This lesson has a sharable ready-made album of primary sources with an introduction essay by the author!
“I Can’t Even Get To The Back of the Bus” – Disability, 504 and the Power of Protest
This lesson investigates why and how people take action to make a difference. Building from an inquiry-based RAN chart, the lesson explores the context of the 1977 protests calling on the Federal Government to actually implement 504 access legislation. Featuring a variety of primary sources, including testimony of activist Ed Roberts.
Organizing a rich text set of primary sources requires that students analyze and make sense of several sources on a topic. In this case, they seek to answer a focused guiding question. Students sort through about a dozen images, letters, forms, and political cartoon. In practice, a teacher could offer fewer sources, though it is a valuable sometimes to require students to choose among sources. The primary sources are also give context by a secondary source narrative from the Veterans Administration.
Disability History: From Almshouses to Civil Rights
UPDATED IN 2020. The following primary source set, created using materials from the Library of Congress, contains an array of sources focused on Disability History in the United States. Disability has been interwoven into America’s history since the country’s inception through letters, images, newspapers, diaries and other primary sources. The set provides a comprehensive look into a wide range of Library of Congress resources.
Keep at hand all seven items in the Emerging America Lesson Design Toolkit to support strong lesson plan development. You will also need copies of applicable academic standards and, of course, your text set, and any other support materials for the lesson. Refer to each tool to broaden choices for you and for students. The tools help make precise and clear the language in lesson objectives, instructions for assignments, rubrics, graphic organizers, and other handouts.
A Tool to Challenge Misconceptions
The point of the RAN Chart (RAN stands for "Read and Analyze Non-fiction") is for students to research and confirm or correct their ideas for themselves! (Thus the RAN Chart improves on the old "Know-Wonder-Learned / KWL" chart.)
Step 1: Draw the RAN Chart on a whiteboard or smart board, or arrange note cards or post-its on a RAN Chart template. Ideally, leave the RAN Chart up through throughout an investigation. Create categories to help categorize the important ideas and information of the topic.
Prior to investigating a source, students examine the variety of people and groups that would interpret the source differently. Members of the class brainstorm to arrive at a list of all the different viewpoints, then one by one speak from the perspective of the varying stakeholders. This thinking routine, published by the Visible Thinking project at Project Zero, helps students consider the social and historical context for a primary source.
Access an excellent slide show on the Census from Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Consortium member Dr. Elizabeth Osborn, Indiana University Center on Representative Government!