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Part V

20 Model Lessons Using Primary Sources on Wisconsin History

On the following pages are 20 lessons that use specific primary sources from Wisconsin history to develop students’ critical thinking skills. Each lesson includes:

  • the topic in U.S. or Wisconsin history that the lesson deals with

  • the basic historical facts about the event

  • links to short background articles where you’ll find the basic facts

  • links to specific primary sources for students to examine and analyze

  • background on that document (who, what, where, when, why)

  • links to two related documents created by the same historical events

  • 8 to 12 questions that foster critical thinking about the document

  • Wisconsin 8th grade and 12th grade standards that the lesson helps to meet

Use the ʺ30 Classroom Techniques That Encourage Critical Thinkingʺ to adapt these models to your specific classroom situation.

The 20 Lessons (the type of document to analyze is given in parentheses):

  • 1.

    1673: Marquette and Joliet Explore the Mississippi (travel narrative)

  • 2.

    1702: The Effects of the Fur Trade (missionaryʹs letter)

  • 3.

    1763: Pontiac Urges Wisconsin Indians to Fight (speech)

  • 4.

    (1783) 1846: Should Women Be Allowed to Own Property? (lawyerʹs speech & womanʹs letter to editor)

  • 5 .

    1827: Joseph Street Tries to Prevent the Black Hawk War (manuscript report)

  • 6.

    1850: The U.S. Government Deceives the Ojibwe (manuscript petitions & letters)

  • 7.

    1854: A RealLife ʺLittle Houseʺ Story (pioneer memoir)

  • 8.

    1862: A Wisconsin Soldier Refuses to Give Slaves Back to Their Owners (military correspondence)

  • 9.

    1865: Should Black Citizens Be Allowed to Vote? (newspaper article)

  • 10.

    1869: Should Wisconsinʹs Forests Be Saved? (scientific report)

  • 11.

    1881: Who Built the Effigy Mounds? (newspaper article)

  • 12.

    1886: Should Government Use Violence to Suppress Demonstrations? (memoirs)

  • 13.

    1890: Englishonly in Wisconsin Schools? (political speech)

  • 14.

    1910: Should Native American Children Be Mainstreamed? (newspaper article)

  • 15.

    1911: Should Women Be Allowed to Vote? (political flyer)

  • 16.

    1918: German Language Books Burned in the Street (photograph)

  • 17.

    1935: What Should the Government Do about Unemployment and Poverty? (government officialʹs memoir)

  • 18.

    1950: Communist and AntiCommunist Propaganda (political campaign literature)

  • 19.

    19661984: Desegregating Wisconsin Schools and Neighborhoods (interviews).

  • 20.

    19751990: Accommodating New Immigrants (Hmong teenagerʹs memoir)

Several pages at the end of this section integrate these lessons into specific units within the most popular U.S. history textbooks.


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