Problems at the Turn of the Century
Students will be introduced to muckraking and the concept of Progressivism. Then, they will work together in small groups to create a class presentation about a specific problem during the Progressive Era and what was done during the time period to address the problem. They will also look at current events to see if this topic is still an issue in the US today and/or around the world.
I have included recommended pages for each group based on the US History textbooks American Anthem (2007) and TCI History Alive! (2008) as well as online resources that I have found to be useful so that the activity can be used in a variety of classes.
This lesson works well following a discussion about immigration to the US during the late 1800s and industrialization. I usually spend a few days discussing the push/pull factors of immigration and how the industrial revolution pulled many people from around the world to the US at the turn of the century. You can also incorporate students’ own immigration story to this conversation.
You can also introduce working conditions and union organization before or after this activity. It works well in either place.
There are additional activities included that can be used to expand on Progressivism:
o The Progressive Presidents Venn Diagram
This is located on the last slide of the Problems at the Turn of the Century PowerPoint which can be used to analyze the contributions of the three progressive presidents: Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson.
o How should the problems in society be fixed? PowerPoint
This activity gives the students 4 different scenarios that are based on problems at the turn of the century. It is a forced choice activity so that students can see what their political point of view may be. *This can also be made into a Google Form for students to fill out and then the class can analyze the political views of their peers.
This can be used as an introduction to Progressivism if you have time. At the end of the scenario there is a chart comparing the progressives to the captains of industry to connect the two ideas.
The last slide is a categorization activity to help students better understand political differences. This can be used as an additional introduction to the research jigsaw OR as a wrap up at the very end to review the various topics.
o Who were the Progressives? PowerPoint
This is a short overview of progressivism and its influences.
• Whole Activity in Power Point (20 slides)
• Teacher Instructions with recommended research sources (9 pages)
• Presentation Rubric (1 page)
• Graphic Organizer for note-taking
o Printable version (3 pages)
o Online version (1 page)
• How should the problems in society be fixed? Hypothetical scenarios (9 slides)
• Who were the Progressives? (4 slides)
*All items are editable