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Hull House: Teacher Manual
Living Democracy in the Progressive Era
The Teacher Manual for the Hull House problem-based learning (PBL) unit contains detailed instructions on how to implement the unit. It describes how to conduct the project, how to help students develop problem-solving skills, and how to guide students to consider all sides of the situation.
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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.