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

Constitutional Convention Part 2: Who Really Won?

eagle

Image from the Owosso Times (Michigan), 1921. http://goo.gl/0WDKph

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Overview

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

Having convention experience, students should now be ready to examine the U.S. Constitution, keeping in mind the social perspective. This lesson provides questions to get students to think critically about their experiences as well as the Constitution.

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 U.S. Constitution, one for each student
  • “Who Really Won?” activity sheet
  • Access to the Internet (optional)
  • Copies of the Virginia Plan (optional)

Key Vocabulary

Lesson

  • Provide background knowledge: Provide students with background information about the convention.
    • Founding Fathers: Allow students time to explore the delegates who attended the convention. Their biographies are available on the National Archives website and are organized by state. You may wish to discuss who the Founding Fathers were.
    • Virginia Plan: Read the Virginia Plan, the first draft of the Constitution. The convention initially gathered to amend the Articles of Confederation. However, while Virginia’s delegates were waiting for other states to arrive, James Madison (a delegate from Virginia) created the Virginia Plan, which included elements about separation of powers in government in addition to revisions for the Articles of Confederation.
  • Introduction: Students will read the Constitution to analyze. They will use the “Who Really Won?” activity sheet to interpret the Constitution and understand its weight on a specific issue.
  • Hand out questions: Hand out the “Who Really Won?” activity sheet for students to read.
    • You may assign students the handout as homework as a way to prepare thoughts and answers for an in-depth, in-class discussion, or to just brainstorm and reflect on the Constitution prior to in-class group or individual work.
  • Hand out the Constitution: Hand out a copy of the U.S. Constitution to each student.
    • As a class, become familiar with how the Constitution is organized.
    • You may wish to read the Constitution together as a class.
  • Discussion or debrief: Depending on which procedure you chose (either assigning the activity sheet as homework or as an in-class assignment), bring students together to debrief on the activity.
  • Some discussion or debrief questions to consider:
    • What did you find out that was the most interesting to you?
    • Do you agree with the Constitution? Do you disagree? Why?
    • We are presented with the idea that the Constitution did not represent the majority. So how and why was it approved?
    • From the key vocabulary from the Part 1 lesson plan, how did we define democracy? How does the Constitution represent democracy? How does it not?
    • In what ways does the Constitution empower “the people?” In what ways does it disempower them?

Extension Activity Ideas

  • Federalist Papers: Further investigation into the Constitution and its deeper meanings. Students will read about James Madison, “Father of the Constitution” and his ideologies, and delve deeper into the social conflict and its relationship with government.
    • A lesson plan called “Constitutional Convention Part 3” has been created for this extension activity idea.
  • Debate: Use the handout “Who Really Won?” to debate each question. Remind students to stay in character to argue their points. Take a vote at the end of each debate to see who has been persuaded onto the other side. Allow students to make rebuttals, objections, opening and closing statements, and ask questions.
Posted in Common Core: English Language Arts Grades 6-8, Common Core: Social Sciences Grades 6-8, K-12 Lesson Plans

Constitutional Convention Part 1: Role Play

Drawing of James Madison

Image from the Pittsburg Dispatch (Pennsylvania), 1889. http://goo.gl/TeJpzt

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Overview

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

The U.S. Constitution is the highly respected document on which the United States was founded. James Madison created this document, and through much debate and compromise, a law of the land was written and enacted.

Treating the Constitution as a revered document elevates it above critique. This lesson gives students the opportunity to really reflect on and interact with the Constitution. Students will be asked to think critically about issues the Founding Fathers were confronted with and decide for themselves “Whose ‘More Perfect Union’?”

The following activities could align with Constitution Day to make the experience more real, either as a classroom activity or open forum for the school or families to watch and partake in.

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 United States history, by analyzing key people and constitutional convention, age of Jefferson, industrial revolution, westward expansion, 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.
  • Government 8.14. Explain rights and responsibilities of citizens.
  • Government 8.15. Contrast the impact of the Articles of Confederation as a form of government to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Government 8.18. Examine and analyze important United States documents, including (but not limited to) the Constitution, Bill of Rights, 13th-15th
  • 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 United States 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

  • Copies of roles
  • Copies of the U.S. Constitution for each student
  • Construction paper for name cards
  • Tools to decorate name cards
  • Copies of “Constitutional Convention: Burning Issues” for each student
  • Parliamentary guidelines sheet, one for each group
  • Costumes (optional)
  • K-W-L chart (optional)
  • Vocabulary activity sheet (optional)
  • Materials to create set (optional)

Key Vocabulary

Lesson

  • Introduction: Engage students’ prior knowledge. You may wish to use a K-W-L chart (one is provided below), lead a discussion, or give students time to research.
  • Some discussion questions to consider:
    • What is the Constitution?
    • Why is the Constitution important?
    • How do the Constitution and Declaration of Independence differ?
    • Who wrote the Constitution?
    • What rights does it give us?
    • What rights does it not give us?

The main objective of the discussion is to emphasize to students that, theoretically, nothing can dispute constitutional law.

  • Describe role-play: Each student will be given a role to play—Slaves, Workers, Farmers, Plantation Owners, and Bankers.
    • Emphasize role-play etiquette—most importantly, staying in character, i.e. plantation owners did not fight to free slaves, and slaves did not fight to empower the plantation owners.
  • Activity preparation: Divide students into five groups. Give students a copy of their roles to read and research.
    • Have students create a biography for their characters, such as names, place of birth, family, friends, etc. Some research questions have been listed in the descriptions of each role.
    • Have students create name cards for their group and characters.
    • To elicit depth, students should write a short biography presentation so that the class gets a feeling for each character.
    • Give students time to discuss roles and how each is approaching it.
    • Monitor groups, raise questions, and disrupt contradictions.
  • Expectations: Hand out Parliamentary Guidelines to each group.
    • Read rules together and discuss, making sure that every student understands what is expected during the role-play.
    • These guidelines may be posted as well.
  • Pose questions and write-ups: Hand out Conventional Burning Issues activity sheet for students to discuss and answer in their groups.
    • The objective of the convention is for students to come up with at least one resolution to each issue and determine which ones are the most important and least important.
    • Give examples, such as “Be it resolved that all debts may be paid in kind…”
    • Give students an appropriate amount of time to discuss and form resolutions within their groups.
    • Monitor students during this time in order to raise questions and disrupt contradictions.
  • Role-play activity: Once students are finished creating resolutions, half of their group should leave to speak to other groups 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, regardless of personal opinions.
    • Regroup students to discuss alliance proposals and rewrite resolutions.
    • Final note: Allow role-play to proceed as long as possible to obtain an optimal level of discussion and interaction.
  • Debrief: Bring students together to discuss their experiences playing their roles. These questions can be asked as part of a discussion or in written format.
  • Some debrief questions to consider:
    • What did you find realistic and unrealistic about our class convention?
    • What alliances were made? Would you expect similar alliances to take place? Why?
    • Was it easier for lower or higher socioeconomic groups to come together? Why?
    • Who had incompatible interests and could not find a compromise?
    • What groups wanted stronger state government? Who wanted the national government to have more power?
    • Who wanted the most and least power to the people? Why?
    • Create a speech to deliver to the class that represents your personal thoughts and emotions regarding the finalization of the class Constitutional Convention.

Extension Activity Ideas

  • Further U.S. Constitution investigation: Having had authentic convention experience, students will be ready to further investigate parts of the U.S. Constitution without losing the consideration of its social perspective. Students will read the Constitution and think about personal opinions, as well as make concluding statements about who won the convention.
    • A lesson plan called “Constitutional Convention Part 2” has been created for this extension activity idea.
  • Federalist Papers: Further investigation into the U.S. Constitution and its deeper meanings. Students will read about James Madison, “Father of the Constitution” and his ideologies, and delve deeper into the social conflict and its relationship with government.
    • A lesson plan called “Constitutional Convention Part 3” has been created for this extension activity idea.

Note: Role play materials, worksheets, and additional information can be found in PDF Download.

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

The Oregon Trail and Pioneer History

Text reads: "Old Oregon Trail rapidly becoming modern motor road."

Image from the Sunday Oregonian, 1922. http://goo.gl/FBhTRd

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Overview

Every teacher likely has an abundance of resources about the Oregon Trail as well as the events that occurred regarding Oregon’s statehood. Historic Oregon Newspapers has a large collection of authentic and relevant content from this time period. These newspaper articles and photographs can be utilized for firsthand accounts of the pioneers’ experiences on the Oregon Trail, or during pioneer life in Oregon during the mid 1800s to the early 1900s.

Listed below are a variety of articles that can be accessed through the Historic Oregon Newspapers website related to Oregon’s rich history. This is not a complete list, but rather a working list of all the newspapers and articles that can be connected with the Oregon Trail. To conduct further research, go to our advanced search option, which allows you to narrow down the years, key words, and specific newspaper.

Oregon Common Core State Standards

Social Studies Standards:

  • Historical Knowledge 4.2: Explain how key individuals and events influenced the early growth and changes in Oregon.
  • Historical Thinking 4.5: Distinguish between fact and fiction in historical accounts by comparing documentary sources on historical figures and events with fictional characters and events in stories.
  • Historical Thinking 4.6: Create and evaluate timelines that show relationships among people, events, and movements in Oregon history.
  • Historical Thinking 4.7: Use primary and secondary sources to create or describe a narrative about events in Oregon history.
  • Geography 4.10: Compare and contrast varying patters of settlements in Oregon, past and present, and consider future trends.
  • Geography 4.12: Explain how people in Oregon have modified their environment and how the environment has influenced people’s lives.
  • Social Science Analysis 4.20: Describe the sequence of events in given current and historical accounts.

Links

The articles are organized chronologically.

“From Maine to Oregon: Early Days Traveling from Coast to Coast” From the Astoria Daily Morning Astorian, December 6, 1889.

  • Remembrances of R.S. Thurston’s transcontinental trip from Brunswick, ME to Oregon in 1844. Thurston later served as Oregon’s congressman.

“Today Celebrates Her Ninetieth Birthday” From Portland Morning Oregonian, February 28, 1905.

  • Recounts the 1852 pioneer experiences of Sophrona Gibson, a long-lived Oregon Trail veteran. With a photo of the birthday gal, this story is a good way to “put a face” on the pioneer experience (i.e. personalize it) for students.

“Early Days In Oregon: Policy of the Hudson Bay Company” From the Astoria Daily Morning Astorian, December 2, 1883.

  • Earliest mention of the ‘Oregon trail’ (by name) in the digitized newspapers. Details efforts by the British Hudson Bay Company to discourage American settlers from travelling overland to Oregon.

“Story of The Famous Old Oregon Trail” by Walter E. Meacham, serialized in The Ontario Argus in 5 weekly installments beginning April 6, 1922: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

“Old Oregon Trail was Famous Route in Prairie Schooner Days” From Pendleton East Oregonian, September 22, 1921.

  • Lot Livermore recounts his experience on the Oregon Trail having moved from Marietta, Ohio to Pendleton, Oregon.

These stories relate to Oregonians’ initial efforts to commemorate and mark the original route of the Oregon Trail, beginning around 1900:

“The Oregon Trail: Project to Mark It With Monuments From Missouri to This State” From Pendleton East Oregonian, April 25, 1900.

  • Details the Oregon Historical Society’s first plans to commemorate the trail.

“Trip Over Oregon Trail,” From Portland Morning Oregonian, September 17, 1900.

  • Professor F. G. Young’s account of retracing the 600-mile journey in 1900.

“Great Fair in 1905: Oregon Historical Society Starts the Movement,” From Portland Sunday Oregonian, December 16, 1900.

  • Reports initial planning that would lead to the great Lewis & Clark World’s Exposition in Portland in 1905.

“Will Retrace The Old Oregon Trail,” From Portland Sunday Oregonian, September 17, 1905.

  • Story about Ezra Meeker, an original Oregon Pioneer of 1852, who plans to retrace the trail in his old age, installing commemorative markers along the route. Includes a map of the Oregon Trail from Missouri to the Northwest.

“Trail Taken Again” From Morning Oregonian, March 15, 1910.

  • Story about Ezra Meeker making his third trip across the Oregon Trail to make sure that all states are restoring their sections of the Oregon Trail and preserving the history of this trail.

“Move in Behalf of Oregon Train Intent of Daughters of Revolution” From The Sunday Oregonian, March 15, 1914.

  • The Daughters of Revolution fight to have the Oregon Trail marked because of its significance in Oregon history from George Washington’s army walking over it to Indian Chief, Nemacobin having crossed over it.

The remaining links are to stories that are perhaps only partially, or indirectly, concerned with the Oregon Trail. However, they present fascinating perspectives on other aspects of early pioneer history in Oregon:

“Early Local Government in Rhode Island and Oregon,” From Astoria Daily Morning Astorian, November 18, 1884.

  • Fascinating piece details Oregon’s remarkable early history of political organization, and compares it with similar developments during the ‘pioneer’ settlement of an Eastern state nearly 200 years earlier.

“Joaquin Miller Writes on Oregon for the Chicago Times,” From Jacksonville Oregon Sentinel, September 25, 1886.

  • Known in his day as the ‘Poet of the Sierras’ and the ‘Bard of Oregon,’ here Miller writes a prose overview in praise of our state. In this article he coins a nickname that would become popular: “The Emerald Land.” This piece was reprinted in many papers back east, helping to form Oregon’s image with the rest of the country.

“Beginnings of Oregon: Explorations and Early Settlement at the Mouth of The Columbia River,” From Portland Morning Oregonian, April 19, 1901.

  • With illustration, “Astoria As It Was In 1813.”

“One Hundred Years In Oregon,” From Portland Morning Oregonian, January 1, 1903.

  • Condensed (1 page) history of Oregon’s first Century of Anglo-American settlement and development. Well illustrated.

“Eastern Oregon Road-Building Programme Includes 814 Miles” From The Morning Oregonian, January 2, 1922.

  • Construction work on three major highways in Eastern Oregon: John Day Highway, Oregon Trail, and Dalles-California highway. The Oregon Trail being restored first in 1922. This article presents two hand drawn maps with a different vantage point of Oregon’s roadways and mountains.
Posted in Common Core: Social Science Grade 4, K-12 Lesson Plans

Lewis and Clark: The Voyage of Discovery

LewisAndClark

Image from the Morning Oregonian, 1902. http://goo.gl/cU1Sny

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Overview

It has been said that every Oregon teacher has a lesson unit on Lewis & Clark that they personally cherish. We wouldn’t ask you to give it up! However, please be aware of all the related and authentic content available online on Historic Oregon Newspapers online.

An interesting fact that comes to light is that neither Lewis and Clark, nor their Voyage of Discovery, were always famous! Interest and awareness of the explorers had in fact waned throughout the 1800s and only truly revived around the turn of the 20th century. This is reflected in the digitized Historic Oregon Newspapers, where articles about the celebrated explorers are exceedingly rare prior to 1900. (One notable exception is the Willamette Farmer’s 1879 obituary notice for the last surviving member of the expedition.) Given that Lewis and Clark are almost universally recognized names throughout America today, this can be a valuable lesson in the ways that “History” is not a static thing, but something that grows, evolves, and changes over time.

Listed below are a variety of articles that can be accessed through the Historic Oregon Newspapers website related to the Lewis and Clark Expedition. This is not a complete list, but rather a working list of all the newspapers and articles that can be connected with Lewis and Clark. To conduct further research, go to our advanced search option, which allows you to narrow down the years, key words, and specific newspaper. 

Oregon Common Core State Standards

Social Studies Standards:

  • Historical Knowledge 4.2: Explain how key individuals and events influenced the early growth and changes in Oregon.
  • Historical Thinking 4.6: Create and evaluate timelines that show relationships among people, events, and movements in Oregon history.
  • Historical Thinking 4.7: Use primary and secondary sources to create or describe a narrative about events in Oregon history.
  • Geography 4.10: Compare and contrast varying patterns of settlements in Oregon, past and present, and consider future trends.
  • Geography 4.12: Explain how people in Oregon have modified their environment and how the environment has influenced people’s lives.

Links

Newspaper articles:

The articles are organized chronologically.

“Frozen To Death.” From Salem Willamette Farmer, March 7, 1879.

  • Obituary report of Tom Lewis, an African American who was the last surviving member of the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

“Benefactors Of Oregon.” From Portland Morning Oregonian, May 20, 1901.

  • Shorter article perfect for an in-class reading/discussion. Illustrated with portraits of the two explorers.

“As To The Descendants Of Lewis And Clark.” From Portland Sunday Oregonian, April 2, 1905. And “Colonel William Hancock Clark,” From Portland Morning Oregonian, August 26, 1901.

  • By the turn of the 20th century, many Americans were claiming to be descended from the famous duo—some fraudulently. Claims of ancestry among the famous and historical can be an interesting topic of class discussion, as we still see this going on today!

“First Across The Continent: Effect of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Upon the Westward Expansion of the United States.” From Portland Morning Oregonian, January 1, 1902.

  • This is a full-page, front-page article, well illustrated with portraits of the explorers, plus a large map of “The Oregon Country as defined by the Treaty of 1846.”

“The Conquest = Tale of Lewis and Clark.” From Portland Sunday Oregonian, November 2, 1902.

  • Eva Emery Dye of Oregon wrote one of the first, comprehensive books about Lewis and Clark, “The Conquest.” This article reviews the book, with extensive excerpts, and also relates some of the challenges Dye faced in researching her subjects.

“What Lewis And Clark Did.” From Portland Morning Oregonian, January 1, 1903.

  • Essay about the long-term effects of the Voyage of Discovery on the history of Oregon and the United States. Features a portrait photo gallery of many prominent Oregonians of the early, Territorial period.

“Talks Lewis and Clark.” From Portland Morning Oregonian, February 9, 1903.

  • Major William Hancock Clark, the grandson of Captain William Clark, discusses his ancestor’s accomplishments during the lead-up to the Lewis & Clark Exposition of 1905. Interesting to note here, that the Voyage of Discovery had been nearly forgotten in many quarters of the East at this time!

“Monument to Sergeant Floyd: First Man in the Lewis and Clark Company Who Lost His Life.” From The Sunday Oregonian, May 24, 1903.

  • This article describes the life of Sergeant Floyd, the first member in the Lewis and Clark expedition to perish, who will have a monument erected in his honor.

 

“Explorer Lies In Lonely Grave: Captain Meriwether Lewis Lies Buried In Heart Of Dismal Oak Forest In Tennessee.” From Portland Sunday Oregonian, April 16, 1905.

  • This article describes the grave site of the famous explorer, Captain Lewis, lying in shambles, in a dense forest with no one having visited, though his deeds have been renowned worldwide.

Photographs:

Local as well as national interest in Lewis & Clark was heightened during the lead-up to Portland’s “Lewis and Clark Centennial and American Pacific Exposition” of 1905. View the Exposition Banner here: http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn83025138/1904-05-24/ed-1/seq-12/.

  • The class may discuss the meaning of the symbolism included on the flag.

“The Lewis and Clark Fair As Seen From Willamette Height.” From The Morning Oregonian, January 2, 1905 and From The Sunday Oregonian, March 19, 1905.

  • Images describe the Lewis and Clark Fair in Portland.

Other:

Listed below are other subsections that you may wish to explore that relate to Lewis & Clark.

“The Lewis and Clark Trail” From The Plaindealer, June 05, 1905.

  • This is a poem by Aldon Harness describing the ravels of Lewis and Clark. Harnees has published a variety of his poems in a book entitled “Lew and Clark: A Souvenir Book.”

 

 

Posted in Common Core: Social Science Grade 4, K-12 Lesson Plans

Playing with Comics

comics

Comic from the Oregon City Courier, 1907. http://goo.gl/gxNQKz

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Overview

In addition to the articles and advertisement changes in print media over the years, the style and humor of the comics section in print media have undergone significant changes. Students will use their critical thinking skills to analyze the changes that have occurred in the comics sections of newspapers. Using primary source documents available on the Historic Oregon Newspapers website, students will compare and contrast comics created in the early 1900s with comics created in the present day.

Oregon Common Core State Standards

Language Arts Standards:

  • ELA.RL.4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • ELA.RL.4.3 Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
  • ELA.SL.4.4 Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

Materials

Key Vocabulary

  • Comic/comic strip

Lesson

  • Introduce topic: Tell the students that they will be working with comic strips that were created during the early 1900s.
  • Brainstorm: Create a bubble map anchor chart for students to refer throughout the lesson.
  • Some discussion questions to consider:
    • Is there a difference between comics and comic strips?
    • What are some examples of comics?
    • What is your definition of comics?
    • What are some features of comics?
  • Introduce definition: Write down the definition next to the bubble map. Merriam-Webster defines the word “comic strip” as “a series of cartoon drawings that tell a story or part of a story.”
    • You may want to take this time to go over some key vocabulary from the comic strips or text features of comic strips.
  • Activity: Hand out copies of comics (more may be found on the Historic Oregon Newspapers website using the advanced search option). Students should browse the newspaper articles and write down their findings. A list of links to the comics are provided below.
    • Determine whether students will be working in pairs or groups; independent work is not recommended. Students may share an activity sheet.
    • Provide students with the compare and contrast activity sheet. One is provided in PDF Download. Remind students that they will share their findings with the class.
  • Debrief: Discuss what students have noticed when browsing through the comics.
  • Some debrief questions to consider:
    • While browsing through the website, what did you find interesting?
    • What are some major differences between comics created then and now?
    • What are the similarities?
    • What did you like about the comics?
    • What didn’t you like about the comics?
    • Which one do you like better, and why?

Extension Activity Ideas

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

  • Compare and Contrast: Instead of providing students with comic strips from the present day, have students bring in their favorite comic books to compare and contrast. This activity is also a nice segue into newspaper text features, and to finding similarities and differences in text features from the 1900s to the present day.
  • Create Comic Book: After analyzing and working with the comic strips from the 1900s, have students create their own comic strip or comic book. Work through the whole writing process from the brainstorm stage to the proofreading stage to the illustrating stage. Publish comic strips or comic book to the class library.

Old Doc Yak Comic Strips

Just like the ever popular Garfield and Calvin and Hobbs, the Old Doc Yak comics were a popular series created and printed daily in newspapers.

Please note: Most comics can be found on the Historic Oregon Newspapers website using the advanced search option; enter the keyword “comic” and browse the results. These results may be narrowed by year, publication, and keyword.

Posted in Common Core: English Language Arts Grade 4, K-12 Lesson Plans
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