Welcome homeschoolers, teachers, and history buffs! Last week's blog was all about the science behind the Spanish Flu. This week, it's all about the history surrounding it. I did a ton of research before and during the writing of BREATHE so that I could understand this complex period in U.S. history. Pamela Simon, history teacher extraordinaire, was one of my beta readers for BREATHE and specifically helped me tighten up the Jewish element in the book.
I asked Ms. Simon if she would create a lesson plan to go along with BREATHE. If you are studying World War I and/or the Women's Suffrage movement (remember, that in 1918 the 19th Amendment hadn't passed yet), here are some great resources and guidelines to help you get your head wrapped around this complex time in history. These are resources that Ms. Simon uses in her high school classroom here in Phoenix. Some of the materials and resources would also be appropriate for younger students, if you are homeschooling children of different ages levels.
P.S. Did you miss last week's health and science curriculum ideas and resources for BREATHE? You can go HERE to find them.
U.S. History Curriculum
Do these fulfill standards? YES
Social Studies standards vary state by state, but these activities cover the following:
America’s involvement in World War I
State-specific history (western states only)
Common Core standards for speaking and listening, reading, writing, and language. The activities in these lessons all use at least one of these activities, and usually fulfill a combination of them.
Educators can select at which level they would like their students performing, to determine which standards are being fulfilled.
This is a fully-structured lesson plan with the following description:
In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson declared that neutrality in the Great War was "no longer feasible" and that the U.S. had to intervene to make the world "safe for democracy." What changed between 1914 and 1917 that caused the U.S. to enter WWI? In this lesson, students address this question as they corroborate a textbook account with two documents: a speech by President Wilson and an excerpt from Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.
An account is required to access the material, but it’s free.
SHEG is a great organization that provides support for history education.
Another great plan with tons of primary source media
Uses online archives to explore why women in the west were granted the right to vote prior to women back east.
This one is a little harder to do with only a few kids, but that part can be adjusted as needed.
The last activity is to take all of the provided information and come up with a unified theory as to why the west granted suffrage first, which is a great tie-in to science and the battle against the flu.
I’m not including them here, but there are two additional lessons linked from the Pro- and Anti-Suffrage lesson that can be used for a more general women’s equality topic.
Includes great materials and guiding questions for all grade levels
Activities included for K-5 and 6-8, not for 9-12
For 9-12, the educator can take one or two of the discussion questions provided and have their student use three or four of the materials to answer that question. An educator has everything they need to put together a Document Based Question (DBQ) or web quest on this topic.
Some of the middle school activities can be adjusted for high school, too.
I’m not as big a fan of this resource as I am the others, only because the others provide more structured lesson plans. This is great for someone who knows they want to cover a topic, but wants the freedom to do whatever they want with the resources.
So there you go. Whether you are looking for primary documents to aid in your own research or looking for engaging ways to make history relevant for your students, I hope you will check Ms. Simon's resources out. If you are interested in seeing how all this connects into BREATHE, you can buy the paperback HERE and the eBook HERE. As always, if you find this post helpful or have other resource suggestions for me, please send me a note or tag me on social media (links above).