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Grades 8-10: Founding of Schools and Asylums

Part of a large print of the American School for the Deaf, showing the exterior of the building. There are many large trees and monuments.
American School for the Deaf which opened in 1817. (1881). Lithograph by H.P. Arms. Library of Congress.

Grades 8-10 Unit Overview: Founding of Schools and Asylums

The Unit Overview features a grid of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) strategies and tools employed, standards, and a list of the nearly 30 primary sources used in the unit with thumbnails for each. (Lists of primary sources in lesson plans include hyperlinks to sources as readable text. Lesson plans detail the UDL strategies and tools that they use.) The Unit Overview also lists all secondary sources and background materials for teachers used in the unit.

All the grades 8-10 units begin with a brief introduction to the topic. Lessons 1 & 2 could anchor study of the Second Great Awakening and other reforms of the period or integrate within a larger unit. Lesson 2 introduces some of the problems with larger scale institutionalization and thus could provide a foundation for further study of the exposés and struggles for independent living throughout the 20th century. Link to the Grades 8-10 Unit on Founding of Schools and Asylums Overview

Grades 6-12 - Intro Lesson: Introduction to Disability History 

Introductory lesson slides call students to use words about disability with respect. The slides also include a definition of disability and feature pictures from the Library of Congress that show tools for access. Students generate questions. 

Grades 8-10 - Lesson 1: Disability and 19th Century Moral Reformers

Students explore the context and causes of the rapid growth of schools and asylums for people with disabilities in the first half of the 19th century. The lesson puts education reforms in the context of the Antebellum era of reform and evolving views on Federalism. Students analyze the 1843 report by Dorothea Dix to the Massachusetts Legislature on abuses of disabled inmates in poorhouses and prisons. Students consider the growth of schools for the Deaf, blind, and developmentally disabled. Lesson 1 slides begin with an investigation of a lithograph of the American School for the Deaf and the work of Laurent Clerc. Further slides describe the development of institutions in the early 19th century. 

Grades 8-10 - Lesson 2: Perspectives on Schools and Asylums

Students continue the investigation, starting with President Pierce's 1854 veto of the Dix asylum bill. Students examine the critical words of former residents of institutions, Isaac Hunt (1851) and Roland Johnson (1994), and of journalist Nellie Bly (1887). Lesson 2 slides present key documents in excerpted form. Slides and lesson resources also support an optional project in which students research the history of the institutions in their state.  

Screen shot of the cover of the unit plan for Founding of Schools and Asylums
Grades 8-10 Unit Overview: Founding of Schools and Asylums
Link to a google doc of the grades 8-10 Founding of Schools and Asylums Unit Overview. 
A photograph of President George H.W. Bush signing the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. He is seated at a table outside, there is a fountain in the background. Four other people surround the table, three men and one woman, two men are using wheelchairs. Justin Dart sits to the president's left, wearing his trademark cowboy hat, a suit, and a button that supports the ADA on his lapel.
Grades 6-12 Lesson: Introduction to Disability History

Link to a google doc of the grades 6-12 lesson: Introduction to Disability History. 

Includes slides. 

A portrait of Dorothea Lynde Dix, a middle aged woman with dark hair swept back from her face. She wears a formal dress and undershirt. She sits on a wooden chair with ornate scrollwork and rests her arm on a table. She looks to her right with a calm expression.
Grades 8-10 Lesson 1: Disability and 19th Century Moral Reformers

Link to a google doc of lesson 1 for the grades 8-10 unit on schools and asylums. 

Includes slides. 

A print of a drawing of Nellie Bly. Shown from the shoulders up, Bly is wearing a large, wide brimmed black hat over her curly hair that is pulled back into a bun. Her head is turned three quarters to the left. She wears a shirt with a high collar and a jacket over top. Details of flowers and leaves cover the bottom of the picture, obscuring the bottom of her shirt.
Grades 8-10 Lesson 2: Perspectives on Schools and Asylums

Link to a google doc of lesson 2 for the grades 8-10 unit on schools and asylums. 

Includes slides. 

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