Social Studies Lesson Example

Focus and Objective: Explain and apply different methods that historians use to interpret the past, including the use of primary and secondary sources, points of view, frames of reference, and historical context.

Introduction: Directly from the National Archives: Americans have worked just about everywhere:
  • on farms, boats, and skyscrapers;
  • in mines, offices, and factories;
  • and at home,restaurants, and hospitals.
Where we worked affected when we worked, with whom we worked, and the nature of that work. For example, in 1870 only a handful of factories employed over 500 workers. By 1900, 1,063 factories employed between 500 and 1,000 people. During the first half of the 20th century, many African American women worked as domestics in private homes, but during World War II, they took advantage of new opportunities at shipyards and factories.
By the end of the 20th century, a dramatic shift took place, sending individuals who had worked in factories, plants, and mills into jobs in offices, stores, and restaurants.
Photographers have always been inspired by worksites. The camera can capture the size and power of the factory, the speed of the assembly line, the dark of the mine, and the close confines of the cubicle.

  1. Choose one of the photos from

    external image The_Way_We_Worked-20090224-222636.jpg
  2. Create a screencast that identifies characteristics within the photo that might tell you what period of time it was taken.
    • I want you to think out loud and describe key aspects of the photo that stand out from our current time period.
    • Think out loud about the differences and similarities that might tell us about the time period the picture was taken.
  3. Finally, I want you to compare and contrast the historical workplace photo with what you imagine your future workplace will look like.
    • Think out loud about what your work place will look like.
    • Think out loud about what kinds of skills the different workers would need to have based on their workplace.

Rubric: Forthcoming