In this activity, students watch a short clip from the ASHP documentary 1877: The Grand Army of Starvationto learn about the impact of railroad expansion on Americans and the nation as a whole. After watching the clip, students complete the “Technological Turning Points and their Impact” worksheet in order to examine the positive and negative effects of the railroad.
CUNY Social History for Every Classroom
PBS American Experience’s Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Dividedis a 6 episode mini-series available as a 3 DVD set. The following activity focuses on the causes and consequences of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation through an active viewing of Episode 4: The Dearest of All Things(Disc 2). There is a companion website to the series, The Time of the Lincolns, that contains a Teacher’s Guide, primary sources, and episode transcripts.
In this activity, students watch short clips of the PBS/A Bill Moyers Special production ofBecoming American: The Chinese Experience(2003). The documentary clips and accompanying materials cover the arrival of Chinese in California, their work on the transcontinental railroad, the passage of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, and the Angel Island immigration facility. At the end of the activity, students complete a short writing task on whether not to immigrate to the United States from the perspective of a young Chinese man.
In this activity, students watch short clips of the ASHP documentary Daughters of Free Mento learn about the experiences of Lowell mill girls in the 1830s. Students follow the life of Lucy, a young girl working in Lowell in 1836. After each clip, students reflect on what they have just learned and predict what Lucy will do next.
In this activity students analyze the reasons why the Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted so long and was successful. Students watch a short clip from the PBS documentary Eyes on the Prizeabout the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Then students analyze primary sources to determine who participated in the boycott, who organized it, and what challenges boycott supporters faced. The teacher will need access to the filmEyes on the Prize, which is widely available in school and public libraries.
In this activity, students watch the documentary Heaven Will Protect the Working Girlin sections, with documents and exercises designed to support and reinforce the film's key concepts: workers challenging the effects of industrial capitalism, the impact on immigrant families of young women earning money in the garment industry, and the methods used by women to improve working conditions in factories during the Progressive Era.
This activity is designed to help students understand key ideas from the documentary film Savage Acts: Wars, Fairs, and Empire 1898-1904. The film is divided into short segments with suggested viewing strategies and questions to keep students focused.
In this activity, students watch film clips from the documentary The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter, decode a propaganda poster, and analyze statistics about working women during World War II. Parts of this activity can be completed without the film.
In this activity, students watch the ASHP documentary Up South: African-American Migration in the Era of the Great Warwith documents and exercises designed to support and reinforce the documentary's key concepts of Jim Crow, lynching, sharecropping, migration, and life in northern cities. At the end of the activity, students complete a short writing task on how life changed and how it stayed the same for migrants, and how they tried to improve their lives in the North.
In this activity, students examine three documents to better understand the goals, participants, and leaders of the 1963 March on Washington.
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.
This short activity helps students analyze a political cartoon about U.S. imperialism in the Philippines. To complete the activity, the teacher will need either a map or a globe to show students the relative distance between the United States and Philippines.
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.
In this activity students will learn about how groups without political power—African Americans, women, and working-class men—sought to expand their political power in the Revolutionary era. Students will analyze primary sources to determine the methods by which non-voting groups made their claims on being part of "We the People".
In this activity students read slave codes from colonial New York and respond to them from the perspective of one of four identities: Slave-owning white, Non-slave-owning white, Slave, or Free African American.
In this lesson students read a description of a slave's walk through colonial New York City and determine which laws he broke and which laws he followed. Students then write a journal entry from the perspective of either a slave or a slaveowner reacting to colonial New York's slave codes.
In this activity students read a list of laws regulating Africans and African Americans and a servant's indenture contract from colonial New York. Then students find evidence in the primary sources to support a series of statements about the differences between slaves and servants in the period. This activity includes scaffolds and vocabulary support for students with literacy challenges.
In this activity, students use a range of primary and secondary sources about San Francisco's Chinatown (1880s-1920) to explore what the community meant to residents and to outsiders.
In this activity students create a "magic lantern show," or presentation that illustrates how African American defined freedom for themselves after emancipation and the challenges and threats they faced. Students use primary sources from the Reconstruction period. This activity can accompany a viewing of the filmDr. Toer's Amazing Magic Lantern Show: A Different View of Emancipation.
In this activity students examine documents from the period of the First Great Migration of African Americans to the North. As they look at the documents, they take notes to build a character of a migrant. Then they create a scrapbook that shows their characters' personal journeys and experiences during the Great Migration. This activity can be part of a unit that includes the film Up South: African-American Migration in the Era of the Great War. Students will need art supplies such as construction paper, tape or glue, scissors, and markers to make the scrapbooks.