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This is a complete lesson about the one of the most important Muckrakers of the Gilded/Progressive era, Jacob Riis. In this lesson, students will participate in a PowerPoint lecture and discussion about Muckrakers and Jacob Riis, produce a photograph of a social issue they believe to be important, and discuss the social issues brought to light through the photography of their group and their peers. This lesson fits in perfectly with standards on the Gilded Age and The Progressive Era. This lesson isn't for the faint of heart, it will inevitably lead to some difficult yet important discussions about serious social issues as students make connections between the class material and their own personal experiences.
This lesson is aligned with the Common Core history standards:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.6 Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.
California State Standards:
11.2.1 Know the effects of industrialization on living and working conditions, including the portrayal of working conditions and food safety in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.
11.2.2 Describe the changing landscape, including the growth of cities linked by industry and trade, and the development of cities divided according to race, ethnicity, and class.