Lessons

The Bloodiest Battle in Maryland

This is a lesson for the AP US History Civil War Unit that is examining two societies at war. Analyzing issues in the North and the South such as the mobilization of troops and resources; internal dissent among military leadership and Executive branch; military strategies and foreign diplomacy as a means of exerting influence. Evaluating the ramifications militarily and socially of the Emancipation Proclamation and the social, political and economic effects of the war on the North and the South and specifically the Mid-Atlantic region.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

The Cost of Prosperity: Mass Consumption and Mass Production in the 1920s

The lesson will focus on two intertwined ideas: mass production and mass consumption. Students will examine these ideas through primary sources in class to define them and get a sense of how these economic changes of the 1920s also affected life in the U.S. Primary source activities in class will be supplemented with homework reading to help provide context and background.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

It Had to Happen

During the first “hot” skirmish of the Cold War, a larger battle brewed between a U.S. President and his General. This lesson will ask students to investigate if MacArthur’s firing during the Korean War was necessary or not and why.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

The Gulf War and A One Superpower World

Students will analyze U.S. identity before, during, and after the Gulf War and evaluate its implications on U.S. foreign policy.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Diplomacy – Might, Money, and Morals

This lesson will enhance student skills on analyzing primary source documents, and addressing the shift of American Diplomacy from Roosevelt’s Big Stick Diplomacy to Taft’s Dollar Diplomacy and finally Wilson’s Moral Diplomacy.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Memories in the Memorial

This lesson is designed primarily to provide students with a way to think about monuments historically, instead of simply as tourists. The goal of the lesson is for the students to create a comparison between the major 20th century American wars and the monuments honoring each conflict in Washington, DC. The students must consider not only the monuments themselves, but also the cultural and political circumstances in the United States at the time of the creation of the monument.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): , | Time Period(s): , |

The Alien Act and the Power of Government

In this lesson, students will compare the language and rhetoric of the Alien Act of 1798 with recent legislation whose purpose is to identify and deport undocumented resident aliens.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

The Dred Scott Decision: Republican vs. Democratic Perspective

Students will read and analyze contemporary newspaper editorials of 1857 regarding the Dred Scott decision to analyze differences in perspective of Democratic Party followers and Republican Party followers. After this analysis, students will be able to answer the focus question “What differences in perspective on slavery between the two political parties did the Dred Scott decision reveal?” Students will choose a perspective from which to write their own “editorial”, and they will be given the choice of presentation medium.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Transatlantic Slavery with Scaffolding for English Language Learners (ELLs)

This lesson introduces the topic of transatlantic slavery using a variety of primary source maps, images and easy-to-read documents, with suggestions for differentiation for English Language Learners (ELLs) in a regular or self-contained ESOL classroom setting.

Moving from teacher-centered to independent activities, the lesson begins with a power point overview and structured English language practice to front-load vocabulary. In small groups or pairs, students interpret a map of the Atlantic Rim to construct a bar graph showing numbers of slaves by the Atlantic region where they were taken. Individually, students use a rubric to prepare and present an aspect of slavery based on close reading of a primary source. Through the content lesson, ELLs purposefully practice the English listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills they need to meet the lesson objective.

Teacher notes provide a script for the power point presentation, guided questions, and strategies for scaffolding. Because beginning English language learners are new to this country, they likely have little prior knowledge of US history, particularly the American perspective on exploration, colonization, the Columbian Exchange, Triangular Trade, and so on. The lesson builds background knowledge, integrates world geography, and takes a global approach to the introduction of the topic.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): , | Time Period(s): |

The Beginning of Advocacy – Social Reformers React to Change

This lesson was designed specifically for 8th grade students that complete the Student Advocacy CAPSSL Project, to help them connect historical information with to their large project. Students are asked to become advocates on issues that they feel passionate about. They spent countless hours researching the issues and collecting data. Once they have found enough data they are asked to find a solution to the problem. The project culminates with a final product, typically a letter to a government official, advocating for change on their topic. Sample topics students have chosen are gun control, immigration laws, and bullying in and outside of school. Many students could not connect what they were doing to actual change, and sometimes questioned what their purpose was, or what difference they would make. This lesson gives students the opportunity to look at the reform movements of the 1800’s in an advocacy way. So examining not just how their advocacy has impacted society, but also as a way for them to examine what specific avenues of advocacy led to these outcomes. For teachers that do not complete this in-depth project, this lesson can serve as an extension to the curriculum guide as students will take what they have learned and connect it to a modern day issue by completing a current event assignment. This lesson focuses only on four reform movements, treatment of the mentally ill, women’s rights, temperance, and educational reform. Students will not only analyze primary source documents from different reform movements but will be able to extend their knowledge and connect it to a current issue.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Reform in U.S. Child Labor and Education in the Early 20th Century

These lessons will extend the Read180 Level B Curriculum, Workshop 4 – Stolen Childhoods, to build background knowledge for students regarding U.S. experience with child labor and the government’s role in creating laws that address the exploitation of children and provide access to public education for all children. Students will extend their understanding of the purpose of the U.S. Census, covered in Workshop 1 of the Read180 text by using it as a tool to examine how reforms in child labor and education impact literacy levels in early 20th century U.S.

Instruction: Note that Read180 is a reading intervention class for below-grade level readers and is based upon a format and structure consisting of an activator, whole group lesson and three 20-minute rotations for Read180 computer-based software, small group instruction, and independent reading.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

How Did the North Really Feel?

In studying the causes of the Civil War, students often believe that the whole of the Northern United States stood against slavery and the whole of the South was for it. This lesson focuses on looking at primary source documents from the North and the South from 1850 to the beginning of the Civil War to show the different perspectives with regards to slavery and abolition through close reading and sourcing.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

A Rude Awakening: The Reaction of Japanese Americans to Executive Order 9066

In this lesson students will closely examine the impact of Executive Order 9066 signed by President Franklin Roosevelt due to the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan. WWII impacted the people living in the United States in multiple ways. There were social and cultural unrest as people’s lives and routines were interrupted and uprooted, many to never be the same again.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Guess Who and Where?

The intent of the lesson is to introduce the study of the Native Americans of Maryland. Students will use close reading of primary source maps of the period, plus contextualization from artifacts provided through the Maryland Historical Society traveling trunk, to conclude which group of people will be studied as well as their location.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): , |

Exploring Native American Folkways through Artifacts

As a culminating activity, students will sort artifact cards according to their cultural origin (Southwest, Great Plains, Eastern Woodland, and Northwest Coastal).

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): , |

Who Do You Believe?

Students will compare and analyze primary and secondary sources. First, a review on sources will be provided and background information will be front-loaded about John White and Theodore de Bry. The teacher will model how to compare and analyze sources by using the watercolor painting and engraving titled, The broiling of their fish over the flame and fire. Students will split into small groups where they will compare and analyze work created by John White and Theodor de Bry. After comparing and analyzing sources, the students will be able to identify which source is more reliable. This lesson relates to the MCPS curriculum in that students are to learn about primary sources and how the sources help one to better understand the past.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Motivation for Advertisements: Why should the English come the New World?

The purpose of this lesson is for students to critically think about the motivation and reasoning behind deBry’s illustration of the Village of Secoton in terms of its use as an advertisement. Students should have analyzed John White’s primary source illustration of the Village of Secoton in a previous lesson. This lesson will begin by reviewing John White’s illustration. Students will then use their background knowledge and this class discussion to work in groups to create their own advertisements that may entice people in England to come to the New World.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): , |

Where am I? Settling in and Settling Down in the New World

Students study the early settlement period of St. Mary’s City. They are asked to analyze multiple perspectives using primary and secondary sources as they are introduced to this new culture. The students will use their knowledge and show their understanding of early settlements by creating a plan for a new settlement in Marie’s Land.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

A Picture is worth a Word Bubble!

The purpose of this lesson is make students aware of the enormous amount of stress and turmoil immigrants went through when travelling to the United States. The focus of the lesson is the immigrant experience at Ellis Island. Students will read two books on Ellis Island to give them the background knowledge needed to complete the assessment activity. In the end, students will examine four primary source pictures taken of immigrants at Ellis Island. Once they have examined the original picture, they will get a duplicate that has a word bubble pointing to one of the immigrants in the picture. The students will fill in that word bubble with the thoughts and feelings that may have been going through the minds of the immigrants at the time the pictures were taken.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Parading through the Palisade

The lesson is a hands-on introduction to the people of the Eastern Woodlands region and their culture. It begins with video footage of how the tribe lives and continues with an analysis of pictures, prints, and artifacts where the student becomes the historical investigator, discovering the secrets to the culture of a pre Colombian tribe and answering the question: Who were the Piscataway People? This lesson combines visual, auditory, tactile skills to engage the student population in the lesson.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Early American Government, Plymouth Style

The purpose of this lesson is for students to gain an understanding of the establishment of a democratic government in America by studying Jamestown, Plymouth, and St. Mary’s City to identify how early settlements adapted and survived in America. The idea of self-governing and democracy were new to the British settlers as they were under the absolute power of a king back in England. The way in which democracy started and grew in America is important for students to understand as it helps them as they progress through American History and into the Revolutionary Time Period. Democracy was a novel idea and its early foundations started in the early colonies of Jamestown, Plymouth, and St. Mary’s City. For this lesson, students will investigate the governing practices of the Plymouth Colony as set forth by the Mayflower Compact.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

An Explorer’s View of Maryland: Can we Believe Him?

Students will practice using historical thinking skills including sourcing, close reading,
contextualizing and corroborating to evaluate John Smith’s Map of Virginia (1612).
Students will compare and contrast Smith’s map with Augustine Herrman’s Map
(1670) and a map of Maryland today. Students will draw conclusions about the reliability of the
Smith map as a primary source and explore the changes in Maryland through an analysis of
these maps.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Dissecting the Declaration

In this lesson students will explore the Declaration of Independence. They will observe the primary source document and record observations. The students will also interpret the text of the Declaration of Independence.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Coming to America

Students will be viewing early footage of immigrants coming into Ellis Island. Along with the footage, first person accounts of actual immigrants will be playing. Students will view this film and be able to interpret and determine reasons that different groups of people might have left their homes and immigrated to the United States. The students will then come together in a whole group lesson and discuss their family’s origins. As a class, mark each student’s family origin on a map with string and create a path for their family from their homeland to the Americas. By the end of the lesson we will have a world map showing how all of the students made it to Maryland.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

History Detectives: Piecing Together the “Truth”

Students will be analyzing primary and secondary illustrations of Indian life as well as maps of early Maryland and Virginia. First students will be introduced to the terms primary and secondary source. After students understand the differences between the two terms they will discuss what an archeologist does. This will lead into setting up time for students to play history detectives with the John White and Theodore De Bry illustrations. Students will use magnifying lens to carefully look at the pictures and try to determine what exactly they are seeing. In the follow up activity students will be given various olden maps of Maryland to see what they can find out using their new found history detective skills.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Into the Past: Native American Life on the Chesapeake Bay

Students will complete a close reading of John White’s “Indians Fishing.” Students will observe the artwork and record what they see as well as contextualize the artwork to be able to tell what is says about Native American culture when it was created. Additionally, students will be able to discuss how waterways were important to Native American culture using natural resource cards.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Close Reading of Inuit Images

Using sourcing, close reading and contextualizing to guide the research of the Inuit. Students will be able to interpret and analyze primary source photographs to form questions for research.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Go West, Young People

Students will view an interactive map of the Oregon Trail. They will be reading actual accounts (through journal and diary entries) of children as they traveled on the Oregon Trail during the 1840’s, 1850’s and 1860’s. The journals will focus primarily on the hardships and struggles that children faced. Students will be creating versions of a journal entry from a child’s point of view.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Analyzing an Historic Maryland Map

In this unit, students learn about map elements and compare modern maps. They also investigate symbols on modern maps and use them to make inferences about the maps they investigate. In these lessons, students will first do a “close reading” of Augustine Herrman’s 1670 map of Maryland and Virginia. In the second lesson, the class will conduct a closer analysis and evaluate the Herrman map to make comparisons to a modern map. In the third lesson, the class will analyze and evaluate the narrative text embedded in the map in order to make inferences about the text, the possible bias of the author of the map, and what that says about the people who lived in that time and area.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Indentured Servitude

Students will be analyzing the contract of an indentured servant published in the 1635 account by Jerome Hawley and John Lewger. Students have been learning about reasons for early immigration to the Americas. The indentured servant’s path has yet to be explored. Using the “Exploring Maryland’s Roots” exploration from the Historic St. Mary’s City website, students will follow the path of one indentured servant by making specific decisions that will lead them to a life of servitude. Students will then analyze the contract of an indentured servant, and will fill out a capture sheet describing the motives for someone to become an indentured servant, its benefits, and disadvantages. Students will then come together to determine how the role of the indentured servant was integral to the forming of the St. Mary’s City colony.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Who were the Yaocomaco?

Students will be exploring the culture of the Yaocomoco Indians through the use of primary sources. They will use the information gained from these sources to complete the “Wheel of Culture” graphic organizer. Students will be using artifacts from the Maryland Historical Society Maryland Indians trunk, to supplement the materials suggested in the guide. In addition, students will use information from Father White’s journal to learn about the culture of the Yaocomoco.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Freedom of religion: The conflicts, compact, and wall of separation

In studying the fascinating early national period, the students to date have focused on two major tensions in the new United States—how power was to be distributed between the federal government and the states and how the interests and powers of the large and small states could be “balanced.” They explored how the compromises used to resolve these debates resulted in our current governmental structure and in the protections embodied in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The students had been introduced to the rights and restrictions on government action included in the Bill of Rights.

In class discussions, the students identified the experiences which gave rise to concerns about tyrannical powers of a strong central government and to the specific abuses of criminal and civil rights in the colonies The students connected those concerns and abuses to the protections embodied in the Bill of Rights and, prior to the Amendments’ passage, to the rights set out were in state constitutions, created years before the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

When discussing the origins of most of the First Amendment rights, students easily have identified the causes of the concerns for and abuses surrounding the freedoms of speech, press, and assembly in the pre-revolutionary period, but when asked about what would have given rise to the freedom of religion, their responses seemed to be limited to the fourth grade social studies experience—that many settlers left Europe because they could not practice their religions there (Confirmed by entrance card responses).

This lesson seeks to give them greater understanding of the conflicts and tensions underlying the inclusion of the provisions pertaining to religion in the Constitution and Bill of Rights based upon colonial and state governmental practices concerning religions. The goal of the lesson is for the students to be able to identify some of the American context for the years of controversy over what the Constitution’s religion provisions restrict and permit. Just as they understand that the protections of the Bill of Rights, established over two hundred years ago, are regularly applied to new questions and new situations, whether those protections concern civil rights of speech or privacy or criminal rights, they also will be able to see why the questions of what the separation of church and state permits is a live issue.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Choosing sides…what are the consequences?

In this session students deepen their understandings of the growing tensions between the colonists and British government by comparing the views of a variety of enslaved African Americans on the conflict with Britain. They will learn about African Americans who fought for the Crown, as well as the Patriot cause. They will examine different reasons why an African American would choose either side and will consider the consequences for their choice.

This lesson is intended to follow lesson 5:1.2.6 in the guide and can be an extension since the viewpoint is from an African American.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

To stamp or not to stamp?

Students will analyze three primary sources related to the Stamp Act of 1765, which was one of the many “burdens” placed on the colonists by King George III and Parliament.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Washington’s Historic Crossing

Students are to compare two documents: A Primary source (News of the American Victory at Trenton) and a Secondary Source (Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851). Students will examine both to see that the artistic representation is not accurate. This relates directly to our study of the American Revolution in the MCPS curriculum.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Treaty of Paris

Students examine maps and images to complete the timeline of the American Revolution.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Don’t tax me…again!

This lesson is intended to connect the study of economics back to the people and places of post-Revolutionary America. Students should understand that a government needs to tax its citizens and often these taxes are very unpopular. They will discuss why this kind of taxation was different from when we were ruled by Great Britain and how it is similar to some of the taxes we pay today. Additionally, they will connect ways people of today protest when they don’t want to pay a tax they think is unfair.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Colonists React

This lesson is designed to be taught after students have studied several of the acts implemented by Parliament as a result of the large debt that King George was left in after the French and Indian War. In the three-day lesson, students analyze primary sources to show the different reactions colonists had to these new taxes and laws. To build a reference for students, first on day one, in whole group, review the acts passed by Parliament. Next, review historical thinking skills with a provided checklist. Before students work in small groups and then independently, together conduct a close reading of a primary source that retells the events of the Boston Tea Party. On day two, in groups, students will then work together to complete a close reading of three other primary sources from the time period that each portray a different colonial reaction to a pokies online change Parliament implemented in the colonies. After discussing assigned primary sources in groups, students will respond independently with a written assignment on day three to assess their understanding of colonial reactions. Then for closure to the lesson, groups will share their primary sources, and we further discuss how the colonists began to divide into two cultural groups, Patriots and Loyalists.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Who fired the shot heard ’round the world’?

Since this battle officially began the war part of the American Revolution, it is important for students to understand the events that took place there and leading up to it. They should also gain perspective from both sides so that they can form their own opinion of what happened with “the shot hear ‘round the world”. In addition, this task allows for students to use historical thinking skills to try and form their own opinions of what happened and try to answer a question to which nobody really knows the answer.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

The stamp act: How did they react?

The purpose of this lesson is to demonstrate the difference in reactions to the Stamp Act between the colonists and the British. The students will be analyzing various primary sources in order to analyze how differently the colonists and British reacted. The colonists had an extremely negative view of the taxes, which was represented by the skull and crossbones and symbolic “death” of the newspaper. On the other hand, the British felt justified in taxing the colonists, and depicted the colonists as bullies as they tarred and feathered the tax collector, who in their mind was just doing his job. This directly relates to the curriculum, as the students analyze the events leading up to the Revolution, and how colonists worked within and outside the political system to create change.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Mapping connections: Boston, Concord, Lexington and the Revolution

Students will think like detectives of the past and use techniques such as close reading, contextualizing, and sourcing to examine a primary document about the battle of Lexington and Concord. Also, they will discuss two points of view regarding the events of April 19, 1775 by examining a minuteman’s engravings. Furthermore, students will use information gathered about the Battles of Lexington and Concord to write for different purposes.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Exploring the adventures of the American frontier

From Davy Crockett’s many exaggerated tall tale stories came a perspective of the harsh yet entertaining lives of the American frontiersmen. But who is this Davy Crockett? By exploring historical documents, images, and informational text, students will use historical thinking strategies to study Davy Crockett and identify his contributions that had an impact on America’s westward expansion. Davy Crockett was born on August 17, 1786 in Tennessee and he spent many hours listening to stories about the frontier and the hazardous journeys of westward travelers. His life was difficult; clearing land, hunting and trapping, and building homes. Davy was an expert marksman and won many local competitions. He had various jobs, driving cattle and working on farms. Davy Crockett was a colonel in the Tennessee Militia and fought many battles. He became a member of the Tennessee legislature, and was elected to the United States Congress three times. In 1836, he fought the Mexican Army and died at the Alamo.

In Language Arts, the students read and analyze a variety of American tall tales. A focus can be on Davy Crockett and his many tall tale adventures. This lesson introduces the real hero and his contributions to the expansion of the American frontier.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Who started the fight?

History is often presented as just having one side. This activity will allow students to discover that there are many points of view of a historical event. What is called the Boston Massacre in United States history can be called a minor skirmish in Great Britain history. Sometimes in history there may not be a clear picture of what took place. Analyzing historical documents can give students insight into events that took place hundreds of years ago.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Approving the amendments

Students will examine two primary source documents (Proposed Constitutional Amendments and Jefferson Tallies State Ratifications of “Rights”) to determine the first amendments to the Constitution.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

The political cartoon: Exploring national unity

Students will use techniques such as close reading, contextualizing, and sourcing to examine and compare two political cartoons about national unity from pre-Revolutionary time to the ratification of the Constitution. Students will explore how cartoonists use symbols to make a political point.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Who was the real Molly Pitcher?

Students will use historical reading skills to look at the legend of Molly Pitcher.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Can we count on you?

Students will analyze the language of the 1790 Census Act and discuss the reasons a census was necessary, as well as the possible reasons for the categories listed in the Census Schedule. Students will use the 1790 Census data as a reasonable representation of the U.S. Population at the time of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. Base on that data, students will consider the impact of the 3/5 compromise as a means of determining representation in Congress for various states by evaluating their free and slave populations.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

The role of government during WWI and its Impact on American society

Woodrow Wilson used propaganda, censorship laws and government intervention in the marketplace to unite Americans behind an unpopular war. What was the result of Wilson’s campaign to unify Americans behind the war?

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Why did they listen to Hitler anyway?

During this lesson students will spend 90 minutes developing background knowledge to describe why the German people should support Hitler’s election. They will have the chance to elect a hidden candidate (Hitler) and then write a textbook section about their discoveries.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

President Obama’s various roles in comparison to those of two previous presidents

Students will observe a sample of three US Presidents’ daily schedules in order to categorize each of the eight roles the President fulfills in the course of his day. A sample of a daily schedule of President Harry S. Truman will provide the worksheet to lay the basic concepts. A primary source activity will include the close reading of selected portions of a replication of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s schedule of April 14th, 1967. Finally, a sample of a day in the schedule of President Obama will be examined. In addition to categorizing his duties, a comparison of the three presidents’ schedules will employ students’ emerging skills of historical thinking, questioning, and analysis.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Who fought in the French and Indian War?

The French & Indian War is a confusing topic for many new secondary students with beginning English language proficiency and limited background knowledge. In this session, use letters written in the 1750s to introduce a group of Native Americans and a British officer named George Washington. These primary sources offer opportunities to analyze whether their writers were with the British or the French as well as to visualize the past as experienced by the people of the time.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Woodrow Wilson: Idealist, progressive, hypocrite?

This lesson is designed to analyze progressivism and its impact through a study of Woodrow Wilson’s. Students will examine primary sources that focus on the president as a leading figure of the movement in the 1910’s.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

How white is white?

Students will learn how anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States at the turn of the century led immigrants to find legal ways to ascertain their rights and forced the courts to try and determine the legal meaning of “white” when determining citizenship.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

“…hard times makes peculiar bedfellows sometimes…”

This lesson may be conducted as a follow up to students examining why and how official government policies (such as legal segregation in the CCC) led to different experiences of the New Deal for Whites and African Americans. Or it may be taught as a stand-alone lesson on race relations during the Great Depression.

In this lesson, students will focus on interactions between “ordinary” Americans seeking to improve their economic circumstances: Did new initiatives (such as the WPA) foster competition or cooperation between the races? Did similar circumstances lead to a sense of solidarity or reinforce notions of “us vs. them”?

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Revolutionary events abroad lead to the peaceful election of 1800

Students will briefly discuss the fear of political parties during Washington’s administration, culminating in the passage of the Sedition Acts during the administration of John Adams. Leading into the election of 1800, both the Federalist and Democratic Republican Parties resorted to what is called “negative campaigning” today, as both sides distorted each other’s views on government. Despite all of the rhetoric and vitriol, the United States remained united with the peaceful transfer of power from the Federalists and John Adams to Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic Republicans in this election.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

ALL created equal…well, maybe not everyone

The argument over slavery already existed as we formed our Constitution but the word slavery is not in the document. Were the founding fathers for the continuation or the elimination of slavery? This question continued to plague our nation until the Civil War.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

War part deux? The War of 1812, the second war for American independence

The War of 1812 is the final topic taught before the Semester 1 exam. Even though it is addressed so close to the exam, there are several selected responses and a BCR devoted to the War, its causes and consequences, and especially how it promoted a sense of American nationalism. Students need to master the assessed content about the War of 1812, but they also need to continue developing their historical thinking skills, including sourcing, analysis of perspective, context, and author’s purpose. This DBQ will serve several functions- it will re-familiarize students with the thesis organizer that they will use on the semester exam, as well as introduce them to the expectations in terms of marking up sources and the steps they need to complete when analyzing them.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Was Maryland in a state of rebellion in 1861?

Students will examine primary source documents to determine whether or not Maryland was in a state of rebellion, which would justify Lincoln to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in Maryland at the beginning of the Civil War in 1861.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

The industrial revolution

This lesson will focus on technological, social and economical changes that took place in the United States from 1800- 1850.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Songs of the Civil War: Causes and soldiers’ experience

In the first lesson, students will examine popular patriotic songs of the Civil War era to identify the reasons that both the North and South gave for fighting the Civil War. They will then have to compare these reasons with previous or future analysis of other lessons in which they examined documents relating to secession and the buildup to the war.

In the second lesson, students will examine popular songs sung in the army to identify the common foot soldier’s actual experiences and attitudes in fighting the War.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Varied views on indian removal

Students will write a Political Editorial based on their reading of a variety of viewpoints on Indian Removal. They will use their knowledge of Perspective and Context to do so.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

The red scare in Montgomery County public schools

In this lesson, students will examine anti-communist investigations of the early 1950s, using the firing of William Hinckley of Montgomery Blair High School as a case study.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Slavery: Four northern perspectives

To help dispel the stereotype that everyone in the North in the mid-1800s was against slavery, students will analyze a collection of primary sources that portray four distinct Northern attitudes toward slavery: Abolition, Free Soil, Colonization, and Pro-slavery. The goal is to further their understanding of multiple perspectives, reinforcing the fact that the study of history necessitates researching multiple perspectives in order to discover the truth.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

The road to the Trail of Tears

Students will examine the responses of the Native American’s in the early 1800’s to government removal. They will determine if the actions of the Native American’s was changing the government from within the system, outside the system or trying to establish a different system. They will choose the path they believe should have been taken by the Native American’s before the Removal occurred.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Getting a hold of the past

Students will learn about the importance of analyzing multiple perspectives as they are introduced to the culture of this early Maryland settlement. Students use primary source objects from the Colonial Maryland Trunk to learn about the culture distinct to this early settlement in St. Mary’s City.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

The Olive Branch Petition: War or peace?

Students need to understand that not all colonists were ready to declare independence. There was still division, even in the Continental Congress, as to whether the colonies should fight for independence or try to make amends with Britain. Students will think about different points of view and perspectives regarding independence.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

The voyage to St. Mary’s City

The students will use primary and secondary sources to discover why immigrants from Europe settled in the New World. The students will learn that European settlers wanted religious freedom and wanted to teach the Native Americans their religion, too. Students will then show their understanding of the push and pull factors for migrating to Maryland by taking on the role of an individual who migrated to St. Mary’s City and writing a diary entry from that person’s point of view.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Revolutionary women: Phillis Wheatley

This is a two-day lesson that compares two women in the Revolutionary war era. Instead of focusing on individuals who fought in the Revolutionary war, this lesson focuses on people that were important and made an impact in the Revolutionary era. The first day, will focus on Phillis Wheatley. The second day will focus on Mercy Otis Warren. This lesson plan only includes day one. This lesson can also be integrated with Reading since students will be reading a play about Phillis Wheatley and finding the theme of the play in a future reading lesson.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Ho to Kansas!

The intent of this lesson is to introduce the idea that many former slaves left the south after the Civil War to find true freedom and own land. This time period goes beyond the 3rd unit, however, it ties in with the Westward Movement and teaches a part of Black History that is absent from the 5th grade MCPS curriculum.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Uncovering Jamestown

Students will be analyzing artifacts found by archeologists at the Jamestown site. First, the process will be over-viewed with a cupping glass, an artifact that was found at the excavation site in Jamestown. After students are walked through the historical thinking process, small groups will receive a picture of another object found on site. Students will work together to observe and then analyze the object. After close analysis, students will make a prediction about what the object is and how it is used. Students will be provided a reading to determine if their answer is correct and then share out with other groups. In a follow up activity, students are given a collection of items and asked to describe how these would be used by the settlers at Jamestown, based on their knowledge gained from previous research.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Push and pull factors of the move to Maryland in the 1600’s

The purpose of this lesson is to have students apply what they already know about push and pull factors to a new situation, as well as to have them analyze reasons for why people wanted to leave England and settle in Maryland. In this one lesson, students will put into practice many aspects of the Social Studies curriculum- historical thinking, primary and secondary sources, and push and pull factors. Studying this topic creates a segue from a broad study of the waves of immigration to a more focused study of how the United States was first colonized and started.

The students will look at the first source which represents the push factor for the settlers. They will listen as I model how I would source the document. Then do a close reading of what the document is saying. As this is taking place, the students are completing the first part of their historical investigation chart with me as I model it. Next the students would look at the pull factors of settling in the New World. I would have the students practice sourcing it- looking at the bottom of the text first to do this. Then they will close read it with the teacher created, modern version and complete the pull section of their chart. As a check for understanding, students will complete a comic strip depicting a settler going to the New World, with speech bubbles explaining the push and pull reasons.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Dollar for your thoughts

Students will examine currency from the Revolutionary War era. Students will discuss pros/cons of using paper currency for interstate trading.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Moving to a new world

This lesson is a follow-up to a discussion of “push” and “pull” reasons for immigration. The primary and secondary sources cover a range of reasons for immigration that occurred during the 1600s.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Life on the Chesapeake Bay

Students will interpret drawings by John White. These drawing are from 1585 and are considered primary resources for Natives living in the Chesapeake Bay area. After describing what is seen in these drawings, students will draw conclusions about the culture and daily lives of Natives in this region. Next students will interpret etchings by Theodor de Bry. He created these etchings from the drawings of John White. He created them in the 1600 while in England. Students will compare them with the primary resources and discuss the differences as well as determine what motive could account for the differences.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Immigration

This lesson is intended to introduce students to the idea of immigration. They examine what an immigrant is and develop reasons why someone would choose to immigrate to the United States.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Their classroom is so different!

Students will compare and contrast the difference between schoolhouses of the second wave of immigration to that of the fourth wave. Students will also look at class photos and analyze the diversity of the students and their classrooms to that of their own classroom today.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Analyzing culure through Father White’s narratives

Students will use contemporary interpretations of Father White’s descriptions of Native Americans. They will view an overhead of an actual Father White drawing to understand the culture (clothing) of the Yaocomico. They will then read another of Father White’s narratives and draw a picture using the description. Students will discuss how the primary source allows us to know more about the culture, and what the materials used for the clothing and accessories tell us about the available resources.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

“On being brought from Africa to America” and other writings of Phillis Wheatley

The goal is to make students aware of the poems and letters of Phillis Wheatley. This study corresponds to the previous study of other women from the American Revolutionary time period such as Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, and Martha Ballard.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

The Jamestown records

Students will learn about the various occupations of the first settlers of Jamestown. They will use the information about each occupation to decide if the colony was going to thrive or not. This will all segue into the causes of the Starving Time.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

Whose side are you on?

Students will “think like historians” and use techniques such as close reading, contextualizing, and sourcing to examine primary sources and discern the opposing points of view during the Whiskey Rebellion. The overarching content or theme of the lesson is an examination of the role of the new powers of the federal government under the Constitution in regulating the rights and freedoms of individuals and localities – a relevant issue that we continue to grapple with even today.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |

The mystery of the starving time (Jamestown)

In this lesson, students will investigate the “Starving Time” in Jamestown (1609) by analyzing various primary resources. They will formulate an opinion on the causes of the “Starving Time” and use evidence from the primary sources in order to persuade others of their opinion.

Posted in Lessons Grade Level(s): | Time Period(s): |