Regulation Through the Years: Women’s Rights DBQ

640px-Opened_Oral_Birth_ControlMy Social Studies Methods class at the University of Portland recently published a free multi-touch iBook – Exploring History: Vol III (free iTunes). It features thirteen engaging questions and historic documents that empower students to be the historian in the classroom. For more info on our project and free download of multi-touch iBook and pdf versions click here. To better publicize student work, I’m featuring each chapter in it’s own blog post. (Tenth of 13)

Regulation Through the Years By Chenoa Musillo Olson & Sarah Wieking
Download as PDF 5.9MB

Generative Question: Should people’s bodies be regulated by external authorities?
Critically read the following documents keeping in mind the evolving mentality and arguments of people regarding abortion and birth control. When reading each document think about the similarities and differences between each generation.  Also consider key questions:

  • What is the main argument being made?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • How does each piece play into society? What is significant about the date in which it was published?
  • To what extent is regulation or deregulation being argued for?

 
Reflection – Chenoa Musillo Olson
Writing my chapter for the book has been an interesting exercise in finding sources and being selective in choosing sources accessible to my students. Collecting resources is every historians’ favorite pass time. Exposing students to primary documents is an exciting way to allow students to be historians. I also found that it is a skill that will need to be developed in students: to be able to read a document and discern the important parts. I would hope to use document based lessons as often as possible. I would also like to use primary documents as a means to learn how to analyze literature.
As far as turning it into a book, I found it to be a long, tedious process that ultimately produced a lesson that will be exciting to look back on.  The process of turning something into a book is a long process that requires a lot of time and tech savvy. I hope to use this as an assignment for my students in the future.
 
Reflection – Sarah Wieking
Designing a DBL was an intricate process. It spanned over several weeks and involved many steps. There were many struggles but also many rewarding moments that accompanied the process.
The first dilemma was in deciding on a topic. I cannot even remember the first topic that I selected because it was hardly intriguing. Then it was a working progress once my partner and I decided to create a lesson on abortion and birth control regulation throughout history.
The next issue was finding the documents. It was really a struggle to select the documents, advertisements, and laws that were appropriate for the topic and that would accomplish our goals. After that, sometimes we discovered the perfect document but then it was difficult to find the full document from a reliable source.
And finally there was the technological struggle. Once we found the documents and advertisements, deciding what we wanted students to accomplish was easy. However, ibooks author and tying it all together in a project was another story entirely. Adding a new page in the middle of my chapter was a huge hassle because it shifted all of the text out of order. It took a few hours to honestly even figure out how to work with the program and how to simply add documents, pictures, and texts.
However, in the end it looked really great and we were able to successfully get it done. It was a fun experience diving into one topic and asking potential students to find connections, make comparisons, and form arguments based on our selections. I mostly just hope that once I am a teacher it will be easier to find the primary documents I need.
 
Image credit: Oral birth control pills. by Bryan Calabro Wikipedia

Founding Fathers and Mothers: Comparing Declarations

Signing the declaration of their independenceMy Social Studies Methods class at the University of Portland recently published a free multi-touch iBook – Exploring History: Vol III (free iTunes). It features thirteen engaging questions and historic documents that empower students to be the historian in the classroom. For more info on our project and free download of multi-touch iBook and pdf versions click here. To better publicize student work, I’m featuring each chapter in it’s own blog post. (Ninth of 13)

The Declaration of Independence by David Deis
Download as PDF 1MB

Generative Question: How does one document influence other documents written later?

The Declaration of Independence is the founding document of the United States of America. This document has been a major influence on other events in American History. The Seneca Falls Convention was one of the founding events of the American Feminist movement. This event served to promote the early forms of feminism in America as well as give the movement a sense of legitimacy. In this lesson, students will compare the Declaration of Independence and the Seneca Falls Convention’s  ”Declaration of Sentiments.”

Reflection by David Deis

The creation of a DBL (Document Based Lesson) has been an interesting one. Originally, I looked at the task as if I was creating a DBQ (Document Based Question) such as one that would be found on the AP US History test. However, I soon realized that this is only one aspect of a DBL. For a DBL to work, the students must answer a general question through the use of very specific source material. This hindered my generation of ideas with which to create a DBL. I eventually did decide on a solid topic: The effects that a singular event can have on another event that occurs many decades later.

To answer this question, I am having students examine the Declaration of Independence as compared to the Declaration of Sentiments. For this I have having the students read sections of each work as well as images depicting the events in question. The compare and contrast elements of the assignment are meant to help he students come to a deeper understanding that little in history happens in a vacuum. Almost everything has had some sort of influence acted upon it.

I greatly enjoyed the creating of the Book because it allows for a degree of creativity. The use of the this digital medium allows for a more interactive version of a lesson. The use of scrolling texts widgets allows the writer/teacher to place large snippets of text in a condensed area. This allows for the reading to become less daunting than a solid block of static text and it allows the creator to add in additional material—such as images—onto the page. This makes it so the students don’t have to use only text but can use the text in context/conjunction with the images.

Image credit: Library of Congress
Signing the declaration of their independence / Ehrhart with acknowledgements.
Summary:Illustration shows a group of women at a convention presenting their declaration of independence, which states “When in the course of female events it becomes necessary for women to have the ballot they’re going to get it” for the signature of a woman, possibly meant to represent the late Susan B. Anthony, seated at a table in the foreground.
Contributor Names: Ehrhart, S. D. (Samuel D.), approximately 1862-1937, artist and Trumbull, John, 1756-1843, artist
Created / Published: N.Y. : J. Ottmann Lith. Co., Puck Bldg., 1911 June 28. 

Pompeii: Documenting a Disaster

800px-Karl_Brullov_-_The_Last_Day_of_Pompeii_-_Google_Art_ProjectMy Social Studies Methods class at the University of Portland recently published a free multi-touch iBook – Exploring History: Vol III (free iTunes). It features thirteen engaging questions and historic documents that empower students to be the historian in the classroom. For more info on our project and free download of multi-touch iBook and pdf versions click here. To better publicize student work, I’m featuring each chapter in it’s own blog post. (Eighth of 13)

Pompeii by Caleb Wilson
Download as 1MB pdf

In 79 A.D. Mount Vesuvius erupted burying the vibrant Roman city of Pompeii, and many of its citizens beneath tons of volcanic ash. The City of Pompeii was an ancient Roman town near modern day Naples. The following documents are primary sources related to that event. As you analyze and examine each document consider the source and time period of its creation. I want students to use inference from the documents to determine details of the source event, and use evidence to support those determinations.

Reflection by Caleb Wilson

For my DBL I designed a lesson that addresses the disaster that happened in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. Since I am not placed in a history class at the moment I wanted to design my lesson to flow with any history or social studies class that would be studying ancient civilizations or natural disasters. I wanted an interesting lesson that offered a wide range of documents that would allow students to engage fully into the lesson regardless of needs.

Designing a Document Based Lesson, or DBL, has been a great experience. I learned the importance of creating a generative question that serves as a guide for student learning. The hard part was finding documents that best fit this question. I wanted to show the students how devastating the event was and how important it is to look at a variety of sources that are out there. This also puts students into the place of the researcher as they see the evidence that modern historians were faced with in their attempt to understand the catastrophic event.

I struggled with what sources I should attach to this DBL. I wanted a first hand experience of the events along with some “modern” photographs. The hard part for me was finding what photographs I would provide the students for the DBL. There are a lot of photographs out there on Pompeii, of many different artifacts as well as the location itself. I wanted to pick photographs that best capture the event in a student friendly fashion. It was important to include the bread loaf that was fossilized by the ash because it is so relate-able to their lives. I could of simply front loaded a bunch of photographs of fossilized victims of Pompeii; however, I felt that this would just distract the students rather then help them understand the event. This could also have felt very de-contextualized.

If I had to do the DBL again I would like to find a few more documents of related to the event. I am happy with the photographs and video I have. That said, I feel that the for the lesson to be truly complete I would like a few more textual sources for students to go over and maybe contextualize between. I will continue to strive to build lesson that scaffold students knowledge and experience.

Image credit: Karl Brullov, The Last Day of Pompeii (1830-1833) at Google Cultural Institute
Briullov visited Pompeii in 1828 and made sketches depicting the AD 79 Vesuvius eruption. The painting received rapturous reviews at its exhibition in Rome and brought Briullov more acclaim than any other work during his lifetime. The first Russian artwork to cause such an interest abroad, it inspired an anthologic poem by Alexander Pushkin, and the novel The Last Days of Pompeii by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. It depicts a classical topic but exhibits characteristics of Romanticism as manifested in Russian art, including drama, realism tempered with idealism, interest in nature, and a fondness for historical subjects. A self portrait is in the upper left corner of the painting, under the steeple, but not easy to identify.
 

American Popular Music Responds to Pearl Harbor

Remember Pearl HarborMy Social Studies Methods class at the University of Portland recently published a free multi-touch iBook – Exploring History: Vol III (free iTunes). It features thirteen engaging questions and historic documents that empower students to be the historian in the classroom. For more info on our project and free download of multi-touch iBook and pdf versions click here. To better publicize student work, I’m featuring each chapter in it’s own blog post. (Seventh of 13)

A date of Infamy by Mollie Carter
Download lesson as 1.4MB pdf

It’s Dec 10, 1941 you are listening to the radio and hear a song about Pearl Harbor.

Imagine that you were in Hawaii at the time of the attack. Hawaii is not yet a state but America is dazzled by its island beauty; you might even think of it as part of America, your home.

Now picture that you are seeing these images in person, maybe you even saw and heard the planes flying overhead as the attack commenced.

What about the images sticks out to you that might leave a lasting impression? What are you feeling as you see the smoke billowing over the battleships? As the bomb explodes when it hits the ship? You know there is a war going on in Europe and in Asia, but now it’s come to you. What might your thoughts be about the people who attacked you? What ideas or values lead you to these thoughts?   

 

Reflection by Mollie Carter

I have rather enjoyed creating this lesson. The idea was something I became interested in while in college and have not had the space to develop since then. When this project was introduced to me I knew immediately what I would do.

It became more interesting, unfortunately, in the middle of November as Paris was attacked and hateful rhetoric began to come from the republican presidential candidates. It reminded me of some of the rhetoric after the attacks on the twin towers, which as a 12 year old then I clearly remember. As I started my venture into teaching, I realized that many of my students would be born near or after this day that so scarred my memory. I was reminded of my own age as well as my place in the greater timeline of history. It is this realization that directed me to think of another generations “day of infamy” and the ways we teach it to students who have little context for it.

I also find myself wanting to emphasize on historical empathy, or perspective taking. Often times when looking at history, we may look at it with our modern day perspectives and judge the people of the past without seeing things through their eyes. The purpose of this is not to justify their actions but realize that it could still happen to us; that if we forget the past or believe we are above it, we are bound to repeat it.

Creating this document based lesson allowed me to combine both of these ideas of mine into one, ideally powerful, lesson. I am not a Mac person so learning to use the book design software was a bit of a learning curve but in the end I found it worth it to create this easy to access lesson. I hope that whoever may find this will have some deep discussions both about our history and the nature of humans themselves.

Image credit: ”Remember Pearl Harbor
Words by Don Reid. Music by Don Reid and Sammy Kaye. Republic Music Corp., NYC, 1941.
From the Popular American Sheet Music Collection, Department of Special Collections, Miller Nichols Library.

Leo Frank: Anti-Semitism, Class Warfare, Media Hysteria

Leo-frank-police-have-the-strangler-headlineMy Social Studies Methods class at the University of Portland recently published a free multi-touch iBook – Exploring History: Vol III (free iTunes). It features thirteen engaging questions and historic documents that empower students to be the historian in the classroom. For more info on our project and free download of multi-touch iBook and pdf versions click here. To better publicize student work, I’m featuring each chapter in it’s own blog post. (Sixth of 13)

The Lynching of Leo Frank by Jeff Smith 
Download at 3MB pdf

My great-grandfather, William Smith, was one of the lawyers involved in the trial of Leo Frank.

In the early morning of April 27th, 1913, the body of Mary Phagan was found strangled to death in the basement of an Atlanta, GA pencil factory. Next to her body the police discovered two semiliterate notes that seemed at first to have been written by her (“i wright while play with me,” read one) but were plainly the work of someone else.

The investigation focused on two suspects: Jim Conley, the factory’s black janitor who was arrested after he was seen washing out a bloody shirt a few days after the murder, and Leo M. Frank, the factory’s Jewish supervisor and the last man to admit to seeing Mary Phagan alive.

After intensive interrogation, Conley claimed Frank committed the murder when the girl rejected his sexual advances. Conley added that Frank dictated the notes to him in an effort to pin the crime on another black employee.

Frank and Conley were both arrested, and the ensuing trial captivated the entire city of Atlanta. The case also brought to the forefront the ugly realities of bigotry, prejudice, and hatred in the South.

 

Reflection by Jeff Smith

As I began thinking of topics for our document-based lessons, my mind immediately went to a topic with a strong family connection.  My great-grandfather, William Smith, was one of the lawyers involved in the trial of Leo Frank. (representing Jim Conley).

However, this dark chapter in the history of Atlanta, Georgia and the Jim Crow South is heavy material, dealing with racism, bigotry, prejudice and lynching.  All are certainly important issues worthy of a lesson, but the incident is not the most light-hearted affair.  I thought I might prefer to investigate in-depth a more approachable topic, but my family ties made the subject too attractive to ignore.

I was indeed correct in the difficulty of the material, and, as I dug deeper, ugliness after ugliness bubbled to the surface.  The topic also began to touch on a broad range of issues in the South, and focusing my lesson on specific documents and skills became an problem.  I decided to focus on media coverage of the event, comparing the coverage of competing local papers and the unseemly journalism that was practiced.

The most frustrating part of my research experience stemmed from the controversial nature of the topic.  As I google-searched various people and incidents, I noticed odd websites popping up.  I learned a bit more about these websites, and apparently the lynching of Leo Frank continues to be a linchpin topic for hate groups to this day.  There are several phony educational sites, published by hate groups, detailing “evidence” of Frank’s guilt and the conspiracies working to have him pardoned.  Unfortunately, these sites seemed to have hi-definition copies of famous photographs from the case, and it proved difficult sifting through the fake sights to obtain quality documents from reputable sources.

Overall, I felt the iBooks DBQ project was the most meaningful piece of work I produced in the MAT program this semester.  Not only did I learn more about my own family’s history, but I also obtained a useful new tech skill.  

In fact, in my spring placement I’ve decided to have my students use iBooks author to do a project of their own, presenting a story from a revolutionary period in the form of a children’s book.  The kids will create iBook chapters, assemble them into a collection, and present their stories to an elementary school class.  Their work will then be made available for the whole school to peruse, and for next year’s 7th graders to refer to when making their own book.

Image credit: Wikimedia: The Atlanta Georgian, April 29, 1913

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