Increase student growth and engagement with intriguing primary source accounts from muckrakers of the Progressive Era!
The intent of this lesson is to expose students to a variety of topics and primary source accounts in a short amount of time using fun and engaging methods. After completing this lesson, students should be able to identify the major muckrakers of the Progressive Movement, the role they played in exposing problems in American society and the reform efforts made because of their work. The lesson is easily adaptable to fit your teaching style.
This activity includes the following stations:
2. Jacob Riis
3. Upton Sinclair
4. Ida Tarbell
5. John Spargo
6. Ida B. Wells
The following methods have proven to be the most successful in my classroom:
1. Hang the information sheets around the class and have students rotate to each sheet.
- This is my favorite because it gets students up and moving. You can assign the worksheet that accompanies this activity, or simply have them summarize each topic as they rotate.
2. Split the students into groups and assign one sheet per group. Have the students read the information sheet and prepare to present the information to the rest of class.
- I assign a number to each group member (number the first group, then start back at 1 for the next group, so that you have multiple 1’s, 2’s, etc. throughout the class) and after students have had adequate time to prepare I tell them all the 2’s are presenting. This method motivates students because they don’t know which group member is presenting until it is time to present.
3. Form groups of 6 and have the students pass around the information sheets.
- I’ve found the best approach for this method is to give students a set amount of time and then have all students pass their sheets to the right when told.
The versatility of this activity allows for several culminating assessments. Typically, once students have completed one of the methods above, I have them write a journal entry from the point of an American during the Progressive Era or they can choose to be a muckraker and write their own story to expose a problem associated with rapid industrialization. I stress for them to incorporate as much information from the stations as possible. Another activity is to have students pick what they believe was the most influential reform that occurred in response to muckrakers writing, and write a defense for the topic they picked. Then, I conduct a debate in which students can defend their choice.
Increase student growth and engagement with intriguing primary source accounts of the Progressive Era!
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