Teacher Notes:

Grade Level: 8 or 11

H/SS Standards Addressed:

A. Habits of the Mind – Analysis Skills: (H/SS Standards Pages 14 & 28)

1. Chronological & Spatial Thinking

2. Research, Evidence, & Point of View

3. Historical Interpretation

B. Content Standards: (H/SS Standards, pages 27, 28, & 34)

8.12 "Students analyze the transformation of the American economy and the changing social and political conditions in the U.S. in response to the Industrial Revolution in terms of…

11.2 "Students analyze the relationship among the rise of industrialization, large scale rural to urban migration, and massive immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe, in terms of…

Language Arts Standards:

Research and Technology

1.4 Students plan and conduct multiple-step information searches using computer networks and modem-delivered services.

2.1 Students write biographies, autobiographies, short stories, or narratives that:

1.0 Listening and Speaking Strategies: Students deliver focused, coherent presentations that convey ideas clearly and relate to the background and interest of the audience. They evaluate the content of oral communication.

Abstract & Purpose of Lesson: This teaching unit supports both the 8th and 11th grade curricula in teaching about the Populists and Progressives. In this 3-4 week unit, students will learn that the Gilded Age was not a golden age in American History. Farmers began to experience economic devastation and tried many strategies to alleviate their woes. Their political party of the Populists was short lived, but many of their ideas received fruition as part of the success realized by the Progressives. There is much in the way of human geography and economics that explains why one group of reformers would be able to harvest a greater degree of success in implementing reforms than another nearly contemporary group. Through the activities contained within this unit, students will not only learn the explanations for these conditions, but will also know how to be effective in affecting change in their own lives. The beauty of the SCORE lessons is that they provide an excellent answer to the perennial administrative question of "how do you plan to use technology to support the History/Social Science Curriculum?"

Learning Objectives:

A. For this SCORE Lesson

B. For the Remainder of the Unit, Affecting Change

Activities to Achieve Lesson – Unit Objectives:

Extension Activities: This lesson is part of a larger unit on reform. In its present form of being taught, presented and evaluated within two weeks, I am thinking of it as an eighth grade lesson. The reason for this line of thinking is that the topic of Populists and Progressives addresses with the H/SS Standards towards the end of the school year. Continuing to be conscious and conscientious of the H/SS Standards, this topic occurs for eleventh graders at the beginning of the school year. If I were using this SCORE lesson in an eleventh grade classroom, I would definitely extend it into a 3-4 week unit, and possibly extend it into 4-6 week unit that would have students compare these reformers’ goals and strategies to those of the 1960’s reformers. In expanding this lesson in such a manner, I would definitely recommend that students begin their biographical searches by accessing the biography web site: http://biography.com. By expanding this lesson into a thematic unit, it would be fairly simple to incorporate assessments representative of multiple intelligences learning theory. However, even with managing this lesson within the timeframe of two weeks, students do have the option of presenting their speeches via multimedia, poster, or other suitable presentation format. Providing students with this amount of liberty also facilitates the full spectrum of learners. This example of one student's presentation may be a useful reference for students beginning their work.
Collegial Background Information: Since this lesson is a part of a larger whole, I am going to refer to all parts of the unit to better enable choices regarding the parts that best suit you and your students.

Classroom Management & Teacher Materials: To better facilitate use of this SCORE lesson, you will notice that the list of Populist & Progressive Personalities are set up in such a manner so that you can download that page, cut apart the choices, and allow students to draw names out of the proverbial hat. However, I think with the list of Progressive concerns, students would need to address a topic as it pertains to their specific reformer. This method seems to help alleviate the boring problem of having several students from the same class report on the same personality and/or topic. Everything you will need to implement this lesson is available to you on this SCORE site. I designed the SKIN Diving form to assist students in taking notes from the internet, without wanting to print everything. If you decide you would like to preview the supplemental materials from the entire unit, please contact me and we can work out an equitable way for that to happen. This complete unit will be available in early 2000.

Number of Class Periods: To implement this SCORE lesson, you will need 7-8 class periods of approximately 50 minutes. To implement the entire unit, you will need 3-4 weeks.

Adaptations for Special Needs: Even though this lesson says that students should be able to make wise choices about their group selections, the teacher would be able to have veto power over obvious "non-wise" choices. In designing this lesson, it seems to me that the task of the Populists may be somewhat simpler than that of the Progressives. For this reason, I might arrange it so that my students with language difficulties and/or lower abilities might be the majority of the Populists groups. In my teaching experiences, I have had students with a variety of physical limitations. For example, I know that when I test pilot this lesson with my students next Spring, I will need to make accommodations for a blind student. I plan to manage this aspect by having her select her topic ahead of time from the rest of the class. This will allow me to download information she will need and get it Brailled so she can participate in this activity.

Interdisciplinary Connections: This lesson easily crosses over with English-Language Arts, as it strengthens students’ literacy and ability to communicate. Since computer technology is the appropriate tool and medium for this lesson, students are also able develop those skills. When using the unit in its entirety, students get to use their mathematical skills as they graph or chart changes that occurred during a specific historical era. Creating a synchronistic timeline, students are better able to explain how some reformers focused on social and political change, while at the same time other great minds produced technology that still affects our lives as we prepare to enter a new century. All of these components together provide students with the skills they will need in order to analyze and contribute to the next millennium.

Rubrics and Assessments: Regardless of whether teachers use only the SCORE lesson or the entire unit, as educators, we want our students to learn the content, have a memorable experience, and be accountable for meeting the learning objectives. From the above listed activities, students have a variety of assessments that range from the imbedded ‘spot checks’ which are more individualistic and the in-class collaborative assignments to the culminating, performance-based rubrics. You may be asking which is which?

Rubric Components: Since rubrics are as individual as the assignment and the assessor, I find it helpful to post my criteria and expectations at the beginning of the assignment. I use this same criteria sheet as my rubric. When I follow this format, assessments are simply a matter of identifying degrees of excellence with regard to the following components: 1) Historical Accuracy & Content; 2) Creativity and/or Exceeds Requirements; 3) Neatness, Mechanics, & Protocol; 4) Analysis and/or Reflection.

Appendix #1.: Populists Biographies:

A. William Peffer: "Father of Populism" Peffer was considered by many as the leader of the Populist Party. He was also a farmer, teacher, lawyer, judge, senator, writer, journalist, editor, and orator. In 1880 he served as an elector for the Electoral College. He also owned several different newspapers over the period of his life. Peffer was often the subject of political cartoons as he was quite controversial for his times and also had a very long distinct beard.

B. Ignatius Donnelly: "Sage of Nininger" Donnelly was a chief activist and organizer for the Populist Party. Donnelly was a land speculator, author, surveyor, lawyer, journalist, orator, governor, candidate for Vice President. He wanted an immigration bureau, correction of Reconstruction abuses, and an appropriation to feed veterans. Famous quotes: "Liberty must overcome all her foes or perish from earth." "School houses in this generation will prevent wars in the next."

C. Davis "Bloody Bridles" Waite: "Bloody Bridles" was his nickname because of a speech he gave when he proclaimed that "It is better … that blood should flow to the horses’ bridles rather than that our national liberties should be destroyed." Waite was a governor, teacher, farmer, storekeeper, journalist, and a judge. He fought for an eight hour work day labor law, prohibition of child labor, an amendment of mortgage laws, the initiative & referendum, the reduction of and better accountability for government expenses. He also opposed gambling and vice because he thought these were the major reasons for poverty.

D. Annie LePorte Diggs: Diggs was a political strategist, a newspaper editor, orator, writer, women’s suffragist, and secretary to the Populist Party. She was born in Ontario, Canada on Feb. 22, 1848. Diggs received her education from a governess, a convent, and public schools. She was petite, feminine, soft spoken, and humorous. Annie married Alvin Diggs (a postal clerk) on Sept. 21, 1873; they had three children. She and Mary Lease traveled to California with James Weaver on behalf of the Populist Party. She attacked what she called the "conspiracy of silence" in demanding that the government become more involved in helping protect its people against exploitation and poverty. She helped relate farmers’ concerns to larger social problems. Her primary concerns were temperance, women’s suffrage, and cooperative colonies. She also traveled extensively helping to spread Populist ideas, which led to later reforms. She lived in England from 1902-1904. She died in Detroit on Sep. 7, 1916.

E. Jerry Simpson: "Sockless Socrates" loved reading, was as poet, politician, farmer, and a congressman. His motto, which he adopted from his father, was "Integrity, Industry, Independence". He expanded this motto to include that of "To thine own self, be true."

Appendix #2: Non-Cocktail Party Instructions:

Non-Cocktail Party Instructions:

Prohibition was one of the major concerns for both the Populists and Progressives. It is for this reason that the Non-Cocktail Party works as a culminating event for this lesson. Students have researched brief biographical sketches about a notable Populist or Progressive reformer. They have also created a mask and/or costume symbolic of their reformer. This is a culminating activity for either this SCORE lesson or the Affecting Change thematic unit. At this "mixer" students mingle (in the persona of their reformer) and share biographical information, notable quotes, political views, and/or reform concerns. As a warm up (or a previous night’s homework) have students list three statements or quotes about their particular reformer. Have students also come up with three biographical questions of interest about another reformer. This activity can be best managed by having one small group mingle with another small group for a predetermined amount of time of 5 minutes. For the first rotation, each group’s historian will have a clipboard with which to complete the "Mix & Mingle" form. On this first rotation, the group’s speechwriter will serve as a "Persona Police Officer" to assure that their group members stay in persona. If a group member is not staying in persona, they can be reminded, but if the problem persists, points may be deducted, the offender may be asked to abstain from one or more rotations, and/or provided an alternative assignment. After this time has passed, a signal would be given for students to rotate and mingle with another group. With each rotation, the clipboard and the "Persona Police" responsibility will be passed to other group members to allow each person the opportunities to be of service to their group. This activity is designed to last about 20-25 minutes. In a regular class period, this time amount will allow for time to explain expectations (polite, courteous, stay in persona, be an active listener, etc.), have about four rotations, and debrief the activity. To debrief the activity, allow the groups time to discuss their "Mix & Mingle" forms in order to determine and vote for the most influential Populist and Progressive reformers. The most influential Populist and Progressive reformer could be awarded with a small reward such as extra credit, a certificate, homework pass, or book.

Download the Non-Cocktail Party Mix & Mingle Accountability Form and Search & Knowledge Integration Notes for the Web Forms (PDF)


Freda Kelly, H/SS SCORE, 1999

Truman Middle School, Fontana USD
16224 Mallory Drive, Fontana, Ca. 92335
909-357-5190, freda_kelly@yahoo.com

I want to especially thank Carol Krup for all her input, suggestions, and patience in helping me to develop this lesson. Most importantly, I want to thank Peg Hill for her wisdom, guidance, and leadership in allowing me to participate in this activity. Seeing this end product, I am really pleased that she guided me into preparing this lesson. Participating in this SCORE institute has been a major turning point in my teaching career and professional development