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Lesson Plans
Streamlines and Breadlines
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students


Students will learn about the growth and development of cities in America from 1920 through 1940. Immigration, the migration of African-Americans from the South to the urban centers of the North, industrialization, and the Great Depression all affected cities during this period. This lesson will culminate in a student essay that compares two contrasting images from this time period. Students will view two sets of images from Thirteen/WNET's AMERICAN VISIONS Web site. Students will choose one image from each group, and compare and contrast the images in an essay.
Grade Level:

9-12

Subject Matter:

Social Studies

Curricular Uses:

American History: the Great Depression, northern migration, industrialization

Learning Objectives



Students will learn:

  • how to use the Internet as a tool for research; the students will be exposed to the wide range of information available on the Internet: photographs, artwork, text, and virtual reality.

  • about the depression, urbanization, and the northern migration.

  • how the daily realities of immigrants, migrants, and workers contrasted with projected images of towering skyscrapers and industrial growth.

  • to write an expository essay that compares and contrasts two works of art in their historical context.

  • about the conditions of tenement life.

  • to make inferences by culling research from several sources in the development of an essay.