Hull House: Problem Log

Living Democracy in the Progressive Era

By Shelagh A. Gallagher, Ph.D., Dana L. Plowden

Order Code: 4700
Class sets 10 or more paperback books: $7.00 each
Class set order code: 4700S

The Problem Log for the Hull House problem-based learning (PBL) unit is where students record their work. It contains activity sheets, formal assignments, and other pages that are essential to students as they progress through the unit.


National Association for Gifted Children Curriculum Award-Winner!

This unit focuses on the Progressive Era of American history through a specific problem faced by the Board of Directors of the landmark settlement house in Chicago known as Hull House.

Jane Addams, Hull House co-founder, has lobbied for labor reform, and as a result, a prominent Chicagoan has threatened to withdraw financial support. Hull House had been planning to start programs to improve health, advocate for better working conditions, provide educational programs, support better juvenile justice, and improve housing. Now there is funding available for only one of these projects.

As members of the Board of Directors, the students must decide which project to fund. As they consider their options, they learn about the living and working conditions of America’s immigrant poor during the Progressive Era through the study of primary resources, letters, cartoons, and newspaper articles. Using guided discussions and graphic organizers, they synthesize this information as they compare the consequences of a variety of social ills. In doing, so they uncover underlying issues and prejudices and discover the inequities of the time.

An optional kicker, or twist in the story, introduces an interdisciplinary connection through The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.


Problem-Based Learning
Hull House Problem-Based Learning Unit
10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
5, 6, 7, 8, 9
History, Problem-Based Learning, Problem-Solving
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