Lesson Plan

Using Primary Sources: Wide Open Town

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This Using Primary Sources: Wide Open Town lesson plan also includes:

A picture speaks a thousand words, no matter how old! Scholars use political cartoons from the era of Prohibition and the Temperance Movement to analyze what, a primary document (in this case, a bootlegger's notebook) is telling them about history. The first in a three-part series examines both primary and secondary sources to determine just how to think like a historian. 

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Extend the lesson by incorporating political cartoons from today's world and analyzing their meaning
  • Create a series of questions about primary and secondary sources and have students answer them while watching A Wide Open Town 
  • Laminate the photos of the political cartoons and place around the room prior to the start of the lesson
Classroom Considerations
  • In the video, when Elyse interviews David, he answers "hell no" 
  • Group sizes should be no larger than three
  • Video, A Wide Open Town, is quick and to the point 
  • Resource contains printable materials, such as Analyze Primary Sources, to use in the classroom 
  • Sometimes the links are hard to find. Look around, you can usually find them