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New Lesson Plan: Who Writes Our History?

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Published on Mon, 06/06/2016

[caption id="attachment_9281" align="alignright" width="300"]Destitute pea picker illustrates migrant workers in California during the 1930s. Such images shed like on the so-called "Forgotten People" in the American media. Destitute pea picker illustrates migrant workers in California during the 1930s. Such images shed like on the so-called "Forgotten People" in the American media.[/caption] In an age when the media dictates and manipulates the public perception of essentially everything, the following lesson plans explores how media bias shaped historical events both old and new. Students look at the way in which events are reported on in history and how media bias affects peoples’ understanding of current events and history by analyzing newspaper articles from the 1930s on migrant workers in California (from Steinbeck’s articles series, “The Harvest Gypsies,” as well as NY Times coverage of these workers (1933-5). Moreover, students will look at NY Times coverage of the newsboy strike in New York City in 1899 and compare these articles to the 1930s coverage of the migrant workers as well as the media’s current coverage on the $15/ hour workers strikes. They will analyze diction and purpose in the articles to improve their understanding of biases on our interpretation of historical events and our current society.   Included in the lesson plan are curriculum standards, Common Core Reading and Writing standards, student objectives, pre, formative, and summative assessments, detailed learning activities, materials and sources used, and graphic organizers to aid student understanding. View more details, and download or access the lesson plan online. Emerging America brings this lesson to you thanks to the outstanding primary sources and materials provided by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Aligned to the Common Core and National History Standards.
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Karen Albano

History eNews Editor, Emerging America
Karen Albano began working with the Emerging America program in 2015. She is currently the editor of the weekly History eNews, and has contributed to many facets of the Emerging America program, including developing curriculum, improving the accessibility of the website to educators, and overseeing social media outreach.