PROGRESS – Getting started

To get going on the “IMMERSION” component of this experience, your task is to spend 45-60 minutes diving into a few of the topics we will examine from the turn of the century.  Your goal is to develop a foundation of historical content for our eventual assessments of the time period.  As you spend time with each topic, start a document that identifies ideas, events, people, movements, and reactions that can fit into the concept of PROGRESS – either positively or negatively. In addition, consider if any of the content and ideas from the turn of the 20th century are still around in the 21st century.

Big Business and Industrialization 

KEY TERMS AND IDEAS - effects of the Civil War, industrial growth, econoimic boom, Captains of Industry, trusts and combinations, labor movement

From ABC-CLIO (usmstudent, historyrules)


From John Green and Crash Course (no password, but he rules)


The West 

KEY TERMS AND IDEAS - Homestead Act, the cattle industry, conflicts betweent he federal government and Native Americans, the Dawes Act, Wounded Knee

From ABC-CLIO (usmstudent, historyrules)


From John Green and Crash Course 


KEY TERMS AND IDEAS – urbanization, city life, tenements, skyscrapers, political machines

Big City Life from Creating AmericaThe Rise of the Modern City  / The Skyscraper / Tenements / Boss Tweed from Digital History

The Glamour of American Cities / The Underside of Urban LifeCorruption Runs WildReligious Revival: The “Social Gospel” / Sports and Leisure from

You can also read Shame of the Cities (usmstudent, historyrules) / Machine Politics and Bossism (usmstudent, historyrules) / “Chicago” by Carl Sandburg / The Streets of Old Milwaukee (oooooh, extra credit trip, anyone?)




KEY TERMS AND IDEAS – contributions of immigrants, challenges faced by immigrants, tenements, immigration restrictions

SOURCES – A GREAT OVERVIEW – The New Immigrants from The Americans

Check out an overview of Ellis Island, along with a timeline and some fun trivia

Hurdles to Citizenship at Ellis IslandDetained at Ellis Island – from the History Channel

Angel Island – Immigrant Journeys of the Chinese

Immigration and Urbanization / Arrival at Ellis Island Immigrants Detained at Ellis Island / Ellis Island – Registration as an American Citizen /Ellis Island – Then and Now / Angel Island Reopens

Have fun with this immigration simulation from the NYC Tenement Museum

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NHD Due Dates!!!

Here they are, young historians – your due dates for submitting your NHD projects.  I can take them early as well!


Check the Rubric for your category – it’s what I use to evaluate – Paper RubricDocumentary RubricExhibit Rubric / Website Rubric / Performance Rubric

Process Papers – Should be checked with Dr. Walczack

Annotated Bibs – Should be super awesome, complete, and printed, following the screencast below:

WEBSITES – Send me your published website URL by Tuesday, January 27.

EXHIBITS – Sign up for an Exhibit Evaluation time slot  for Wednesday, January 28, Thursday, January 29, Friday, January 30, or Monday, February 2 your 50 minute slot

PAPERS – Hand in or share by Thursday, January 29 – BIB TOO!

PERFORMANCES – Sign up for a Performance Evaluation time slot on Friday, January 31, Monday, February 3, or Tuesday, February 4

DOCUMENTARIES – Get them to me as soon as possible for feedback!

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Assignment January 5 – Did the Union win … or did the Confederacy lose?

It’s an essential question, right?  Why did the Civil war end up the way it did, with a Union victory? Could it have turned out differently?  Did the Confederacy actually have a chance, but lost it? Was the result inevitable?  What if … something changed in history?

Your task tonight is to spend about 20-25 minutes thinking about this essential question.  Use the cool resources below to take some notes on the “Why did the Union win / Confederacy lose?” document DOC PDF – and don’t forget the “what ifs?”!

Could the South have won the Civil War?  Opinion continues to be mixed, as demonstrated in this series of interviews and this opnion poll on Civil War Talk.  What do you think?

Of course, you can find your own resources, or come up with some great orginial ideas as well!

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Assignment December 17/18 – THE CHALLENGE!!!!


What’s left?  The Civil War Challenge!  You have a very comprehensive study guide that have been available for a week, a ton of great resources in your notebook and (hopefully) online, and a team to use toward mastering the important content and ideas about the turning point of American history.  There will be a Kahoot review Thursday at recess and an open review after school on Thursday until 4:00!

Check out some old stuff …

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It’s beter than a test – it’s a challenge – but you still have to prepare for it as if it was a test.  Use the review guide made by Walczak and Taft … and get going on preparation!

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Assignment December 11/12 – Spend some time with Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln – How do we view him in our society today?  Is he well remembered?  Highly regarded?  Where is rated in comparison to other presidents? Check out the crossroads he faced as President.  Want a timeline of his lifeAre you looking for LincolnHow did he do choosing his generals? What about his speeches - were they “fitly spoken”?  What’s the deal with Lincoln Suspending Habeas Corpus and this great Habeas Corpus video? Watch the videos below as well. We will chat about our 16th president in class next week – so spend 16 minutes or so and come with a few observations and a few questions about A. Lincoln!

Abraham Lincoln

The Humor of Lincoln

The Other Side of Lincoln – Lincoln’s Depression

Lincoln as Commander in Chief


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Assignment December 11/12 – The Home Front

We have seen the war play out on the battlefield, but what about on the home front of each side? Your task is to find out how the great conflict affected the civilians not at war – the women at home, men who weren’t serving, African Americans on both sides, and your average citizen. To do so, use the NOTE TAKING DOCUMENT DOC PDF     and the various resources on The Home Front website to try to fill in bullet notes in the various categories. Do your best to try to fill in each category … but spend about 25 minutes on the assignment. If you do not get it completed in 25 minutes, no worries … we will have time to fill in the blanks on Monday.


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Assignment December 10/11 – The Emancipation Proclamation

Hopefully we are all caught up with the progression fo the war, and you have an idea bout how the first few years played out! Of course, one of the major TURNING POINTS of the war was the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation – one of the most important documents in American history, and probably the single action Abe Lincoln is known for more than any other.

Your first task this evening is to read the overview PDF DOC about the EP, read The Emancipation Proclamation and watch The Emancipation Proclamation video for the History Channel.

Use the guide questions on the handoutPDF DOC - but you don’t need to answer them in writing! Then, turn to the great document itself by annotating the actual text of the EP following the instructions on the handout (and below). There isn’t much writing – I promise.

You can also check out check out 5 Things You May Not Know About Lincoln, Slavery and Emancipation from History in the Headlines.


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Assignment 5/8 – Gone for Soldierin’!

Hello, recruits!  Are you ready for life as a Civil War soldier?  Your day will be a little different than usual on Tuesday as you spend some time with your drill sergeant, learning the finer points of army life during the war between the states. you will also be examining the words of the men and a fw women) in blue and gray and trying to learn a little bit about their story.  How do you prepare? Make sure you complete the Why Fight? handout from Dr.Walczak and take some notes from the various sites and podcasts available on the Civil War Soldier site (spend about 20-25 minutes).

Civil War Soldier Podcast

Ged ready to report for duty in Tuesday – you will have a special schedule, and you will all be part of the Iron Brigade! To experience some of the story of a Civil War soldier, you will drill, march, load in nine steps, and possibly see the elephant! (What does that really mean?  Check out this resource for some info!)

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Assignment December 3/4 – Why the Civil War?

Why exactly did those states secede?  You have been/will be examining this in English class with the Good Doctor, and we took a look at some of the actual secession statements in our class as well.  However, with all of that information still availabale, historians have debated over the years about the exact causes of the Civil War.  Your task is to read some brief statements from historians in “Why the Civil War?” activity and see what they have to say.  It’s a collection of statements about different historical perspectives on the coming of the war.  Read each carefully, underline up to eight important words, and summarize each selection in  ONE COMPLETE SENTENCE.  Do the historians agree with the documents? The assignment is much easier (and more fun) if you complete it with a partner.

Want more? Check out historian Edward Ayers discussing the subject in this videocast, and also a video from the Virginia Historical Society.

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