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America: The Story of Us ~ Episode 7 "Cities" Lesson Plans


The next unit in the America: The Story of Us series was Episode 7: Cities. We actively spent two weeks on this unit. However, we started reading our Living Book for this unit early when we gave up on My Antonia while studying Episode 6.



We loved our book for this unit on the early Cities. We read City of Orphans by Avi.


It did a great job of giving the reader the flavor of immigrant life during this time, the poverty they suffered, and tenament life. It was also a great story about the newsies of the time. The setting was in the streets of New York City and the Waldorf. Great book!

We watched the entire Episode 7, did the discussion questions/video quiz for the episode and vocabulary words. These can be printed by going here. The Episode Guides are down the left hand column on the site.

All "notebooking pages" are printed from Advanced World History Vol. 2 from Hold that Thought!

All "America's Heritage" references are materials printed from America's Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty by The American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc.

Dawson also does Internet research to help him obtain information for his note booking pages. He is required to write 8-9 sentences since he is in the 9th grade.


We did the following activities:

* The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire notebooking page
* Statue of Liberty Architecture notebooking page
* "The Context of the Statue of Liberty", "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, and Statue of Liberty Worksheet from America's Heritage
* Photo Analysis of five photos from How the Other Half Lives


Books Read (maybe not the whole book, but reading through it for notebooking pages and general information):

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire by Jessica Gunderson
You Wouldn't Want to be a Worker on the Statue of Liberty, by John Malam
How the Other Half Lives, by Jacob A. Riis


Videos Watched:


* Gangs of New York (***DISCLAIMER*** This movie has LOTS of violence, blood, and nudity. I watched it with my son as a historical piece, not as a raunchy flick, and he treated it as such. It gives a very REAL account of what was going on during those times, and the impact of discrimination. The racial and religious tension of that time was bound to cause an explosion. Very RIVETING!)


* "Triangle Fire" (American Experience)

** These lesson plans were based on planning for an American History course for a 9th grade boy. I allow some activities to be under his grade level and some to be above in order to give him a fun, exciting, and well-rounded understanding of the materials.




Previous Lesson Plans Posted:
Lesson 1 ~ (Episode 1) Rebels
Lesson 2 ~ (Episode 2) Revolution
Lesson 3 ~ (Episode 3) Westward 1
Lesson 4 ~ (Episode 3) Westward 2
Lesson 5 ~ (Episode 4) Division
Lesson 6 ~ (Episode 5) Civil War 
Lesson 7 ~ (Episode 6) Heartland

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