In this document-based lesson, students will investigate the experience of American farmers during the Gilded Age, the response of the national government to this experience, and the rise of the Populist Movement. As with all of my lessons, this lesson is document-based. Here is a run-down of what you can expect:
1. Lesson Plan - My lesson plan includes content standards addressed (specific to SC but translate easily to other states), daily objectives, key points, and end-of lesson assessment questions to gauge student mastery. I use Google Forms for my quizzes, but you could copy and paste these questions to any assessment format.
2. PowerPoint Presentation - My PowerPoint presentation guides you through the lesson, and you could easily modify to guide students through the lesson as well. It includes framing content, the historical question for the day, and notes and related visuals for students after they've examined the question on their own.
3. Documents - I've included the 9 documents that students will investigate during this lesson. Using the historical question, students (individually or in groups) first organize the documents as proving that the Gilded Age was a "good" or "bad" time to be a farmer in the United States and then outline an argument to prove their claim using evidence from the documents. Once time is up, put the historical question in front of students once more and facilitate a debate / discussion in which students cite specific evidence from the documents and consider the claims of other students. See the PPT Presentation for a visual anchor that displays how students could present this outline, but you could adjust this to fit your preferences. We use big whiteboards, but you could easily adapt this to an essay or individual outline.
4. Note-Taking Template - For most of my lessons, I include the template that students used for that specific lesson to take notes. The notes themselves can be found in the PowerPoint presentation, and they are aligned to the key points outlined in the lesson plan.
Another entire lesson for you to tweak and execute!
*Pro Tip: Instead of giving each student a handout of the documents, I will oftentimes make 30 copies and cut the documents out. Each student receives a stack of the documents and can manipulate them into different piles. Great for hands-on thinkers and learners! Also, it cuts down on paper use because you can re-use the documents for each of your classes!