Emerging America Webinar for the Library of Congress
Published on Wed, 06/03/2020
Published on Wed, 06/03/2020
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.
Published on Mon, 12/02/2019
See 2023 expanded update on this article.
Announcing the Reform to Equal Rights: K-12 Disability History Curriculum - open February 28, 2023! Free - 23 lessons - 200+ primary sources - inquiry-based - focus on agency by disabled advocates - Link here for the disability history curriculum.
From Social Justice Books: A Teaching for Change Project, this powerful site offers more than 60 curated lists of literature and history books on social justice and multicultural points of view for children, young adults, and educators. Book lists are organized by topic areas–including Changemakers, Disabilities, Immigration (and specific immigrant groups), Organizing, and Voting Rights!
In the following lesson plan students will examine several primary source images and documents related to Civil War wounded. From the sources, students will develop a narrative about changes in the responsibilities of the federal government in response to the enormous numbers of wounded Union soldiers. This lesson can stand alone or kick off a research project.
This lesson focuses on the study of deformities and disabilities in ancient Greece in relation to their societal norms. Students will compare the images of two Greek gods, Zeus and Hephaestus. They will read excerpts from three ancient Greek philosophers; Plato, Aristotle and Plutarch regarding people with disabilities as well as the myth explaining the birth of Hephaestus on Mount Olympus. Students will be able to analyze a variety of ancient sources to draw conclusions about society’s view of people with disabilities in ancient Greece.
Published on Fri, 02/08/2019
The Eugenics movement in the early 20th century United States, a pseudo-scientific amalgamation of social Darwinist philosophy and animal breeding management, gained widespread approval across the country and influenced many internationally, most notably in the the Nazi racial policies of the era leading up to World War II. This primary source set includes newspaper articles, photographs, cartoons, notes on legal cases, a video interview with a man sterilized without consent when he was a boy, a radio report on non-conse
In this lesson students will learn that incurring a disability at work was a common occurrence of the Industrial Revolution. This lesson integrates disability history content within a larger 14-day unit on the Industrial Revolution. The lesson plan provides a series of activities that highlight the importance of children and adults with disabilities in 19th century workplaces, and the ways primary source photographs provide information and inspire critical questions.
In this lesson, students will explore several primary sources addressing the treatment of people with mental illness at Blackwell Island in New York in the mid to late 1800s. After analyzing the sources, students will discuss our responsibility and the responsibility of government to people with mental illness and cognitive disability. Period film, photographs, maps, and a written account by pioneering investigative journalist Nellie Bly animate the lesson.
The instrumental role Dorothea Dix played in reforming prisons and mental institutions, and the actions of Horace Mann in his campaign for free public education are at the center of this lesson. How did improvements in conditions for people in the public charge, whether prisoners or people institutionalized because of disability, come about? How did the the idea of who gets to be educated change? By focusing attention on the strategies used by these social reformers, the lesson engages students in critical thinking about the methods of reformers as well as their goals.