Chronicling America, Historic Oregon Newspapers Now with New Content!

Calling all aficionados of historic Oregon newspapers! The Chronicling America and Historic Oregon Newspaper websites have been updated with lots of great new content. All issues of historic Oregon newspapers that have been added to these sites are completely free to search and are easily keyword searchable.

East Oregonian (Pendleton, Umatilla Co., Or.) Sept. 22, 1922

http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88086023/1922-09-22/ed-1/seq-1/

New content includes the following:

Chronicling America is a website that provides “access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages, and is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).” Historic Oregon Newspapers is a website that lets you “search and access complete content for historic Oregon newspapers that have been digitized as part of the Oregon Digital Newspaper Program (ODNP).” ODNP is a program of the University of Oregon Libraries with the help of major grants and external funding. Special thanks to the Oregon Heritage Commission for providing matching funds to support digitization of these titles.

Posted in Announcements, Chronicling America

Willamette Meteorite

Photograph of a man standing next to the meteorite, which is almost as tall as he is. Caption reads: "Tomanowos, also known as the Willamette meteorite, on display during the Lewis and Clark Exposition in Oregon in 1905." Photo courtesy of the Macovich Collection.

Image from Smoke Signals, the current newspaper of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, 2007. http://goo.gl/L6UEkc

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Overview

One of Oregon’s unique natural treasures is the Willamette Meteorite, found near the town of West Linn in 1902. Using the Historic Oregon Newspapers website, students will access accounts of the meteorite’s discovery and subsequent court battle to determine its rightful ownership. Further inquiry will reveal information about the science of meteors and a key event in the region’s geological past. A mock trial will help personalize and elucidate the competing claims of rightful ownership that have continued to surround the meteorite up to the present day. This interdisciplinary lesson is designed to teach concepts of social history, natural history, physical science, and legal issues of personal and community property rights.

Oregon Common Core State Standards

Language Arts Standards: 

  • ELA.RH.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
  • ELA.RH.9-10.6 Compare the points of view of two or more authors in their treatment of the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.
  • ELA.RH.9-10.7 Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.
  • ELA.RH.9-10.8 Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author’s claims.
  • Additional standards listed in PDF Download

Social Studies Standards: 

  • Historical Knowledge HS.2 Analyze the complexity and investigate causes and effects of significant events in world, U.S., and Oregon history.
  • Historical Knowledge HS.9 Identify historical and current events, issues, and problems when national interests and global interest have been in conflict, and analyze the values and arguments on both sides of the conflict.
  • Historical Thinking HS.11 Gather and analyze historical information, including contradictory data, from a variety of primary and secondary sources, including online sources, to support or reject hypotheses.
  • Historical Thinking HS.12 Construct and defend a written historical argument using relevant primary and secondary sources as evidence.
  • Additional standards listed in PDF Download

Materials

Lesson

  • Introduction: Introduce the topic of study.
    • Begin by asking students if they are aware that the largest meteorite ever discovered in the United States—and the sixth largest in the entire world—was found right here in our home state of Oregon. Then ask how many of them have seen this remarkable object in person. If any students answer in the affirmative, solicit from them the story and circumstances of how and where they came to view the meteor.
  • Building background knowledge: Students will build background knowledge by researching the case Oregon Iron Co. v. Hughes on the Historic Oregon Newspapers
    • Inform the class that there was an immediate controversy about the rightful ownership of the meteorite. Also, tell students that Mrs. William E. Dodge bought the meteorite in 1905 and donated it to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where it is still on display.
    • Introduce the case Oregon Iron Co. v. Hughes.
    • Challenge students to locate the very first news story about the meteorite’s discovery, and a newspaper photograph.
    • Direct students to the website, and research the meteorite and the court case.
    • You may narrow searches by using the advanced search option, entering specific phrases and timeframes.
    • See below for a list of links to key stories.
  • Discussion: After the students have completed their research, bring them together for a class discussion of what they have learned.
  • Some discussion questions to consider:
    • Who first discovered the meteorite?
    • Where did they find it?
    • Why did they undertake the very difficult task of moving the 15-ton object ¾ of a mile?
    • How did this lead to a case in the Oregon Supreme Court?
    • What was the court’s decision?
    • How was the decision fair?
    • What did the winners of the court case do with the meteorite?
    • Was it right to send the Willamette Meteorite to the other side of the country? Should this relic have remained in Oregon, where it was found?
  • Lesson activity: The science of the Willamette Meteorite.
    • Ensure that students gain a basic knowledge of the nature of meteorites: what they are, where they come from, and how they have impacted the earth throughout time.
    • Some resource ideas include class discussions, science curricula, or online resources such as Solar Views and Wikipedia.
    • Break students into groups to do more research on meteorites. An activity sheet is provided below.
  • Discussion: Bring students together to share their findings and interesting facts. Make sure to discuss each of the questions that students were tasked in researching.
  • Transition: Students should be made aware of a most perplexing fact about the Willamette Meteorite: It would be expected that an object of this mass falling from space would leave a huge crater where it struck the earth. However, where the meteorite was discovered in Oregon, it laid half-buried in the ground, with no crater.
    • Pose the question: How can this be explained?
    • Have students brainstorm hypotheses of their own before the class investigates further.
  • Building background knowledge: This is a great segue to the subject of ice age glaciation and the Missoula Floods (also known as the Bretz Floods, or Spokane Floods) that played a key role in shaping the geography of Oregon.
    • Geologists have hypothesized that, during the last ice age, the Willamette Meteorite made its original impact on the great ice dam that lay far to the northeast, in present-day Canada. Around 11,000 years ago, this massive ice barrier was breached, releasing a torrent of water greater in volume than all Earth’s rivers combined. Giant icebergs broke free in the floodwaters; one of these chunks of prehistoric ice rafted the meteorite hundreds of miles before depositing it where it would be found in the Willamette Valley.
    • Discuss the history and dynamics of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet and resulting Missoula Floods.
    • Some resources are listed below.
  • Discussion: Bring students together as a class to discuss the information that they were presented with on the Missoula Floods and Cordilleran Ice Sheet.
  • Some discussion questions to consider:
    • In what ways would Oregon circa 9,000 bce have looked different from the present day?
    • What are some factors responsible for these changes?
    • Which of the state’s geographic features were directly shaped because of the Missoula Floods?
    • Besides the Willamette Meteorite, what other pieces of evidence of these ice age floods have been discovered in Oregon?
  • Building background information:
    • In 2000, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon alleged that the meteorite was their rightful property. Before it was “discovered” by Ellis Hughes, Native Americans living in the Willamette Valley knew about the meteorite. In fact, they had a special name for it, Tomanowos, and used it in an annual religious ceremony. Thus, the Confederated Tribes argued, the meteorite should be returned to them.
    • Against this claim, the American Museum of Natural History continued to assert that the meteorite was legally purchased and donated to it in 1905. Individuals who agreed with the museum also argued that the meteorite is a national treasure and should remain on prominent display in a place where the greatest number of people could see it.
  • Lesson preparation: Divide students into two groups of equal size, with one group representing the Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde Community and the other the American Museum of Natural History.
    • Each group will divide into two smaller groups, with one group representing “Expert Witnesses” and the other “Lawyers.” Expert witnesses will take the stand and testify, and lawyers will ask questions to lead the testimony of their witnesses as well as cross-examine witnesses from the other side.
    • Some witness roles include: Native American Spiritual Leader, Native American Mother, Anthropologist, Historian, Astronomer, Public School Teacher, Museum Curator, and Museum Patron.
    • Give students adequate time to meet with their groups and collaboratively develop their roles, brainstorm the merits of their case, and form strategies for arguing it.
    • Students should research the case further and prepare “evidence” for court.
  • Mock trial: When students’ “day in court” comes, the teacher should play the part of Judge.
    • Remind students to stay in character, even if they disagree with their roles. They must continue to provide the strongest case possible for parties they have been “hired” to represent in court.
    • To keep in character, begin the mock trial by “swearing in” the whole class as a group.
    • Lawyers from each side should be given the opportunity to call their expert witnesses to the stand and present their testimony in the case.
    • Each team of lawyers has the opportunity to call expert witnesses from the other side and cross-examine them.
    • Throughout the simulation, you as Judge can guide the activity by “overruling” lawyers and “striking from the record” expert testimony.
    • Allow students to self-direct the presentations of their cases.
    • Give students the information sheet for help during the mock trial.
  • Debrief: Rather than issuing a judge’s ruling in favor of one side, tell students how the actual dispute was settled: with a mutual compromise.
    • The Confederated Tribes reached an agreement with the museum, stating their tribal members are allowed private time to conduct a traditional ceremony around the meteorite once a year, and that ownership will be transferred to the Tribes in the event that the museum removes the object from display.
  • Some debrief questions to consider:
    • Do you think this decision was fair?
    • What do you think should have happened?
    • Who provided the most convincing argument?
    • How do you feel about your mock trial experience?
    • Do you think the decision had merit?

Extension Activity Ideas

  • Field trip: Visit the site where the meteorite was found, near present-day Willamette Methodist Church in West Linn.
    • Another option: Visit a replica of the meteorite outside the Museum of Natural and Cultural History on the University of Oregon campus.
    • Another option: Visit the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinniville, Oregon, where on display is a 7.5-inch piece of the actual meteorite.
    • Visit the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Resources

Links to coverage of the Willamette Meteorite

Links for supplementary material regarding the Missoula Floods and Ice Sheet

  • “About the Ice Age Floods,” on Ice Age Floods Institute website
    • Provides background information on the floods, including how they were discovered.
  • “The Cordilleran Ice Sheet and Missoula Floods,” on S. Geological Survey website
    • Provides more background information about the ice sheet and floods.
  • Cordilleran Ice Sheet map, via Google
    • A valuable tool to help students visualize these ancient phenomena.
  • Missoula Floods map, via Google
    • A valuable tool to help students visualize these ancient phenomena.
  • “Mystery of the Megaflood,” by PBS NOVA
    • An episode discussing the floods. (A teacher’s guide is available on the website.)
Posted in High School Common Core, K-12 Lesson Plans

Timber! Oregon’s Economy and Environment

Photo of a forest of Yellow Pine.

Yellow Pine in Eastern Oregon. Image from the Daily Capital Journal (Salem, OR), 1911. http://goo.gl/nsQug2

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Overview

From the earliest days of pioneer settlement, a large segment of Oregon’s economy has been based on resource extraction of one kind or another. The Pacific Northwest is especially rich in natural resources such as timber, fish, water, minerals, and soil. Harvesting these commodities allowed the economy of the region to develop quickly, but over the years, the people of Oregon learned some hard lessons about what can result when too much of a natural resource is used up too quickly. This lesson will focus on the history of one of Oregon’s most impactful resource industries: timber extraction.

Oregon Common Core State Standards

Language Arts Standards: 

  • ELA.RH.6-8.7 Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
  • ELA.SL.6-8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • ELA.SL.6-8.3 Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
  • ELA.SL.6-8.4 Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
  • Additional standards listed in PDF Download

Social Studies Standards:

  • Historical Knowledge 6.2 Identify examples of the social, political, cultural, and economic development in key areas of the Western Hemisphere.
  • Historical Thinking 6.8 Analyze cause-and-effect relationships, including the importance of individuals, ideas, human interests, and beliefs.
  • Geography 6.11 Distinguish among different types of maps, and use them to analyze an issue in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Geography 6.15 Explain how people have adapted to or changed the physical environment in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Geography 6.16 Explain how technological developments, societal decisions, and personal practices influence sustainability in the Western Hemisphere.

Materials

  • Historic Oregon Newspapers website
  • Access to the Internet
  • Copies of articles (see below)
  • Copies of maps
  • Copies of role background (see PDF Download)
  • Poster paper (optional)
  • Graph paper (optional)

Lesson

  • Introduction: Introduce the topic of study.
    • Students will be using the Historic Oregon Newspapers website to build background knowledge on the historic prominence of the timber industry in Oregon.
  • Building background knowledge: Internet research using website and analysis of lumber export.
    • Direct students to the advanced search page.
    • Students will type in the complete phrase “lumber mills.”
    • You may wish to give students certain newspapers to research.
    • Give students adequate time to sift through the newspaper results.
  • Discussion: Bring students together to discuss their findings and observations.
  • Some discussion questions to consider:
    • How many page matches does the search turn up?
    • What did the articles say?
    • What is your initial reaction to what you saw in the results?
  • Additional background knowledge: Now that students have an understanding of the significance of lumber in Oregon history, they will analyze the amount of lumber that was exported in 1904.
    • You may wish to perform this activity as a whole class or in small groups.
    • Pass out copies of the article “Commerce with the Whole World” from Morning Oregonian
    • Each section describes the amount of goods that were imported. Each section is organized into parts of the world: the Orient (Asia), South Africa, Europe, Australia, South America, and Papeete (Polynesia). At the end of each section, “Recapitulation” tallies up all major exports.
    • Have students browse each section to see patterns and find the level of lumber exports that were delivered to each country.
    • This can be done as a class or in small groups.
    • Chart the board feet, as well as the dollar value.
  • Discussion: Bring the class together to discuss the levels of lumber exported.
  • Some discussion questions to consider:
    • What was the total board feet of Oregon lumber exported from Portland in 1903?
    • What was the total dollar value of these exports?
    • Which regions of the world bought the most Oregon timber?
    • Why do you think so?
    • Why do you think some didn’t buy as much timber?
  • Additional background knowledge: To further build background knowledge, provide students with a visual record of Oregon’s turn-of-the-century lumber industry.

You may wish to present these pictorial features to the whole class:

  • Discussion: Pose the following question for discussion.
    • What conclusions can we draw after examining maps showing the extent of U.S. old-growth forests in 1620, 1850, 1920, and the present day?
  • Transition: Prepare students for debate.
    • What we think of as “environmental awareness” is a relatively new concept. In the pioneer days, people who settled in Oregon had an entirely different way of looking at the land. From their journals and letters, we know that many appreciated Oregon’s unspoiled, natural beauty. At the same time, they couldn’t help but view the environment in light of its economic potential. The “bounties of nature” in the Pacific Northwest seemed inexhaustible. So little, if any, thought was given to preserving nature for future generations.
    • As the 19th century came to a close, a new relationship toward the environment emerged. This time period was known as the Progressive Era, and many of the country’s old assumptions were being reexamined by a new generation of thinkers and political leaders. Among them were Theodore Roosevelt, president of the United States; Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the U.S. Forestry Service; and John Muir, the celebrated naturalist and founder of the Sierra Club.
    • As a precursor to the debate activity below, students may be assigned biographic research on Roosevelt, Pinchot, and Muir.
  • Lesson activity: Debating forest preservation.
    • Break students into three groups: Laissez-Faire, Conservationist, and Environmentalist.
    • Pass out a role sheet for each student to prepare for the debate.
    • Quickly discuss each position.
    • Remind students to stay in character, even if they disagree with the position.
    • Give students time to research and prepare arguments. Resources are provided below.
    • Giving students enough time to debate their position’s concerns, offering rebuttals and questions.
  • Discussion: Bring students together to discuss the debate.
  • Some discussion questions to consider:
    • Do you disagree or agree with your position? Why?
    • Did someone persuade you to his or her side?
    • What is your idea to help prevent deforestation?
  • Debrief: Bring students together to debrief and connect the debate to present-day issues.
    • Most of the world’s remaining virgin forestland is tropical rainforest. Here, we see many of the same patterns of deforestation playing out as they did in the United States in previous centuries. It is here that the contemporary environmental debate is centered.
    • The U.S. Geological Survey maintains Earthshots, the website showing environmental changes as viewed from space. A series of satellite images of Rondônia, Brazil, illustrate the spread of deforestation over an 18-year period. Sharing these images with the class can be an excellent way to tie in this lesson from Oregon’s past to the present day.

Links

Posted in Common Core: English Language Arts Grades 6-8, Common Core: Social Sciences Grades 6-8, K-12 Lesson Plans

Public Opinion and News Reporting

Image of a woman, with caption that reads "Public Opinion's Force"

Image from The Day Book (Chicago), 1912. http://goo.gl/UKoWQp

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Overview

Our impression of events is often influenced by how they are reported in the media. Students will read articles with different viewpoints and analyze authors’ intentions. They will participate in a range of discussions to express their initial reactions to and analyses of the articles. Moving on from discussions, the lesson can demonstrate issues of perspective by allowing students to reflect on their own reactions as well as the factual information presented in the articles.

Oregon Common Core State Standards

Language Arts Standards: 

  • ELA.RH.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
  • ELA.RH.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
  • ELA.RH.6-8.5 Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).
  • ELA.RH.6-8.6 Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
  • ELA.RH.6-8.8 Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
  • ELA.WHST.6-8.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
  • ELA.SL.6-8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade-level topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • ELA.SL.6-8.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence in a way that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and that organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • Additional standards listed in PDF Download

Social Studies Standards:

  • Historical Thinking 6.9 Differentiate between fact and interpretation in historical accounts and explain the meaning of historical passages by identifying who was involved, what happened, where it happened, and relating them to outcomes that followed and gaps in the historical record.
  • Historical Thinking 6.10 Identify issues related to a historical event in the Americas and give basic arguments for and against that issue utilizing the perspectives, interests and values of those involved.
  • Social Science Analysis 6.22 Gather, interpret, document, and use information from multiple sources, distinguishing facts from opinion and recognizing points of view.
  • Additional standards listed in PDF Download

Materials

  • Access to the Internet
  • Historic Oregon Newspapers website
  • Worksheets available in PDF Download:
    • Article research activity sheet (optional)
    • Compare/contrast activity sheet (optional)
  • Copies of articles – see below (optional) 

Lesson

  • Introduction: Students will analyze media and its different portrayals of the same event. Start a class discussion to reflect on recent news event(s) that have caused controversy.
  • Some discussion questions to consider:
    • Can the students think of any news stories that strongly divide public opinion?
    • Have any been reported in different ways, depending on which television channels you watch or magazines you read?
    • Can they think of examples where they formed a certain opinion on a news event, only to change their minds later, when more information came to light in the media?
  • Build background knowledge: Introduce Cincinnatus Heine Miller, more commonly known as Joaquin Miller. He was a poet from the nineteenth century, known for his colorful and controversial poetry. You may wish to read a detailed biography about Miller on Wikipedia to provide students with more background information.
    • Known as the “Poet of the Sierras,” “Byron of the Rockies,” and “Bard of Oregon,” Miller became a celebrity throughout the United States and England. He was an associate of such enduring literary figures as Ambrose Bierce and Brett Hart. However, it could be argued that Miller’s fame came more from the popular image he created for himself—frontiersman, outdoorsman—than the quality of his work. Even in his own day, he was controversial. Bierce once called him “the greatest liar this country has ever produced.”
  • Lesson activity: Have students read different newspaper stories about Miller—each giving a distinct view of the famous poet.
    • Perform this activity as a group discussion.
    • Pass out the activity sheet and discuss the requirements.
    • Read the articles together and fill out activity sheet, modeling when necessary.
    • You may wish to fill out a compare/contrast sheet for students to clearly illustrate the different viewpoints.
    • Encourage students to write down reactions and notes for further analysis and class discussion.
  • Discussion: As the activity sheet is filled out together, discuss and analyze what the students are reading, focusing on perspectives and viewpoints.
  • Some discussion questions to consider:
    • How does this article view Miller as a poet? How do you know?
    • Do you think the author feels positively or negatively about Miller? Why?
    • Which article do you believe more? Why?
    • What are some examples of the articles that make you think so?
  • Transition: Introduce the topic of football. This is the same activity, except students will have a chance to perform the activity independently.
  • Background knowledge: Give students information about the points of view between East and West during football times.
    • Many years ago, an Oregon college football team made its first January trip to Pasadena, California, for the postseason game that would be called the “Rose Bowl.” In the early days, it was commonly believed that a better, more competitive brand of college sports was played at universities in the East. College stars from the East dominated the end-of-season All-Star team. When teams from the East and West competed on the field, the Eastern team was always regarded as the prohibitive favorite. Such was the case when the University of Oregon faced off against the University of Pennsylvania in 1917.
    • For more background on the big game, read this article on the ODNP Blog.
    • Study of the reportage and commentary on this game in the sports pages of historic newspapers from around the country will reveal to students that the so-called “East Coast Bias” in sports reporting is nothing new!
  • Lesson activity: Break students into groups or partnerships.
    • Pass out the activity sheet and discuss the requirements.
    • Assign articles to each group or partnership.
    • Encourage students to write notes, reactions, and examples as they read.
  • Discussion: Bring students together to discuss their findings. Before beginning the discussion, read all the articles as a class.
  • Some discussion questions to consider:
    • What was the point of view of your article’s author?
    • How do you know?
    • What were your initial reactions to the article?
    • Do you agree or disagree with the author?
    • What examples made you agree or disagree with the author?
  • Compare/contrast activity: Students will compare and contrast the news articles they have just analyzed.
    • You may wish to perform this activity as a class, or have students perform this activity within their groups or partnerships, and then bring them together for a class discussion.
    • You may give students the option to choose the articles, or you may assign the whole class the same two articles.
    • Monitor students and provide support when necessary.
  • Debrief/discussion: Bring students together to discuss their findings, especially if the students have done the activity within their groups or partnerships.
  • Some debrief/discussion questions to consider:
    • How does reporting something as simple as a sporting event vary between different news sources?
    • What was your initial reaction?
    • Which article do you believe the most? Why?
    • What were some examples that convinced you?

List of Resources: Joaquin Miller

List of Resources: Football

Posted in Common Core: English Language Arts Grades 6-8, Common Core: Social Sciences Grades 6-8, K-12 Lesson Plans

Coming to America, Coming to Oregon

Drawing of a room with people standing around

Reception Room for Immigrants, Bureau of Immigration, Portland, OR. From The West Shore, 1882. http://goo.gl/QXWDux

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Overview

This lesson can be used to supplement a unit about the growth and development of the United States. Immigrants were a huge component of this growth. This lesson begins with a discussion that will help personalize the immigration experience for students. Students will then research and analyze a historic West Coast immigration controversy using the Historic Oregon Newspapers website. The lesson ends with students’ analysis of present-day trends in immigration in Oregon and the United States. 

Oregon Common Core State Standards

Language Arts Standards: 

  • ELA.RH.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
  • ELA.RH.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
  • ELA.RH.6-8.6 Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
  • ELA.RH.6-8.7 Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
  • Additional standards listed in PDF Download

Social Studies Standards: 

  • Historical Knowledge 8.1 Evaluate continuity and change over the course of United States history by analyzing examples of conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among groups, societies, or nations.
  • Historical Knowledge 8.4 Evaluate the impact of different factors, including gender, age, ethnicity, and class on groups and individuals during this time period and the impact these groups and individuals have on events of the time.
  • Historical Thinking 8.6 Use and interpret documents and other relevant primary and secondary sources pertaining to U.S. history from multiple perspectives.
  • Additional standards listed in PDF Download

Materials

Lesson

  • Introduction: Introduce topic of study.
    • Explain that, whereas most U.S. immigrants of European descent entered the country through Ellis Island and other ports on the Atlantic Seaboard, the majority of Chinese, Japanese, and Pacific Islanders who immigrated arrived on the West Coast.
    • Utilizing a world map, a class discussion can be initiated centering on the details of geography, nineteenth-century transportation technologies, and socioeconomic factors that led to this unbalanced pattern of immigration.
  • Building background knowledge: Chinese Exclusion Acts of 1880s.
    • Chinese laborers began immigrating to the United States in 1848. At first, they mostly came to work on the construction of transcontinental railroads. They also found work mining gold, harvesting fruit and vegetables, and processing salmon in canning factories. Chinatown districts sprang up in most cities and larger towns in Oregon and throughout the West. By 1882, however, the U.S. Congress passed the first in a series of Chinese Exclusion Acts, laws designed to severely limit the entry of Asian people into America.
    • Instructors should be forewarned: This area of study will expose a great deal of racial stereotyping and outright prejudice from Oregon’s past. It is good to address this at the beginning and provide the class with context on racial attitudes of earlier times.
  • Discussion: An excellent starting point is to view and discuss this article:
  • Some discussion questions to consider:
    • What sort of attitudes toward the Chinese are revealed in the photographs and the accompanying article?
    • What do you think about the way the pictures are captioned?
    • Are the newspaper’s criticisms of the Chinese immigrants fair or unfair? Why?
    • What are some things the Chinese people pictured here might have said if they had been asked to tell their side of the story?
    • How do you feel when observing these pictures?
  • Research: Students will take an article with a key question to focus on conduct research.
    • Split students into groups of 3 to 4 students, and assign an article to each group.
    • Pass out copies of the article, or give students the link to the article.
    • At the end of this lesson plan are links relevant to stories on East Asian immigration and Asian exclusion.
    • Pose the following questions to focus students’ research.
    • Make sure to give students enough time to do research and share their findings and experiences.
    • Monitor students, and offer support when necessary.
  • Some focus questions to consider:
    • Why did Chinese workers first start coming to the United States?
    • Why did the Chinese sometimes have problems getting along in the dominant Euro-American society?
    • Why did some Americans begin to object to the presence of the Chinese in this country?
    • What are some ways that Americans tried to keep out Chinese immigrants?
    • Were other groups of people also affected?
    • How and why did some Asian immigrants try to get around laws against immigration?
    • How was the public debate circa 1848-1910 different and/or similar to the debates we are having about immigration today?
  • Debrief: Bring students together to debrief their findings and share their feelings.
  • Some debrief questions to consider:
    • What are some interesting facts you read about?
    • How do you feel about what you have read?
    • Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?
    • Have you ever experienced something like the Chinese experienced?
  • Transition: Begin with a brief overview of the earliest chapter of U.S. history in Oregon.
    • The first permanent U.S. settlement in Oregon was Fort Astoria, founded in 1811 by representatives of John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company. This pioneering group of sailors and trappers consisted mostly of immigrant Scots, Canadian citizens of mixed French and Native American ancestry, and Native Hawaiian Islanders. Nonetheless, this was officially a U.S. venture, and the fort flew the U.S. flag.
  • Discussion: Get students to continue to think about culture and race.
  • Some discussion questions to consider:
    • Is it surprising to learn that our state’s first settlers were such a culturally and racially diverse group?
    • In light of this fact, what should we make of the attempts of later generations of Oregonians to keep out the Chinese, other non-European immigrants, and African Americans?
    • Are there any groups of immigrants who might be made to feel similarly unwelcome today?
    • Why do you think so?
  • Activity: As a class, read the article “Who’s Coming to America?” from New York Times Online Teacher Connections Network, and study the Graphs of Immigration Data.
    • Optional: Give each student a copy of the article and graph, or provide students with the link to both documents.
    • Split students into groups of 3 to 4, and pass out the question activity sheet.
    • Give students enough time to digest the information and find the answers.
    • Monitor students, and provide support when necessary.
  • Debrief: Bring students together to debrief their findings.
  • Some debrief questions to consider:
    • What answers did you get for question 1? Question 2? Question 3? Etc.?
    • What are your reactions to what you have read?
    • What are some facts you learned?
    • Is there something you highly agree or disagree with? Why?

Extension Activity Ideas

  • Newspaper editorial: After students have researched and shared the information they found in their articles, have them create a newspaper editorial of their own. Give students the viewpoint of an Oregon journalist in the 1880s, persuasively arguing against the Chinese Exclusion Acts. This can be done in groups or individually. To give students more connection, have them create their own newspaper, complete with title, headings, layout, etc.
  • Interview: Interview an immigrant in your own community to learn about his or her experiences and impressions of moving to the United States.
  • Current immigration policies: Using current newspapers or online news sources, find editorial/opinion articles both for and against current immigration policies. Write a paper or presentation summarizing the two sides of this issue.
  • Family histories: Research family histories and cultural backgrounds. Have students bring in an object that reflects their heritage. These objects may be an article of clothing, country flag, book or magazine, craft object, dish of food, etc. Use a “show and tell” method to lead discussion on diversity within the United States.

Relevant Links

Posted in Common Core: English Language Arts Grades 6-8, Common Core: Social Sciences Grades 6-8, K-12 Lesson Plans

Reconstruction

Putnam's New Books. American Political History. 1763-1876 By Alexander Johnston. Edited and supplemented by Jas. A. Woodburn. 2 vols. (each complete in itself and indexed), each, net, $2.00. Vol. 2 - The Slavery Controversy, Secession, Civil War, and Reconstruction, 1820-1876. These volumes present the principal features in the political history of the United States from the opening of the American Revolution to the closing of the Era of the Reconstruction.

Image from the New York Tribune, 1906. http://goo.gl/9VphrV

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Overview

Adopted from: Reconstruction and the Formerly Enslaved” from National Humanities Center

The aftermath of the Civil War was a crucial period in U.S. history. During this time, the United States began to reconstruct itself by giving slaves freedom, rebuilding public transportation and buildings, and working to unify a divided country. Using the Historic Oregon Newspapers website, students will work with primary and secondary sources that provide a historical walkthrough of the series of events during the Reconstruction.

Oregon Common Core State Standards

Language Arts Standards: 

  • ELA.RH.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
  • ELA.RH.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
  • ELA.SL.6-8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade-level topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • ELA.WHST.6-8.2 Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
  • ELA.WHST.6-8.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • ELA.WHST.6-8.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
  • ELA.WHST.6-8.10 Write routinely over extended timeframes (time for reflection and revision) and shorter timeframes (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
  • Additional standards listed in PDF Download

Social Studies Standards: 

  • Historical Knowledge 8.1 Evaluate continuity and change over the course of U.S. history by analyzing examples of conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among groups, societies, or nations.
  • Historical Knowledge 8.2 Evaluate continuity and change over the course of U.S. history, by analyzing key people, the Constitutional Convention, the age of Jefferson, the Industrial Revolution, Westward Expansion, and the Civil War.
  • Historical Thinking 8.6 Use and interpret documents and other relevant primary and secondary sources pertaining to U.S. history from multiple perspectives.
  • Historical Thinking 8.8 Evaluate information from a variety of sources and perspectives.
  • Additional standards listed in PDF Download

Materials

  • Historic Oregon Newspapers website
  • Access to the Internet
  • Worksheets available in PDF Download:
    • K-W-L chart (optional)
    • Historical Walkthrough activity sheet (optional)
    • Big Question activity sheet (optional)
    • Timeline material (optional)

Lesson

  • Introduction: Engage students’ prior knowledge. You may wish to use a K-W-L chart (one is provided below).
  • Transition: Establish the setting of the historical walkthrough.
    • It is 1865. The United States is a divided country. President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in April. The capture of Confederate president Jefferson Davis in May marks a major turning point. The topic of slavery is on everyone’s mind. The accumulation of events up to this point raises some big questions.
    • Big questions:
      • Who is an American?
      • What rights should all Americans enjoy?
      • What rights would only some Americans possess?
      • On what terms will the nation be reunited?
      • What is the status of formerly Confederate states?
      • How should citizenship be defined?
      • When and how will former Confederates regain their citizenship?
      • What form of labor will replace slavery?
      • There is an activity sheet provided below for student responses.
    • Lesson activity: Hand out historical walkthrough activity sheet.
      • The activity sheet’s objective is to lead students through a walkthrough of the Reconstruction period. A lot of information is presented, so make sure to discuss thoughts and initial reactions on what has been read.
      • This activity may be done as a whole class or in small groups.
      • As students walk through historical accounts of Reconstruction, write down important dates on a timeline that is available to students as reference for later activities.
      • Additionally, encourage students to take notes and note initial responses.
    • Debrief: Bring students together to discuss their thoughts and reactions to Reconstruction.
      • Revisit the big questions.
    • Some debrief questions to consider:
      • Do you think Reconstruction rebuilt our country?
      • Do you disagree or agree with all the amendments that were passed?
      • What are your initial reactions to what we have just read?
      • What was the most interesting thing you read?
      • What are some notes that you have written during our walkthrough?

Extension Activity Ideas

  • Letter: Have students write a letter expressing their views on Jim Crow laws.
    • Do you agree or disagree?
    • What changes would you make to the laws?
    • Create a poster to describe the changes.
  • Reconstruct Reconstruction: Have students design their own form of Reconstruction. What improvements would they make, and what bills would they pass to make these changes?
    • Students may wish to present their amendments to the class.
    • Students may vote on which amendments most interest them.
  • Essay prompt: After the debrief session, assign students an essay prompt in which they can write a reflection on what they have learned, insights, initial reactions, etc. Or assign the question, “What would you differently during the Reconstruction period?”
    • Assign the essay after the class has had time to debrief and discuss their findings.
    • Give students the opportunity to present their essays.
Posted in Common Core: English Language Arts Grades 6-8, Common Core: Social Sciences Grades 6-8, K-12 Lesson Plans

Lincoln and the Slaves

Drawing of Abraham Lincoln with caption: "The Liberator Abraham Lincoln. Born Feb. 12, 1809, Died April 15, 1865."

Image from the Day Book (Illinois), 1913. http://goo.gl/Z83WP2

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Overview

Adopted from: “Who Freed the Slaves?” from Zinn Education Project

President Abraham Lincoln, who led the country during the Civil War, is known as the “Great Emancipator.” He drafted the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed black slaves in the United States. Here, we examine President Lincoln’s viewpoints on slavery. Based on the evidence that follows, students can determine whether he actually freed the slaves.

Oregon Common Core State Standards

Language Arts Standards: 

  • ELA.RH.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
  • ELA.RH.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
  • ELA.RH.6-8.6 Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
  • ELA.RH.6-8.8 Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
  • Additional standards listed in PDF Download

Social Studies Standards:

  • Historical Knowledge 8.1. Evaluate continuity and change over the course of U.S. history by analyzing examples of conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among groups, societies, or nations.
  • Historical Knowledge 8.2. Evaluate continuity and change over the course of U.S. history, by analyzing key people and constitutional convention, the age of Jefferson, the Industrial Revolution, Westward Expansion, and the Civil War.
  • Historical Knowledge 8.3. Examine the social, political, and economic factors that caused Westward Expansion from the American Revolution through Reconstruction.
  • Historical Knowledge 8.4. Evaluate the impact of different factors, including gender, age, ethnicity, and class, on groups and individuals during this time period and the impact these groups and individuals have on events of the time.
  • Historical Knowledge 8.5. Analyze the causes as outlined in the Declaration of Independence, and examine the major American and British leaders, key events, international support, and consequences of (e.g., Articles of Confederation, changes in trade relationships, achievement of the independence by the United States) the American Revolution.
  • Historical Thinking 8.6. Use and interpret documents and other relevant primary and secondary sources pertaining to U.S. history from multiple perspectives.
  • Historical Thinking 8.7. Analyze evidence from multiple sources, including those with conflicting accounts about specific events in U.S. history.
  • Historical Thinking 8.8. Evaluate information from a variety of sources and perspectives.
  • Historical Thinking 8.9. Construct or evaluate a written historical argument demonstrating an understanding of primary and secondary sources.
  • Geography 8.10. Interpret maps to identify growth and development of the United States.
  • Civics and Government 8.14. Explain rights and responsibilities of citizens.
  • Civics and Government 8.15. Contrast the impact of the Articles of Confederation as a form of government to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Civics and Government 8.18. Examine and analyze important U.S. documents, including (but not limited to) the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and 13th-15th.
  • Civics and Government 8.20. Analyze the changing definition of citizenship and the expansion of rights.
  • Civics and Government 8.21. Analyze important political and ethical values such as freedom, democracy, equality, and justice embodied in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
  • Additional standards listed in PDF Download

Materials

Key Vocabulary

  • Emancipation Proclamation
  • Conscription
  • Fugitive
  • Inaugural
  • Amendment
  • Abolish/abolishment

Lesson

This lesson plan offers two options for presenting the historical walkthrough.

  • Introduction: Pose the question of whether President Lincoln actually freed the slaves.
    • You may wish to start off the lesson with a discussion about students’ opinions of whether President Lincoln freed the slaves.
    • Optional: Write down what students think on a piece of chart paper. (An opinion chart has been provided below.) Then, after the historical walkthrough, take another opinion survey. Lead a debrief session about why students’ opinions have changed. Some questions to consider are provided below.
  • Option 1: Handout
    • Give students the handout with information and read as a whole group.
    • Organize students into partners or groups to work on and read handouts together.
    • Encourage students to take notes on the pieces of information they have read. These should include initial reactions to the statement, whether they agree or disagree, something interesting they learned, etc. Also, encourage students to look up the original document using the link provided.
    • Once students have finished, bring together for debrief.
  • Option 2: Timeline activity
    • Print handout and cut into strips. Tap, glue, or tack timeline somewhere students may access.
    • Pass out strips to each student. You may want to number each strip to minimize level of chaos, or have students line up in numerical order.
    • Choose the first event and have the student read out loud. Give students time to discuss what the event describes, as well as their initial reactions with their group members or partners.
    • Lead very brief discussions about each event.
      • Optional: Write down the class consensus about the event on the timeline
    • Tape or glue the event on the timeline.
    • Repeat the process.
    • Once students have finished, bring together for debrief.
  • Some debrief questions to consider:
    • From the articles, what would you consider President Lincoln’s opinion on slavery and slaves?
    • Do you think President Lincoln can be described as freeing the slaves? Why or why not?

Extension Activity Ideas

  • Essay Prompt: After the debrief session, assign students an essay prompt in which they can write a reflection about what they learned, some insights, initial reactions, etc., or assign the question, “Who freed the slaves?”
    • You may wish to assign the essay after the activity and discussion.
    • Give students the opportunity to present their essays to peers either through a formal or informal setting.
Posted in Common Core: English Language Arts Grades 6-8, Common Core: Social Sciences Grades 6-8, K-12 Lesson Plans

Andrew Jackson and the Indian Removal Act: Part 2

Photograph of two young men with caption reading: "Two Seminole youth: Billy Bowlegs and Tom Bogles"

Image from the Indian Advocate (Oklahoma), 1901. http://goo.gl/CNLcK5

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Overview

Adapted from Andrew Jackson and the “Children of the Forest” from Zinn Education Project

This lesson is a critique of Andrew Jackson’s 1830 address to Congress. With statements like “a few savage hunters,” Jackson’s address is a perfect example of power exploiting ignorance. Many assumed that because Jackson was president, he must know best. It must be understood that you can—and should—critique, question, and logically judge all proclamations from the government, including the president. Similarly, it’s important to encourage the questioning of textbooks, newspapers, films, and speeches no matter the presenter—maybe even more so if the presenter is a highly powered political figure who may have something to gain from the outcome.

Oregon Common Core State Standards

Language Arts Standards: 

  • ELA.RH.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
  • ELA.RH.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
  • ELA.RH.6-8.8 Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
  • Additional standards listed in PDF Download

Social Studies Standards: 

  • Historical Knowledge 8.1. Evaluate continuity and change over the course of U.S. history by analyzing examples of conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among groups, societies, or nations.
  • Historical Knowledge 8.2. Evaluate continuity and change over the course of U.S. history by analyzing key people and constitutional convention, the age of Jefferson, the Industrial Revolution, the Westward Expansion, and the Civil War.
  • Historical Knowledge 8.3. Examine the social, political, and economic factors that caused the Westward Expansion from the American Revolution through Reconstruction.
  • Historical Knowledge 8.4. Evaluate the impact of different factors, including gender, age, ethnicity, and class on groups and individuals during this time period and the impact these groups and individuals have on events of the time.
  • Historical Thinking 8.6. Use and interpret documents and other relevant primary and secondary sources pertaining to U.S. history from multiple perspectives.
  • Historical Thinking 8.7. Analyze evidence from multiple sources, including those with conflicting accounts about specific events in U.S. history.
  • Historical Thinking 8.8. Evaluate information from a variety of sources and perspectives.
  • Historical Thinking 8.9. Construct or evaluate a written historical argument demonstrating an understanding of primary and secondary sources.
  • Geography 8.10. Interpret maps to identify growth and development of the United States.
  • Civics and Government 8.14. Explain rights and responsibilities of citizens.
  • Civics and Government 8.15. Contrast the impact of Articles of Confederation as a form of government to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Civics and Government 8.18. Examine and analyze important U.S. documents, including (but not limited to) the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and 13th through 15th Amendments.
  • Civics and Government 8.21. Analyze important political and ethical values such as freedom, democracy, equality, and justice embodied in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

Materials

  • Copies of Cherokee and Seminole roles for each student
  • Copies of Andrew Jackson’s speech
  • Andrew Jackson costume
  • Access to the Internet

Key Vocabulary

  • A list of key vocabulary and an activity sheet are provided below.

Lesson

  • Background information: Give students background knowledge about the Cherokee and Seminole Indian groups.
  • Introduction: Students will play the role of either a Cherokee or Seminole. While they are in these roles, they will think critically about President Jackson’s speech—critique and argue it.
  • Research: Give students time to research their parts in order to get a better understanding of who they are representing and/or have the students who played the part in the previous role-play exercise educate the class.
    • Additionally, you may want to include other Indian nations—Choctaw, Chickasaw, or Creek—to bring more variety to the role-play and critique.
    • Give students time to discuss in their groups. Most important is they should know how to argue that they should not be removed from their land.
  • Read aloud: Read President Jackson’s speech in a dramatized manner.
  • Question: After reading the speech, give students time to question the president.
  • Debrief: Debrief students’ experiences in their role-play.
  • Some debrief questions to consider:
    • What do you believe about Jackson’s speech? What don’t you believe?
    • What is Jackson’s definition of “savage”? Of “civilized”?
    • Is it feasible to represent the Cherokee or Seminoles as “a few savage hungers”? Why? Why not? Why would Jackson use this statement?
    • What parts of Jackson’s speech need ignorance?
    • How do you think black slaves would respond to this speech?
    • In what ways did the Indian removal policy affect black slaves?
    • What do you think Jackson’s definition of “progress” was?
    • Is the comparison “Doubtless it will be painful to leave the graves of their fathers, but what do they do more than our ancestors did or than our children are now doing” fair?
    • How does Jackson try to justify that policy “toward the red man is not only liberal, but generous”?
    • What does the description “children of the forest” imply about the difference between Indian and white man?
  • Critique: Give students time to brainstorm and reflect on the speech.
    • Once students are finished brainstorming, have them write out their critique.
    • Students may write a response to Jackson’s speech, or even write a letter to the president.
  • A good closing could be to read:

“The Indian School at Chemawa” from West Shore, January 1, 1887 (Note: the student newspaper from the Chemawa Indian School, the Weekly Chemawa American (1901-1910)/Chemawa American (1914-1915) are both available for searching and browsing on Historic Oregon Newspapers online.)

Posted in Common Core: English Language Arts Grades 6-8, Common Core: Social Sciences Grades 6-8, K-12 Lesson Plans

Andrew Jackson and the Indian Removal Act: Part 1

Andrew_Jackson

Image from the Pittsburg Dispatch, 1889. http://goo.gl/wiDce6

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Overview

Adopted from: The Cherokee/Seminole Removal Role Play from Zinn Education Project

When considering 19th-century U.S. expansions such as the Trail of Tears, it’s important not to lose sight of the parallels that still move foreign policy forward today. Economic interests often trump all previous notions of law or humanity, and are used to justify swift and decisive use of force. We must equip students with the ability to search for and find both historical and continuing patterns of such policies that they may wish to be a part of stopping.

The Indian Removal Act did not only focus on the Cherokee but on all indigenous peoples, including the Seminoles. The Seminoles lived in Florida side by side with escaped African slaves and their descendants for at least 100 years. To include them in this lesson is to expose students to further reasoning behind the U.S. motivation of Indian removal, including slavery. The hope is that role-play might help encourage the exploration of the subtleties of what happened and why.

Along with the Seminoles’ role, the missionary role is very important in demonstrating that not all white settlers were in support of the Indian Removal Act; the bill only passed 102–97 votes. Missionaries didn’t support the bill; they still considered the Cherokee as “having risen to a level with the white people of the United States.” Critique everything.

Oregon Common Core State Standards

Language Arts Standards: 

  • ELA.RH.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
  • ELA.RH.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
  • ELA.RH.6-8.8 Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
  • Additional standards listed in PDF Download

Social Studies Standards: 

  • Historical Knowledge 8.1. Evaluate continuity and change over the course of U.S. history by analyzing examples of conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among groups, societies, or nations.
  • Historical Knowledge 8.2. Evaluate continuity and change over the course of U.S. history by analyzing key people and constitutional convention, the age of Jefferson, the Industrial Revolution, the Westward Expansion, and the Civil War.
  • Historical Knowledge 8.3. Examine the social, political, and economic factors that caused the Westward Expansion from the American Revolution through Reconstruction.
  • Historical Knowledge 8.4. Evaluate the impact of different factors, including gender, age, ethnicity, and class, on groups and individuals during this time period and the impact these groups and individuals have on events of the time.
  • Historical Thinking 8.6. Use and interpret documents and other relevant primary and secondary sources pertaining to U.S. history from multiple perspectives.
  • Historical Thinking 8.7. Analyze evidence from multiple sources, including those with conflicting accounts about specific events in U.S. history.
  • Historical Thinking 8.8. Evaluate information from a variety of sources and perspectives.
  • Historical Thinking 8.9. Construct or evaluate a written historical argument demonstrating an understanding of primary and secondary sources.
  • Geography 8.10. Interpret maps to identify growth and development of the United States.
  • Civics and Government 8.14. Explain rights and responsibilities of citizens.
  • Civics and Government 8.15. Contrast the impact of Articles of Confederation as a form of government to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Civics and Government 8.18. Examine and analyze important U.S. documents, including (but not limited to) the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and 13th through 15th Amendments.
  • Civics and Government 8.21. Analyze important political and ethical values such as freedom, democracy, equality, and justice embodied in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

Materials

  • Construction paper for name cards
  • Tools to decorate name cards
  • Copy of roles, enough for each student
  • Copy of President Jackson’s speech, enough for each student
  • Large open space
  • Notecards (for presentation to Congress)
  • Costumes (optional)
  • Vocabulary activity sheet (optional) 

Key Vocabulary

A list of key vocabulary and an activity sheet are provided below.

Lesson

  • Vocabulary activity: A list of key vocabulary for this lesson has been provided below, along with an activity sheet.
  • Introduction: Together, read the “Removal Proposition.” Explore just how far it is from Florida and Georgia to Oklahoma.
  • Describe role-play: Each student will be given a role to play—Cherokee, Seminole, missionary, plantation owner, or the Andrew Jackson administration. These groups have been asked to discuss the Indian Removal Bill before Congress (teacher). As a group, they are going to discuss and write out answers to the questions on the “Removal Proposition.”
  • Activity preparation: Divide students into five groups. Give students a copy of their roles to read and research.
    • To add more authenticity, have students create a biography for their characters, coming up with names, place of birth, family, friends, etc.
    • To elicit depth, students should write a short biography presentation so that the class can get a feel for each character.
  • Pose question and write-ups: Pose the question “How will you react if the bill passes or fails?” for the students. Each group discusses and writes out answers to the questions on the “Removal Proposition.” Give students an appropriate amount of time to research, discuss, and prepare for the role-playing.
    • The question may possibly be the first time that they will be presented with the idea that just because a law is passed doesn’t mean it will be accepted.
  • Create place cards: Have students create place cards for their roles, and if necessary, change into costume.
  • Role-play activity: Once students are finished with write-ups, half of their group should leave to speak to other groups in order to negotiate allies. Traveling students may only talk to seated students. This keeps everyone participating in the activity.
    • Give students an appropriate amount of time to discuss alliances and negotiations.
    • Monitor groups, raise questions, and disrupt contradictions.
    • Remind students of the importance of staying in character for their roles; i.e. the Cherokee are not going to be buddies with the Jackson administration.
    • Prior to letting students travel, have a student from the Jackson administration group play the part of President Jackson and read his speech to congress.
    • Regroup students to collaborate for a written, personalized presentation to Congress and peers.
  • Presentation: Use a large room for the presentations, such the auditorium or outside if available.
    • Each group will present their findings to Congress (teacher) and peers.
    • The audience and Congress may pose questions for debate.
    • Allow for rebuttal questions from Congress and other groups.
  • Debrief: Bring students together to debrief their experiences. This may be in the form of a class discussion, essay topic, or both.
    • It is helpful to have students stay in character, but also to get feedback on the impact this information might have had on them and their experiences through role-play.
  • Some debrief questions to consider:
    • What bothered, or maybe even angered you, the most? Why?
    • What was the most satisfying about the negotiations? Why?
    • What do you think actually happened to the Cherokee and the Seminoles? Why?
    • Do you think there was tension between the Cherokee and the Seminoles? Why?
    • Who do you think had the better possibility to resist removal? Why?
    • What reasons were used to remove the indigenous nations? Do these reasons seem reasonable, or do you think there were other motives? Why? What?
    • What was the main threat to the southern plantation owners? Was it the Seminoles? What laws were in affect to keep division of Indians and blacks?
    • What do you think was the biggest persuasion that tipped the ever so slight majority that won the election of the Indian removal?
    • What might have been some reasons, other than caring about the Indians, why some voted against Indian removal?
    • Why might northern states not want southern states to expand into Indian Territory?
    • Do you think the missionaries would have been as sympathetic toward the Seminoles as they were toward the Cherokee? Why?
    • Is there any correlation here to any other groups in U.S. history? In our current society? Around the world?
  • Outcomes: Provide students with the aftereffects of the Indian Removal Act. Explore various websites to put the implications of this act into perspective.
    • Trail of Tears: Provide students with a visual about what the Indian Removal Act entailed with this interactive map of the Trail of Tears on the National Park Service website.
    • Stories: These are family stories from the Trail of Tears taken by the Sequoyah Research Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. These stories will give students some background on how the Indian people were feeling and what they experienced as they traveled the Trail of Tears.
    • Video: This video is a short segment from American Experience: “We Shall Remain,” and it paints a picture of how the Indian people were forcibly removed from their lands.

Extension Activity Ideas

Activities can be modified several different ways depending on grade level and focus of study. Listed are activity ideas that can be adapted and extended to and for any grade level.

  • Critique/Letter: Have students critique President Jackson’s speech or write a letter to President Jackson in response to his speech. This extension activity can be a great companion to a language arts lesson about point of view by assigning students roles to play as they critique or write. It can also provide an opportunity for students to learn how to critique by pulling out a quote and analyzing it rather than slamming the author of the piece.
    • Some of these roles include Seminole, Cherokee traveling the Trail of Tears in 1838, enslaved African American who was uprooted by his/her owner to move West, or even the U.S. government.

A lesson plan called “Andrew Jackson, Part 2” has been created for this extension activity idea.

Posted in Common Core: English Language Arts Grades 6-8, Common Core: Social Sciences Grades 6-8, K-12 Lesson Plans

Constitutional Convention Part 3: Reading the Federalist Papers

flag

Image from the Nashville Globe, 1918. http://goo.gl/vkcrdM

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Overview

Adopted from: “Whose ‘More Perfect Union’?” Role Play from Zinn Education Project

Deepening their study of the U.S. Constitution, students will read the Federalist Paper #10 written by “Father of the Constitution” James Madison. The purpose is to further investigate who actually benefited from the Constitution. Students will think critically about Madison’s endeavor into answering why we have social conflict. Some questions in this lesson plan include, “How should government deal with social conflict?” and “Why is democracy so perilous?” and “Why is the only certain stability in a republic?” This lesson should be given after the role-play, when students have grasped a social understanding of the era.

Oregon Common Core State Standards

Language Arts Standards: 

  • ELA.RH.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
  • ELA.RH.6-8.3 Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).
  • ELA.RH.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
  • ELA.RH.6-8.5 Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).
  • Additional standards listed in PDF Download

Social Studies Standards: 

  • Historical Knowledge 8.2. Evaluate continuity and change over the course of U.S. history by analyzing key people and the Constitutional Convention, the age of Jefferson, the Industrial Revolution, Westward Expansion, and the Civil War.
  • Historical Thinking 8.6. Use and interpret documents and other relevant primary and secondary sources pertaining to U.S. history from multiple perspectives.
  • Historical Thinking 8.7. Analyze evidence from multiple sources, including those with conflicting accounts about specific events in U.S. history.
  • Historical Thinking 8.8. Evaluate information from a variety of sources and perspectives.
  • Historical Thinking 8.9. Construct or evaluate a written historical argument demonstrating an understanding of primary and secondary sources.
  • Civics and Government 8.14. Explain rights and responsibilities of citizens.
  • Civics and Government 8.15. Contrast the impact of the Articles of Confederation as a form of government to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Civics and Government 8.18. Examine and analyze important U.S. documents, including (but not limited to) the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and 13th-15th
  • Civics and Government 8.21. Analyze important political and ethical values such as freedom, democracy, equality, and justice embodied in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
  • Social Science Analysis 8.25. Critique data for point of view, historical context, distortion, or propaganda and relevance.
  • Social Science Analysis 8.26. Examine a controversial event, issue, or problem from more than one perspective.
  • Additional standards listed in PDF Download

Materials

  • Copy of the Federalist Paper #10 (either shortened or complete)
  • Federalist Paper #10 Activity Sheet

Key Vocabulary

Lesson

  • Introduction: Introduce the Federalist Papers.
    • Students should know there were a series of essays arguing for the ratification of the Constitution.
    • Written by James Madison, referred to as “Father of the Constitution,” Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay.
    • Students will be working with the Federalist Paper #10, written by Madison. In it, Madison claims the structure created from the Constitution is the government for containing social conflict.
    • During discussion about the Federalist Papers, hand out literature from opposing perspectives, such as “William Randolph Hearst Takes Measure of Prof. Woodrow Wilson,” from El Paso Herald, April 10, 1912. Though it was not written during the time Madison was in office, it provides authentic material on perspectives during this time.
    • Go to the Chronicling America or Oregon Historic Newspapers website to search for more resources. Use the advanced search option to find specific articles on these topics.
  • Read the article: It is a dense article to read and can be difficult to comprehend. There are numerous ways to get students involved in the reading. Divide students into smaller groups that would allow them to really digest the reading and discuss it with each other.
    • You may wish to do a read-through as a class before splitting students into small groups.
  • Discussion: When splitting students into small groups, give them discussion questions to talk about and debate.
  • Some discussion questions to consider:
    • Why does society have conflicts?
    • Are all conflicts bad?
    • Can social conflict be eliminated?
    • What do you think was the pre-Constitutional era’s greatest social conflict?
    • You may wish to debate these questions, or debrief these questions after students have read the article and discussed it with each other.
    • Please note: There will be more questions to answer after reading the paper. These are to warm up the students’ minds about papers.
  • Activity: Have students answer the questions on the activity sheet below. Each student must evaluate and write about each question. Students may discuss these questions with their group members. However, the write-ups must be individual.
    • These questions are tough, so reassure students that they will have ample time to come up with a written response for them.
    • Advise students to figure out Madison in the sense of who he was and what he stood for.
    • Monitor students, and offer support when necessary.
  • Questions to consider for discussion, to extend the lesson, or to revise existing questions. These questions may be answered through class discussion or in written form.
    • Hamilton was the initiator of the Federalist Papers. He wanted to convince New Yorkers “of intelligence, patriotism, property, and independent circumstances” to vote for the ratification of the Constitution. Who does this focus on? Who does this ignore?
    • What does Madison mean by “factions”? Is he referring to any social group, or is it specific social groups? Why?
    • What groups do you think Madison saw as “factions”? Why?
    • Madison saw government as the force behind regulating conflicts surrounding property ownership. Can a government do this without taking sides? Consider your role-play.
    • Why did Madison think that faction causation can be eliminated?
    • From this document, what would you conclude to be Madison’s opinions on slaves, workers, and farmers?
    • What is Madison’s argument for a republic over a democracy?
    • “It may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more consistent to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves.” What do you think of this statement?
    • Do the people of the representatives make the important decisions? How does the Constitution ensure this?
    • Toward the end of the reading, Madison spoke of “wicked projects.” Would any of the class conventional measure fall into this category?
    • From the viewpoint of a slave owner, what “wicked” projects might Madison have been referring to?
    • From the viewpoint of your role-play character, how would you respond to Madison? Compare and contrast to your personal response to Madison.
    • Do you feel either the poor or the rich would more greatly oppose Madison? Why? 

Extension Activity Ideas

  • Debate: After students have answered the questions and written thoughtful responses, have a debate about each question. Students may wish to present their opinions about each question and open up the floor for rebuttals, questions, and evidence.
Posted in Common Core: English Language Arts Grades 6-8, Common Core: Social Sciences Grades 6-8, K-12 Lesson Plans
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