Course: U.S. History
Grade Level: 10-11
Subject: The Progressive Era
Length: 2 weeks
The Progressive Era was a time period in American history from ap-proximately the 1880s through World War I. It was an era of great eco-nomic and political reform.
Students will learn about the national economic goals of the progressive (or populist) movement including the regulation of powerful new corpo-rate interests, or "trusts," especially railroads, banks, and the monopolis-tic Standard Oil Company. Another major economic reform addressed will be the 1907 Pure Food & Drug Act.
The era's major national political goals were the direct election of U.S. senators and the inclusion of women as voters. The Progressive Era's achievements will be seen in four constitutional amendments adopted during this time - The 16th (1909) authorized the income tax; the 17th (1912) was the direct election of senators by voters; the 18th (January, 1920) banned alcohol; and the 19th (August 1920) assured the vote to women. Passing a constitutional amendment is a huge challenge that re-quires approval from 2/3 of both houses of Congress and ĺ of the state legislatures, which demonstrates Progressives' popularity and power.
It is important that students have an understanding of what "reform" is and how reform comes about in a country. Quite often, reform starts at a local or "grassroots" level and expands to get national attention. Usu-ally, history textbooks focus on the "end-product" or the point at when something received national attention -- but there is not always a focus on the energy and effort it took to make a reform movement gain mo-mentum and success (and the millions of people behind it)! This is ad-dressed through the use of current newspapers and interviews.
During the course of this unit, students will develop and practice the fol-lowing skills:
Analytical and critical thinking skills
Standard 1.1 Time and Chronology (The Emergence of Modern America 1890-1930)
Standard 1.2 Comprehending the Past
Standard 1.4 Judging Decisions from the Past
Standard IV.3 Role of Government
Standard V.1 Information Processing
Students will use the Inspiration application to build a concept map that relates to the Progressive Era. The main topic should be the "Progressive Era." Off of the main topic could be subcatego-ries such as social, economic, and political reforms. Please in-clude graphics and text that go along with your arrows.
Introduction -Guided Reading Lesson PowerPoint (Lesson Plan 1)
This lecture and PowerPoint presentation is meant to provide an overview of the Chapter in the textbook relating to the Progressive Era. The PowerPoint was designed without a specific textbook and would be adapted to the appropriate classroom materials. It serves as a pre-reading strategy to introduce the informa-tion contained in the reading to the students. The presentation would address such things as vocabulary and an overview of the constitutional amendments and legis-lation passed during this time.
Social Problems - The Jungle (Lesson Plan 2)
This lesson serves to address the Social Problems created during the urbani-zation of the time period. Using the book "The Jungle" specifically demonstrates of literary works can effect social change and create legislation
Progressive Legislation (Lesson Plan 3)
This lesson focuses specifically on the passing of legislation during this pe-riod. There were more Acts passed during this period in history than any other.
Rights of Women (Lesson Plan 4)
This lesson serves to address the 19th Amendment specifically and the rights of women during the early 1900's compared with today.
Linking Past and Present (Lesson Plan 5)
This lesson relates the legislation of the progressive era to the legislation passed in current day
Grass Roots Reform Interviews (Lesson Plan 6)
This lesson serves to introduce "grass roots" movements as effective means for causing change. The progressive era brought about a significant time of change but it didn't end there. We still live in a world that needs to progress and this in-terview technique shows students their potential impact on the world as well as the fact that they live amongst everyday people doing important things.. Not all change or progress must be on a grand scale to improve lives dramatically.
Guest Speaker - Investigative Journalist (Lesson Plan 7)
This lesson plan provides for a real-life "Muckraker" in the form of today's investigative journalists to come and speak to the class.