Have students understand the need for reform in the mental institutions by creating mural tiles using the story “Out of an Insane Asylum” from 1880. This PRIMARY SOURCE story evokes the imagery and emotions of the patients in the mental asylums. This would serve as a precursor to teaching the work of Dorthea Dix and her social reform.
The learners will examine the conditions of mental institutions in the 1800s by creating mural squares based upon hearing the 1880 story “Out of an Insane Asylum” in order to understand the need for reform. This activity allows students to really FEEL the need for reform, just as Dorthea Dix did when she visited the asylums and heard the stories.
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