the costs and benefits of large water management projects.

Geography DDM Directions:

Pioneer Valley Illustrated History

Visually rich history published by Guy McLain, Director of the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History. Provides a rare glimpse into the evolution and history of western Massachusetts. Topics explored include European Settlement of the Valley, the Revolution and Shays’ Rebellion, Development of Transportation and Trade in the Valley, and Expansion of Business and Industry.

Who Writes Our History?

In the following lesson plan, students will look at the way in which events are reported on in history and how bias in the media affects peoples’ understanding of current events and history by analyzing both modern and historical newspaper articles. Throughout this unit, students will read and analyze Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath in relation to migrant workers and explore the conflict between political policy and the humane realities, as well as whether or not civil disobedience is necessary to create societal changes.

FDR and the Alphabet

In this lesson students are asked to analyze Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address and to compare the promises made to his later work as president. Students will use a graphic organizer to list three of FDR’s promises in the speech and then use secondary resources to research whether he fulfilled those promises.

Incarceration

Incarceration in a variety of contexts and settings has been deeply ingrained in American society for centuries. The experience and processes of incarceration takes many forms including criminal detention, imprisonment in wartime, and immigration detainment. This primary source set contains a range of items tracing the history of incarceration in the United States and includes images, maps, political cartoons, and reports–all from the digital collections of the Library of Congress.

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