Industries and Political Machines in the Gilded Age (Under Construction)



We begin now with tying up the Reconstruction Era and slowly turning towards the Gilded Age. This requires that we first look at what we know about this period in America.

(Note: For every assignment where you create something, you should be submitting that assignment to me either online or on paper.

In Class and For Homework

Double Entry Journal

No matter what we're studying, you should always try to take notes on the topic.

Keep a double entry journal where you can write down main ideas and key details (as full sentences) that you learn from the text.
Have notes on the left side of the page and questions on the right.

Write down the title of the texts you use and keep the website links under the titles (if you keep your journal on Word).

Keep page numbers on where you got every piece of information in the text.
If there is no page numbers on a website, write down "No Page Numbers" next to the title.

This journal should always be used with homework assignments, but if it's an in class assignment, you don't necessarily have to keep that information in there.
If you do keep information from in-class texts in your journal, you will receive bonus points for each work you keep. Also, it helps you keep information in order for when you have a research paper due on one of the topics covered in class.

In Class

Word Sort and Word Scavenger Hunt Hybrid
For this assignment, you're going to be working with three or peers to organize the words in the following file found at the bottom: Word Sort and Word Scavenger Hunt

Word Sort, Part I
  1. With your 3 or 4 peers, you'll be cutting out the words and arranging them into groups.
  2. You should try to work your way down to three different groups with a common theme for each group. For example, you might look at a few of those vocabulary words and realize that some of those are related to the Democratic Party. So if you group them together, the group will be called "Democratic Party". (Also, remember to communicate with your peers about why you think a word belongs in a certain group. It's important to have consensus so that nobody is confused at the end of this assignment)
  3. If you don't know some of those words, try to take an educated guess as to what kind of group they belong to. If you have no clue where the strips belong, just put those vocab words into a group you'll call "Don't know" and move on to other words until you're done.
Presenting what you know
  1. So your group is going to be presenting the sets of words that you worked on.
  2. You're going to talk about the words that you put in those sets, and why you chose to put the words in those sets.
  3. When your group is done presenting (and before your group has presented), you'll be listening to other groups talk about how they reasoned that a word belongs in a certain set.
Word Scavenger Hunt
  1. So you and the members of your group are each going to pick out one word that you didn't know anything about (or a word that you guessed on) and you're going to do a bit of research on that topic. You'll be given time to find websites and videos on those topics, but you cannot use Wikipedia.
  2. On top of this, you should spend a few minutes finding an image that you can relate to your vocabulary word. So it can be an actual picture of that topic or it can be a cartoon about that topic; it can be a regular graphic that just helps you to remember what the word means.
  3. When your entire group is done researching, you will begin presenting the information that you found.
  4. After presentations are done, try to edit your word sort to see what you've learned, and how it affects your groups.
Word Sort, Part II
  1. This Word Sort is a bit different than the first one. Instead of your group making up the name of each set, I'm going to provide the names for the sets.
  2. When I call on your group, you're going to send one person up to move around two or three of the terms being projected into the group it belongs in.
  3. That person will then explain why they put those words in their respective sets.
  4. If all your words have been taken up, your representative can tell me why they would move a term from one group to another.
  5. Once your group has presented, or if your group has yet to present, pay attention to what the other groups have researched on their own.

Reciprocal Teaching

Before you begin this assignment, open up the "Reciprocal Teaching Roles" Templare located at the bottom of this page.

So now, you are going to be in different groups than you had been in the last assignment. I want you to be in groups of four max.

Here is the link to Frederick Douglass' autobiography "The Life And Times of Frederick Douglass". You're going to find the Table of Contents, look  for Part II of the book, and find Chapter 14 of Part II.

  1. We are going to exercise each role so that we can make sure that you get a gist for what you have to do.
  2. I'm going to read aloud the text up until the last paragraph on page 485.
  3. After we finish reading, you and your group is going to open up Microsoft Word and your going to pick a role for each file. Title your file for that role. Upload that file to Google Docs and invite your group mates to work on that file.
  4. As we work through each of the roles in class, you are going to edit your file so that you have the information we cover together. Remember to title the portion you write with your own name.
  5. Next, your team is going to rotate roles.
  6. We will then read together until the last paragraph of page 487.
  7. I will then begin calling on groups and naming a role. The person with that role will give some information that they gathered in their work. I'll keep doing that until I've called on each role.
  8. From here on out, I'll let your group work on your own and you will be stopping at the following points in the text:
Page 488, Last Paragraph
Page 490, Last Paragraph
Paage 492, First Paragraph
Page 493, First Paragraph
End of Chapter


Before we begin this assignment, we're going to look at how to ask Higher-Order Thinking Questions. As you go on down the list of question frames, you're going to discover that the lower you go down the image, the more thinking that you require, and the less it's about repeating information. Keep the page open so that you can continue using it for the ReQuest.

Now, I need you to go to the bottom of this page and open up the ReQuest file that says "Role Card" underneath. Study the role card before you open up the news article titled "Treasury Department Renames Building to Honor Emancipated Slaves."

At this point, the whole class is going to silently read the article.

Once you are done, I'm going to let you ask me one question along with follow-up questions if you think I didn't answer your question right. You must confer with the class as to what question will be asked first. You should remember to try and ask a higher order thinking question using the question template.

When you ask me, I will do my best to answer your question from memory (since my computer will be closed). If I answer that question well, I will then get to ask the whole class a question and follow-up questions. I will allow you guys to work together to answer.

We will do this for two more times, and then we'll be done.

Anticipation Guide

The next text we'll be looking at is an article by the New York Times titled "The Country's Troubles".

Before we begin reading together in class, I need you to open up the anticipation guide template at the bottom of this page.
I'll be reading each phrase aloud in class and I'll give you a few seconds to decide if each phrase is true or false. Put your answer into the blank marked "Before".

After sharing your thoughts, the class will begin reading along as I read aloud. What your job is at this point is to make sure that, whenever one of the phrases in the guide is discussed in the article, I want you to stop me so that you can write down if the statement is actually true or false. You'll also be given time to explain why you know your first answer was true or what part about it made it false.

Once we finish reading the article, I want you to go back to your shoulder partner and discuss the answers that you found.
After a few minutes, I'll begin calling on people to share why each statement is true or why it's false. After all the questions are asked, we'll be done.

Summative Assignment

Debate, Part I

This is going to be the thing that wraps up everything we need to know for this Web Quest. If you remember the final sections of "The Country's Troubles," the journalist writes about the argument that the railroad industry should not be regulated and the discussion about unemployed persons was quickly cast aside and ignored because that discussion was based only on estimates. What we're going to do is discuss whether or not regulation would have been beneficial for the nation.
We are going to divide the class into two groups, those that are going to argue in favor of the industries (i.e. anti-regulation), and those that are going to argue in favor of the people (i.e. pro-regulation).

I want your information to cover how the nation was affected by government regulation in the late 1800s and in more modern times.

1800s – For information on this time period, you should be reading the texts I give you in class and write information into your double entry journal. This allows you to keep your notes organized and pick out important details from the text. The following topics will be covered in class regarding this topic.

  • Anti-regulation – Industry magnates like Andrew Carnegie, certain businesses partaking in illegal activity.
  • Pro-regulation – Unions, Strikes held by industry workers, Socialist Party and leaders like Eugene V. Debs
You should also do your own research into the topics if you'd like to strengthen your arguments and gain an edge on the opposing team. For example, you might research the American Tobacco Company and the Standard Oil.

Modern times - For this portion, you'll have to do your own research on modern topics. I will provide those topics below, along with a few resources, but you will have to decide among each other who will research what topic.

Finally, during this time, you should be working to learn how to deliver your information. When you're debating, you should work to establish yourself as a certain kind of speaker. Are you going to appeal to the audience's rational thinking? Will you try to rile up their emotions? This depends on the audience that you have, and the relationship that you have with your audience. In this debate, your audience is made up of your classmates. Based on that fact alone, you should figure out how you're going to convince them that your argument is the better argument. Here are some resources that you can use.

Mini-Research Project

Semantic Feature Analysis and Concept of Definition Map

Semantic Feature Analysis, Part I

For this two to three day assignment, what I'm going to do is start off by looking over the Semantic Feature Analysis Template at the bottom of this webpage. Take note of what you should be looking for when you're reading this with your group of four.

When you're done looking it over, start getting into groups of four and open up the Advanced Placement History summary for the Rise of Unions in the US.

As you popcorn read among each other, I want you to fill out each cell in each row with one of the following four:
Y - Yes
N - No
??? - I can't really tell
Certain words - e.g. You know that the National Labor Union isn't an individual person, but an organized group of people, so you could write "Group" instead of writing down "N". You can use this one if you want.

When your group is done reading, you are allowed to confer with other members to correct any mistakes and to explain information to each other.

When everyone is done, each group will present some information that you recorded, and you should mention any cells that you filled with "???"

Mini-Research Assignment

In class, you're going to be picking one topics found in the sign up sheet found at the bottom of this webpage. When I call you up, you're going to sign up for one of the topic of your choice. Keep in mind that you have to have some background information for your speech arguments, so try deciding which topic best helps you.

With your topic, you're going to find a few sources that you can use to find information online. These are suggested sites, but if you have difficulty accessing them, I will allow you to use other sources for a slightly lowered grade, unless those other sources are primary sources.

You are going to read those resources for homework, and you're going to take notes and ask questions in your double entry journal.

When we met up in class the following day, you should have completed or nearly completed your research. If you haven't, I'll allow you ten minutes to wrap things up.

When those ten minutes are done, you are going to meet up with the group you assigned yourself to on the signup sheet (e.g. if you picked the Pennsylvania Coal Strike of 1875, you are going to join group 4 because that is the number in the middle row, which is titled "Group #". 

You and your group members are then going to begin presenting information to each other in order from the first group member to the last group member (see "Team Member #" to the left of "Group # on the sign up sheet).
As your group is presenting information, you should be taking notes on what they say.

Concept of Definition Map

When your in-group presentations are done, you should open the concept of definition map template found at the bottom of this webpage. You are going to use this graphic organizer in order to determine the most important information in your subject. Collaborate with your group in order to determine what you deem the most important information from your presentations, and fill in the map.

After doing this, you are going to create two summaries based on that information.
The first is a one to two sentence summary using only the information you have on your graphic organizer.
The second summary is going to be a two to six paragraph summary where you include important information and supporting details not found on your concept of definition map.

Semantic Feature Analysis, Part II

At this point, I'm going to begin picking out students from each group to read their second summary for the class. As a student is giving his or her presentation, you should be filling out a second semantic feature analysis.
If you were chosen to give a presentation, quickly fill in the semantic feature analysis portions that you cover in your paper.

If there is any information that is not covered in the presentations, I will call on somebody (aside from the presenter) whose group did cover that information and they will be given the chance to provide a brief overview of that topic.

In Class Assignment

Learning Stations

For this assignment, we're going to be reading a four different texts in each station. We'll be doing the following things: Think/Pair/Share, Jigsaw, Definition Poem, and a Quick Write. Depending on the group you're assigned to, you'll be working down the list until you go through all four strategies.


For this assignment, you're going to be reading this article titled "What is the Tweed Ring?" on your own.
  1. When you're done reading, take a two to three minutes to think about what you've read.
  2. Afterwards, get into pairs and discuss what you learned from the text and what you found was important. If there is an extra person at your station, you're allowed to form one group of three. You should take about two to three minutes to discuss this with your pair.
  3. Afterwards, everyone is going to get together and discuss what seemed most important.
  4. When your finished, you should be researching your topic for the debate


For this assignment, you're going to be reading a newspaper article titled "The Degeneration of Tammany."

What you're going to do is break into groups of three. If there's one or two extra people, take them into your group. This group will be your home group.
Next, each group member is going to pick either number 1, number 2, and number 3. Each number must be picked at least once in a group.

After that, your group is going to break up and your going to join other people who have the same number. So if you picked number one, and you find two other people that also picked number one, they're going to be your new group mates. This group will be your expert group.

In the expert group, you're going to be reading a specific set of pages from the news paper article. The following tells you which group is going to read which pages:
  1. Page 297 - The end of the first paragraph on page 298 (The one that ends with the phrase "So we get on admirably.")
  2. The second paragraph on Page 298 (It starts with "Nothing is now heard of the Tammany Society.") - The last paragraph of Page 300
  3. The end of Page 300 - The end of the first paragraph on Page 303
When you're done reading silently, each member of the expert group is going to discuss what was just read. Talk about the purpose of that section you read, discuss the key points in the two pages, and feel free to use Google to find out the meaning of phrases and words you didn't understand.

Afterwards, you're going to disband your expert group and return to your home group.
In the home group, everybody is going to give a brief summary of what they read, starting with group member 1 and ending with group member 3. If there's an extra person in your group, they can add any extra information that they found important in the portion they read.

When your home group is done summarizing, your group is going to read the final portion of the article, which spans from the top of Page 303 to Page 305. You should then discuss how the final portion brings the first three sections together.

Definition Poem

For this assignment, you're going to be reading a New York Times blog post titled "On this day: January 6, 1872."

When you're done reading silently, your group should discuss some of the characters and places introduced in this short article. When you're done with this discussion, you can form pairs to work on the assignment.
So, for this assignment, you're going to pick out one of the persons or places discussed in the article. It can be anything covered in the article. You're going to write nine lines that describe the topic you selected.
The next portion breaks down the poem into three sections and gives you a template to follow with your poem.

The first line asks what (or who) the subject is.
 - This line should read something like "What is _____?" (e.g. "Who was Thomas Nast?")
 - This line is bold and the font size is slightly larger than the rest of the text.

The following nine lines describe the subject.
 - Say that you pick Thomas Nast as your topic, each line is going to read "(Thomas Nast was) _____________" except that you're not going to write the part in the parenthesis.
 - Each line should be indented.

The final line should exclaim that you sufficiently defined the topic of the poem. Your line should say "That is  _____!"
 - This line should be bold.
 - This line should be indented.

What is _____?
     (Definition 1)
     (Definition 2)
     (Definition 3)
     (Definition 4)
     (Definition 5)
     (Definition 6)
     (Definition 7)
     (Definition 8)
     (Definition 9)
     That is _____!

Two final things you should know before you start writing.
  1. Any information you get from the text or from your own memory about the topic doesn't have to be cited. However, if there isn't enough information in the blog post, and you don't know enough about the topic, you may do some research online. You must cite those sources using Purdue OWL or Googling "How to cite (type of source being used)." Do not use in text citation, but do keep a small bibliography separate from the poem.
  2. If you are doing research, you must make sure that at least the last three lines use information from the article. The other six lines can be information not found in the article.
When everyone is finished writing, each pair should present their work. Each pair should also describe what they think is the most important line in their poem and why they think that.

Quick Write

For this assignment, you should take four minutes to write as much as you know about the two questions. 
  1. What is the graft?
  2. What kind of illegal activity did the Tweed Ring (i.e. William "Boss" Tweed's cronies) engage in?
If you have no idea as to how to answer, write down that you don't know about the topic.

Once everyone is done writing or the four minutes are up, you're going to read a transcript of one of George Washington Plunkitt's conversations regarding the graft. The work "'I Seen My Chances and I took 'em: An Old-Time Pol Preaches Honest Graft"describes the rational that the Tweed Ring had for engaging in illegal activity.
Your group may decide either to popcorn read or to read silently.

After you're done reading, you're going to answer the first two questions on the same piece of paper on which you first wrote your questions.


For this assignment, we're going to look at one of the most contested elections of this time period. This election happened a few years after the events in New York with "Boss" Tweed.
We're going to begin with a few articles from the Louisiana Democrat newspaper that describes the election of Samuel Tilden to the presidency.
(Note: It can be a bit tricky to operate the PDF. Consider dragging across the newspaper by clicking and dragging your mouse. I also recommend using the "+" and "-" buttons on the task bar immediately above the text to zoom in and out.)

You will be reading along while I read the following three articles. The first one is in the first column on the left and is titled "Hallelujah! Now you can crow! 'The Republican Party is Dead!'." The second and third articles are found in the third column of the newspaper. They are titled "An Election Item" and "Intimidation."
(Note: There is some terminology that many people consider racist. I myself consider the terminology to be outdated and racist. However, depending on whether or not I feel comfortable enough, I may or may not read that racist terminology aloud in order to help you understand the form of thinking that some people of the time have had.)

When this is done, you're going to write a poem about Democrats and Republicans. You're poem is going to be based on the things that you gathered from the text and from the tone I took when reading the text. Use the following structure:

NOUN, NOUN, noun, noun
participle, participle, participle
adjective, adjective

The capitalization of the first half is just to help you tell the difference between the two parts of the poem.
Also, for those of you who don't know, a participle is a verb (e.g. run) that has a suffix (e.g. -ing) that can turn it into an adjective (e.g. running in the sentence "The running boy tripped on his untied shoe lace.

So, the first word you will be using is either going to be Republican or Democrat, and the second word is going to be Democrat or Republican. The one you pick for your antonym is going to be written in a negative light and the first word in your poem is going to be described with the positive aspects that it had.
However, you will not be using racist terminology. They may have used it in their literature, but because you are neither living in the 1800s nor working outside of my classroom, I ask that you respect me and your peers by keeping it out of your work.

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