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Puerto Rican Identity

Civics and U.S. History courses raise the question: What does it mean to be an American? The case of Puerto Rico is an interesting one because Puerto Ricans find themselves in limbo between American citizenship and Puerto Rican nationalism. The following primary source sets explore the unique relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States including the different factors that influence Puerto Rican identity, including nationalism, political status, culture, and migration. By examining these primary sources, students will gain an understanding of:

Propaganda Posters of the Spanish Civil War

Emerging America, in a partnership with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, has a produced a primary source-filled lesson on the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) – arguably the start of World War II. In this complex conflict, all sides used propaganda to sway the opinions of Spanish citizens and nations around the globe. The most apparent form of propaganda used was posters created by each side of the war. The Library of Congress has over 120 colorfully detailed posters. Students will use these posters to discuss and evaluate the tools of persuasion.

Boston, Then and Now: Change in the Urban Environment

Boston Public Schools teachers collaborated on this lesson to engage students with the sweep of American industrial and urban history. Due to Boston’s breathtaking changes in landscape, including the filling of much of Boston Harbor to create neighborhoods–the city offers a dramatic case study of change across the ages. Emerging America brings this lesson to you thanks to the outstanding map resources of the Library of Congress. Aligned to Common Core and Massachusetts State History standards

Modern America: Urban America: The American City in the 20th Century

America’s self image, forged in the era of Thomas Jefferson’s yeoman farmers, is of a rural nation. The great landscape of the West often dominates popular culture and Americans imagine themselves as independent and self-sufficient, shaped by the western frontier. Yet there is also a long urban tradition in the United States that has equally shaped the development of American culture. The rise of the great metropolis in the late 19th century was due to the existence of enormous wealth in the cities, built upon industrialism and immigration.

Modern America: Radical Labor Movement: Radical Labor in the Age of Reform

Beginning in the 1870s, America underwent a second industrial revolution driven by the metal industries. For the worker, opportunities abounded; the United States experienced a massive migration from country to city, while immigrant workers flocked to America from Eastern and Southern Europe. As industrial wealth grew, so did class divisions and class unrest. In this period, a succession of organizations sought to mobilize workers according to a variety of ideologies and structures.

Exemplary Assessment (DDM): Changing Waterways – Grade 7 Geography

A model district-determined measure for 7th grade Geography, developed by the Collaborative in 2015 for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. A pre-assessment utilizes documents on the building of the Quabbin Dam in Central Massachusetts in the 1930s. The post-assessment utilizes documents on the building of the Aswan Dam in Egypt in the 1960s. Students use graphic organizers to prepare and then write a short essay on the costs and benefits of large water management projects.

Geography DDM Directions:

Monuments in Washington D.C.

The following 5 day unit plan uses primary source images of the National Mall and a modern tourist primary source map to observe, reflect, and explain some the varied historical sites available to students, educators, and travelers alike. In particular, students will explore three of the following sites:

The Fugitive Slave Act: No Turning Back!

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 allowed for the capture and return of runaway slaves. Northerner legislatures passed laws in an attempt to reduce the impact of the FSA and how the work of the Underground Railroad (UGRR) was impacted. Students will learn how the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 (FSA) changed perspectives of Northerners and the ultimate destination of the fugitives themselves. Students will learn background knowledge and vocabulary about the Underground Railroad in the United States.

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