Melting Pot, urbanization, Temperance Movement, women and labor reform, women's suffrage, muckrakers and reform leaders
Progressive Era unit contains 11 learning experiences.
Learning Experiences (Lessons) in Progressive Era Each learning experience takes about 45 minutes to teach in the device-enabled classroom.
Progressive Era: Vocabulary
Students engage with key vocabulary related to the Progressive Era in U.S. history. The experience can be used as an introduction or a review at the end of the unit.
The Melting Pot
Students watch a video on the concept of the melting pot. Then, they examine statistics on immigration during the crucial period of the early 20th century. They learn some of the reasons for immigration and do research for a report on immigration from selected countries. Finally, they read and analyze the poem “The New Colossus.”
Students learn about the rise of urbanization in the early 1900s, and the problems arising from growth and redistribution of population. They focus on the problems of poor immigrants and workers, including internal migrants. Finally, they examine the groundbreaking photos of Jacob Riis, whose iconic book How the Other Half Lives alerted the public to the problems wrought by immigration and urbanization.
The Temperance Movement
Students learn the history of the temperance movement and Prohibition in the United States. They outline the movement’s growth and success, the effects of Prohibition, and its decline. They give their opinions on Prohibition and discuss related issues such as whether it is ever valid to restrict a right.
Women and Labor Reform
Students explore their preconceptions about “women’s work.” They examine the massive entry of women into the workforce in the 1800s, especially in the textile industry. Then, they learn about the growth of women’s roles in the labor movement during the Progressive Era. Finally, students express their views about progress achieved, and remaining to be achieved, in working women’s roles up to the present day.
Students view media about women’s suffrage marches to help analyze the lasting impact of women’s suffrage in the United States. Then, they examine the events, issues, and personalities of this movement. They work together in groups to create an infographic of the women’s suffrage movement and the impact of the 19th amendment. Finally, they view and interpret a popular women’s suffrage map from the Progressive Era.
Culture of the Progressive Era
Students view a short silent film clip from the Progressive Era. Then, they acquire information about silent films, vaudeville, and Tin Pan Alley music. Next, they explore how those forms of entertainment played into and magnified cultural attitudes of the time. Finally, students explore American popular culture’s continuing influence on the world.
Muckrakers and Reform Leaders
Students are introduced to muckraking journalism and the reform movement of the Progressive Era. First they focus on prominent muckrakers and reformers. Next, they learn about the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 as a prime example of Progressive Era reform that had a lasting impact. Finally, they ponder the topic of investigative journalism itself.
Progressive Government Reforms
Students explore the similarities and differences in the populist and progressive ideologies and the parties those ideologies gave rise to. Then, they analyze and evaluate several government reforms of the Progressive Era: initiative, referendum, recall, and the 16th and 17th amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Finally, they examine populism and progressivism as terms that are still influential in American politics.
U.S. Citizenship and Participation
Students discover how someone becomes a citizen of the United States, the process of naturalization, and the rights and responsibilities of citizens and non-citizen residents. Then, they take a practice civics test. Finally, they learn about four methods of participatory democracy and brainstorm ways to use them around a specific contemporary issue.