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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.

Disability History

The following primary source set, created using materials from the Library of Congress, contains a vast array of sources focused on Disability History in the United States. Disability has been interwoven into America’s history since the country’s inception through letters, images, newspapers, diaries and other primary sources. The set provides a comprehensive look into a wide range of Library of Congress resources.

Immigration

The massive influx of immigrants to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries shaped American society both at the time and indefinitely. The following primary source set explores materials organized for the Collaborative for Educational Services and by the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress has crafted a vast number of primary source sets, interactive presentations, and collections to showcase the tremendous volume of materials on the subject.

American Revolution and U.S. Constitution

The following set of resources from the Library of Congress was prepared for Special Education in Institutional Settings (SEIS). The set presents primary source documents and images on two main units of study: The American Revolution and the U.S. Constitution. There are abundant resources on the American Revolution and U.S. Constitution. Therefore, this set recommends a careful selection of the most engaging. Teachers and students can focus on the most valuable sources from the era for use in classroom or research settings.

Mapping Springfield’s Industrial Growth

The following lesson on the industrial growth of Springfield, Massachusetts during the 19th century was created during the National Endowment for Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop – Forge of Innovation: The Springfield Armory and the Genesis of American Industry, in the summer of 2015. Utilizing both primary and secondary source materials students will explore the industrial transformation of the Pioneer Valley during the early 19th century.

Technological Innovation and Change in the Connecticut River Valley in the Antebellum Era

A research unit and project developed during the National Endowment for Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop – Forge of Innovation: The Springfield Armory and the Genesis of American Industry, in the summer of 2015, the following five-day lesson plan and subsequent independent student study, contains a comprehensive companion site to drive student learning and engagement. Instruction and research center around the development of technologies that shaped the American Industrial Revolution during the Antebellum Era in the Connecticut River Valley.

WWI on the Home Front: Women in the Workplace

Produced during the National Endowment for Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop – Forge of Innovation: The Springfield Armory and the Genesis of American Industry, in the summer of 2015, the following lesson plan explores the domestic role of Women during World War I. Through the careful examination of Library of Congress primary source documents and secondary source materials, students will understand the social, economic, and political impact WWI had on women and vice versa.

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.

Modern America: Urban America: The American City in the 20th Century

America’s self image, forged in the era of Thomas Jefferson’s yeoman farmers, is of a rural nation. The great landscape of the West often dominates popular culture and Americans imagine themselves as independent and self-sufficient, shaped by the western frontier. Yet there is also a long urban tradition in the United States that has equally shaped the development of American culture. The rise of the great metropolis in the late 19th century was due to the existence of enormous wealth in the cities, built upon industrialism and immigration.

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