Submitted work by PeterC

Analyzing Objects

Porcelain

Musket Ball

Smallpox

Nail

Reaper

Shirtwaist

Transistor

Coffee

Record

Tire

Dishwasher

Dress

Stereograph

Stone

Mail

Shoe

Question 1:
Historical thinking is the review and analysis of historical people and events, with a design on understanding the rationale for past actions.
Question 2:
Objects can encourage historical thinking by adding a sense of realism to the study of history, be it something small like a Civil War-era bullet or big like visiting a historical site (e.g., a fort, town, monument, etc.). Objects can make the past, the dead, come to life and transform what one reads in a textbook into something nearer and, literally, tangible.
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Question 1:
It has carvings/inscriptions; it is protected by a fence; it is maintained (mulched/flowered)
Question 2:
This could be a boundary marker, or mark a place of significance to a historical event.
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Question 1:
Her dress is white, and she has a badge/scarf pinned to her advocating for suffrage.
Question 2:
She's calling for the right to vote; if we assume she's American, then in the big picture of history this photo represents one of several times that voting rights and democracy expanded.
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Question 1: Neat old record, of a soprano over an orchestra. Cheap too, only $1.25!
Question 2:
Development of the arts in America, technological innovations, internal migration, etc.
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Question 1:
The dishwasher is white, appears to be plugged in to the wall socket, has a thin door that doesn't appear to have sound insulation, and probably has a metal door to match what I would guess are metal cabinets of the era.
Question 2:
Technological advancement, innovation to make work/home life easier, domestic sphere, suburbia, etc.
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Question 1: An old tin; shows wear. Old type style.
Question 2: When was it from? Was it war? Homefront rationing? No plastic--a different era.
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Question 1: Long shadow; moon?
Question 2: American technological advancement.
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Question 1: It has gears and pulleys.
Question 2: Agrarian life, if not directly related to American slavery?
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Question 1:
Still agree with original comments, but would add "...for past actions and how these actions have affected our present and/or our future."
Question 2:
Still agree, but would add that in utilizing objects in our teaching, we can engage the imagination and encourage students to think about a time period of which they know little or nothing, in an effort to transport the mind to that time period so that the peple/events studied are personified.
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Question 1:
Still agree with original comments, but would add "...for past actions and how these actions have affected our present and/or our future."
Question 2:
Still agree, but would add that in utilizing objects in our teaching, we can engage the imagination and encourage students to think about a time period of which they know little or nothing, in an effort to transport the mind to that time period so that the people/events studied are more real, more whole.
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Question 1:
While the stone is little more than a rock designating a border, for a student learning about the creation and development of the United States this marker is representative of divergent political ideologies, divisiveness, war, etc., and all the challenges and conflicts that have been a part of our nation's growth.
Question 2:
Besides this lesson on DC's development--ideologically, politically, and economically--students could explore maps of cities and discern where certain groups of people lived over time, exploring how race, war, economics, immigration, climate, etc., have shifted boundaries and led to the development of ethnic neighborhoods, divisions by socioeconomic class, etc.
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Question 1:
The dress/badge are not only representative of women's demands for suffrage, and a signal of virtue, but as a package--women working together to achieve several goals--this photo represents women's empowerment over their own lives and situations.
Question 2:
Newspapers/stories of the events, analysis of the voting records by states, and eventually federal, from women, etc.
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Question 1:
Not only can this record be a part of a lesson on technology, it can also be linked to consumerism, immigration, race/ethnic relations, and American identity.
Question 2:
Manifest records, entry surveys/lists, census records, military registrations, cartoons, eugenics texts/records, etc.
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Question 1:
Hadn't thought about the tech in a post-war world, but the pictures/video remind me that post-WW2 the US and other nations began a series of culture wars, where materialism was a definite battle ground.
Question 2:
Reminded me of the back and forth between capitalism and communism during the Cold War. Also, great connection between America's domestic production capacity and the vast markets that were available around the world, but not quite ready to buy our things.
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Question 1:
Gender roles. Shift in what women--typically at home--were expected to do each day. A shift in what Americans expected--fresh vs. pre-made
Question 2:
Whoo -- big question. By limiting analysis we jump to stereotypes and we miss easily 50% of the input from the era. And, to the point, the demographic that was more than likely involved with these products doesn't get a chance to give their input.
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Question 1:
Quite amazing tech advancements, as innovation breeds more innovation. Example: how about the original 1860s-era Gatling cannon, advanced and miniaturized into today's nose-mounted, and wing-mounted machine gun of the U.S. military via plane and helicopter, respectively.
Question 2:
Were there previous materials/sources that were copied, or was the work entirely original? What was the reason to begin the research/design, and what was the goal of the designed product in the patent?
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Question 1:
Innovation breeds innovation, breeds change. Regional/national shifts occur due to even the slightest changes to the design of something; sometimes this leads to sectional differences, or even war.
Question 2:
Well, since we're talking about innovation, crop sowing methods allowed for a better production per acre of farmed land, thus allowing for better fed children and healthier families.
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Title: Objects in the classroom - Cunningham
Grade Level: High
Short Answer:
I use objects during various lessons, both tangible and images, in order to get students to think about the lives and times of the people and eras we study. It's important to get the students engaged with the material, and often it is easy to do that by getting "off track" from a lesson, even if just for a few minutes, to explore a photo, painting, war medal, helmet, etc. Doing this allows students to develop a connection between the history lesson and the lives/times of the people depicted in a picture, when/why/how someone earned a medal or wore a helmet. By going "off track" the students are actually gaining a deeper understanding of the content and making a more lasting memory of the past.
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Title: Stone response
Grade Level: High
Short Answer:
This module's artifacts are a pretty neat lesson about boundaries and political divisiveness and would make a good station/centers activity. After reviewing the artifacts and reading the captions--material that indicates the class is on the verge of studying the Civil War--students could then address in a short writing or longer response the steps that led America from indentured servitude in the colonies, to Constitutional compromises, to eventual war, demonstrating their knowledge of, and the connections between, the various rebellions and political maneuvers that created an America so ideologically divided that political division and war resulted.
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Title: Fashion Forward
Grade Level: High
Short Answer:
After examining the object and others like it, students would be tasked with making the connections we have done here in this unit--how does the dress connect to the past, to democratic ideals, to the defying of social mores, etc.--and this would make a great jumping off point for a lesson on how style can represent social change, and can be an identifier or label for those fighting for that change. Specific examples, using photographs or actual objects, could include contrasting the long hair and tie-dye clad generation coming of age in the '60s counter culture to the straight laced button down and slacks of their parents; the afros, berets and black leather gloves of the Black Power movement, challenging American segregation in the '60s and '70s; or the spiked hair and diy clothes worn by '80s punks as they lashed out at the resurgence of American conservatism under Reagan. Students could submit short responses to each object, and then write a longer response about social change movements.
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Title: Do You Like American Music?
Grade Level: High
Short Answer:
I've actually always wanted to conduct a lesson in American history that was based on or around music. Students could be randomly assigned a song that in some way touched on American history or culture--some examples off the top of my head include Don McLean's 'American Pie', Bruce Springsteen's 'Born in the USA', Billy Joel's 'We Didn't Start the Fire', CSNY's 'Ohio', CCR's 'Fortunate Son', or Woodie Guthrie's 'Ludlow Massacre' to name a few--and students, in groups or alone, would listen to the assigned song, research the lyrics, discern the meanings/events, and then present to class their findings in several categories. These categories could include the year the song was written versus the year(s) of the events discussed; is the song pro-topic or protest music, and why; does the musician have any history with the subject matter; does the song tie into a larger era or event (e.g., Vietnam, Cold War, American expansion and labor issues, migration, etc.). After presenting to the class--by handing out lyric sheets, performing the song, and either leading a PPT presentation or poster--students would be tasked to find a song on their own that related to history or even to write lyrics for a song about a topic in the course that they found interesting, upsetting, surprising, etc.
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Title: A Tale of Two Economies
Grade Level: High
Short Answer:
I appreciate the layout of this module, in that students could brainstorm about the use of a single product (e.g., the dishwasher) based on the knowledge they had acquired on recently completed Great Depression and World War II units. Describing the division of the world into post war capitalist and communist camps through the development of consumer goods--which ties into ideas of emergent globalism; the fact that American production was intact after the war, combined with a greater appreciation for the destruction in Europe and Asia; how mass production works and the existence of a co-ed labor force, etc.--could help students gain a greater understanding for the political side of the Cold War. Students could in small groups pick a (new) technology from the early post-war era and discuss its role in the Cold War, be it in the domestic, tech, art sphere or something else, and present to the class that object's use as weapon, propaganda, means of cultural change.
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Title: What's in your freezer? (Samuel L. Jackson voice, obviously)
Grade Level: High
Short Answer:
Keeping it simple, I'd have students look in their fridges and freezers and see what sort of food they have at the ready. Are they and their families prepared for shortages in the case of war? Is it fresh food, canned, or dehydrated? How about donations? Need them? Going to make them?

Does the current situation compare to the troops of WW2 or Korea? How do the Japanese internees play a roll in this?

This assignment--given that students are learning a very broad overview about the beginning of Nazi/Axis aggression, Allied response, and actual WW--is exploring minutia, but it could be interesting to have them research the current state of these "war era instant" materials... I've had a lot of Nescafe coffee in Russia and eaten SPAM in Hawaii... what makes this real for students?
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Title: Innovation breeds innovation
Grade Level: High
Short Answer:
I would have students submit a project--on paper, board presentation, PPT, etc.--that explored the development of a current technology and the people behind that development. An example could be Edward Jenner's smallpox vaccine to today's modern medicine (though we lack a vaccine for current events), or even the change from Bell-era electronics and dial telephones to modern smart phones, which are ultimately nothing more than pocket-sized computers that happen to make calls and take pictures (shhh... I don't want Siri to hear me.)
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Title: Changes you can get behind
Grade Level: High
Short Answer:
This is a great unit to engage students in the ideas of changes in American/world economic, intellectual, and technological change, as well as a lesson in shifts in government, and how each has affected the other as nations deal with a world that is continuously evolving. From a hand reaper to the mechanical reaper, from the abacus to the smart phone's calculator, there are constant changes to our reality -- some for the faster/better, some for the worse -- that need to be explored. By exploring this history students may gain an understanding of the time in which tech developed-- Mario Brothers, sending stamped letters, and the original AIM--and an appreciation for the fact that internet isn't all that old, and maybe come to realize that the entire world *isn't* on the other end of their phone.
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