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"The Big Bridge Scheme": The Building and Impact of the Brooklyn Bridge

Through the course of this lesson, students will study the development, construction, and legacy of the Brooklyn Bridge. They will use archival newspaper articles to learn about different points of view concerning the Bridge's construction. Students will also use Web sites and video excerpts to learn about the impact that the bridge had on the lives of the people living in Brooklyn and Manhattan.


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The Madness that Built the Empire State

Through activities presented in this lesson, students will become familiar with the history and design of the Erie Canal, and gain an appreciation of the scope of the plan proposed by Governor De Witt Clinton. Students will engage in critical thinking activities using primary documents, watch video segments, examine journal entries, and study the lyrics to ďThe Erie Canal SongĒ to discover the rationale behind this costly proposition.


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Rollin' on The River - the Hudson River!

In this lesson, students will study a map of the Hudson River and the thirteen colonies. Then they will examine the role steamboats played in the development of the young United States. Finally, students will make a small model engine to show how these boats functioned on the Hudson River.


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What was Behind the Golden Door?

By examining Web sites and video clips throughout this lesson, students will become familiar with the challenges faced by new immigrants when they arrived at Ellis Island. Students will adopt the persona of an immigrant child to understand the reasons underlying why families left their homelands, and empathize with the emotional plight of immigrants. Students will then create a scrap book, chronicling the journey of immigrant children and their arrival at Ellis Island.


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Liberty Defined

What is liberty? Through the use of online primary source documents and the poem "The New Colossus," this lesson will examine what liberty means to students and to others. They will view video segments and learn about the history of one of these symbols - the Statue of Liberty - and they will express their own views of liberty through creative writing.


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The House at 97 Orchard Street

This lesson is designed to give your students a "real time" look into the past. Through an interactive Web site, students will have the opportunity to look at the living quarters and belongings of a group of immigrant families living in one tenement building spanning the years from 1830 to 1940. They will also be able to dig into the history of each family for a more personal and in-depth view of just why these people came to America, what they expected, and what they found upon their arrival.


A Dream and an Idea: Searching for a Roadmap to Create a Country

The struggle to create a nation continues at the Constitutional Convention as the founding fathers present differing visions of governance. Conflict gives way to compromise as three branches of government with two houses of Congress emerge for a new and fragile United States. Through viewing and discussion of the FREEDOM: A History of US video and investigation of the Web resources, students will develop a deeper understanding of the formation and infancy of the United States.


Economy vs. Humanity: Exploring the Triangle Trade and The Middle Passage

The Triangle Trade, though morally reprehensible, was integral to the growth of the economies of the United States and Great Britain. The last leg of that trek, known as the Middle Passage, retains the infamy of having been a horrific journey for Africans who had been free in their countries but were being enslaved in the Americas. Through the video series, FREEDOM: A History of US and the companion Web site utilized in this lesson, students will explore the economic importance of the Triangle Trade and the experience of enslaved Africans who were forced to endure the Middle Passage.


Out with the Old, in with the New: The Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution

As a new nation was born, the founders of the United States struggled to create a governing document strong enough to hold a country together, while insuring the country's citizens' freedom from tyranny. Through the use of the FREEDOM: A History of US video and Web site, students will develop a better understanding of the struggles, issues, leaders, and results of the process of creating the United States Constitution. In this lesson, students will review the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation, and learn about the major debates during the writing of the Constitution.


Catch a Falling Star

In the first half of the 19th century, fugitive slaves were taught to look for the North Star as they fled toward free states and Canada. Through the activities presented in this lesson, students will analyze video segments, visit Web sites, and participate in hands-on activities in order to better understand the experiences slaves had on their hopeful road to freedom.


Ending Apartheid:
One Step for Mankind - One Giant Leap for Women

1998 marked the 150th Anniversary of a movement by women to achieve full civil rights in the United States. In South Africa, a country that was ruled until 1990 by apartheid, not only did laws separate whites and blacks, but men and women were also separated by both political and ethical beliefs. In this lesson, students will explore how famous women helped pave the way for progress in many areas of our everyday lives. Through video and the Internet, students will explore and research famous women and then construct animated storybooks about these women and their contributions to society


Say Cheese

In the days of colonial and frontier settlers, the food preparation technology we take for granted today was not available. This lesson looks at the differences in the working and eating conditions between the late 1800s and today. The lesson culminates in a hands-on cheese-making experience and tasting activity. Yum!



Fire in the Sky: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Causes and Consequences

Through the activities presented in this lesson, students will be become familiar with the conditions facing factory laborers in the early part of the 20th century, as well as the causes and consequences of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. In addition, students will contextualize the Triangle fire in relation to their own personal histories and knowledge of 20th century events.



It's a Beautiful Day in MY Neighborhood

This lesson is based on the video series A Walk Through Harlem. After viewing portions of the documentary, the students will take key aspects from the video and use the techniques to create their own video-produced piece.


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