HS – Joining the War Effort, One Peach Pit at a Time

Peach Pit Hogshead

TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
World War I
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Hartford, Windham, Statewide
Related Search Terms
World War One, WWI, First World War, Great War, Home Front, Gas Masks, Peach Pits, Women, Work, Industry, Hartford Rubber Works, How Connecticut Fought the War, How Lives Changed
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
World War I was the first conflict to see large-scale use of chemical weapons. Poison gases, such as chlorine, phosgene, and mustard gas caused blisters on the skin, blindness, lung damage, asphyxiation, and other injuries. The earliest German gas attack (at Ypres, France, in 1915) took the Allied forces by surprise, and soon afterwards the British and French started developing their own chemical weapons and protective gas masks. The United States ramped up its gas mask production in 1917–1918. The Red Cross spearheaded a campaign to collect fruit pits and nut shells for making gas mask filters. Several factories in Connecticut converted to gas mask production in order to meet the army’s needs. Hundreds of women in the state were recruited for this work.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How does an entire society participate in war?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • To what extent were women essential to the workforce during World War I?
  • How did the U.S. government and the Red Cross mobilize people to participate in the war effort?
  • In what ways did Connecticut industry influence World War I?
  • How did Connecticut’s existing industrial infrastructure and workforce adapt to serve the war effort?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Peach Pit Hogshead
Peach pit hogshead outside Sage Allen & Company department store, Hartford, Connecticut ca. 1917-1919 – Connecticut State Library, Dudley Photograph Collection

 

Peach Pit Depository
Murray’s Boston Store (Willimantic) advertisement. Norwich Bulletin, Norwich, Connecticut, September 9, 1918 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
page Download the article “Straw Hats Must Yield to Gas Masks: United States Rubber Buys Old Straw Hat Works at MilfordThe Hartford Courant, July 8, 1917, pg. 5
page Download the article “Local Plant Needs Women to Work on Gas Mask Rush Order.” The Hartford Courant, June 28, 1918, pg. 9
page Download the article “Women Answer Call For Gas Mask Work. More than 300 sign up at Hartford Rubber WorksThe Hartford Courant, June 30, 1918, pg. 6
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  1. Start by displaying the “Peach pit hogshead” image, preferably full screen, without the title/caption.
  2. Ask students to look closely at the image and share what they see. Encourage them to back up their comments with specific visual evidence. Ask, “What do you see that makes you say that?” You may want to use the Library of Congress Analyzing Photographs & Prints process to guide students’ looking. Assemble a list of questions that arise from the students’ examination of the photograph.
  3. Next, display or distribute the advertisement for Murray’s Boston Store in Willimantic. Once students have had a chance to read the advertisement, make a list of the new pieces of information students have gathered. See which questions from the initial list have now been answered, and make a list of additional/new questions.
  4. Select one, two, or all three of the short newspaper articles to share with students. You may wish to assign different articles to different students or have everyone read all of the articles. Ask students to:
    OBSERVE: What information can they gather from the articles?
    REFLECT: What do they think based on what they have read?
    QUESTION: What does this article make them wonder?
  5. You may want to use the Library of Congress Primary Source Analysis worksheet to help students organize and record their thoughts.
  6. Look back at the students’ list of questions for inquiry and/or at the suggested supporting questions. Discuss to what extent these primary sources help uncover answers to those questions or to the larger compelling question. Discuss additional questions the students have and sources or avenues for further inquiry.

NOTE: To see original film footage of gas mask production in 1918—from the peach pits to the final product—don’t miss this great source from the National Archives. Click on the hyperlink below and then on the film icon to start the video.

Silent video: Manufacture of Gas Masks, 1918, silent video (6:21). National Archives.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Drawing on their examination of the primary sources in this activity and other related sources (see below for some suggestions), students will design a World War I-style poster promoting the collection of fruit pits for the war effort OR encouraging women to take on war work in Connecticut factories. Need inspiration? Check out the Library of Congress’s collection of World War I Posters.
  • Students will research other Connecticut industries during World War I and compare them to the production of gas masks at the time. Who was employed? Where were the factories located? How did the products contribute to the war effort? Did the factories make something different before the war?
  • Students will draft a letter to a state legislator or to the editor of their local newspaper advocating why—based on the study of history and the examination of primary sources—there should be a monument that recognizes the war efforts of Connecticut residents on the home front during World War I.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Articles & Boks to READ

This TeachITCT.org activity is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program, coordinated by Waynesburg University.

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HS – Beware Thy Neighbor? German Americans in Connecticut during WWI

Detail of the pamphlet American Ideals

TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
World War I
Theme
Cultural Diversity and an American National Identity
Town
Middletown, Statewide
Related Search Terms
World War One, WWI, Great War, First World War, Flag, How Lives Changed, Immigrants, Enemy Aliens, Home Front, German Americans, Foreigners, Internment
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
In his April 6, 1917, proclamation declaring war on Germany, President Woodrow Wilson laid out regulations pertaining to non-naturalized men (over age 14) of German origin in the United States. These regulations were later expanded to include Austro-Hungarians and women. They were summarized in publications such as the one from the Connecticut State Council of Defense included in this activity. German citizens living in the United States were required to register at their local post office, carry registration cards, and inform authorities if they intended to change residences or employers. During the course of the war, around 2,300 German-born civilians were interned as “dangerous enemy aliens” at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, and Fort Douglas, Utah. It was not only non-naturalized Germans who faced suspicion and mistreatment, however, as evidenced by the case of Carl Herrmann and the anti-German riot in Middletown, Connecticut, in the summer of 1918.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

Has America always been a “Land of Opportunity” for immigrants?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What makes someplace a “Land of Opportunity”?
  • In what ways did World War I affect attitudes towards foreign-born immigrants in Connecticut?
  • To what extent were the public messages about treatment of immigrants—both “official” and unofficial—consistent?
  • In what ways were the rights of Connecticut residents restricted during World War I?
  • Why has immigration been such a controversial issue throughout American history?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Part 1

Detail of the pamphlet American Ideals
Detail of the pamphlet American Ideals, “For Native-born American Women: What you can do for Americanism, ” produced by the Connecticut State Council of Defense, ca. 1917-18. Click on the image above or HERE to download the entire PDF – Connecticut State Library Digital Collections

 

Detail of the bulletin Suggestions and Requirements for Enemy Aliens Contained in the President's Proclamation of War, April, 1917
Detail of the bulletin “Suggestions and Requirements for Enemy Aliens Contained in the President’s Proclamation of War, April, 1917,” produced by the Connecticut State Council of Defense, ca. 1918. Click on the image above or HERE to download the entire PDF – Connecticut State Library Digital Collections

Part 2

page Germans Forced to Kiss Flag by Mob.Middletown Evening Press. August 3, 1918. 8:1-2.
page  “Millane is Freed; Three Others Held.”  Middletown Evening Press. August 5, 1918. 8:1-2.
page  “Local Rioters are Scored by Court.”  Middletown Evening Press. August 6, 1918. 8:2
page  “Public to Pay Rioters’ Fines.”  Middletown Evening Press. August 7, 1918. 8:1
page  “Law or Mob Law?”  Middletown Evening Press. August 8, 1918. 8:2
page Casper Schmidt is Loyal to America.”  Middletown Evening Press. August 7, 1918. 8:2
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  1. As a class, discuss the compelling and supporting questions that will guide the inquiry.
  2. In group discussion or individually, have students examine the two sources in Part 1 of the activity toolkit:
    • “For Native-born American Women: What you can do for Americanism.” Connecticut State Council of Defense. 1917-18.
    • “Suggestions and Requirements for Enemy Aliens Contained in the President’s Proclamation of War, April, 1917.” Connecticut State Council of Defense.
  3. For each of the two sources, ask students to apply the SOAPStone analysis technique, being sure to identify the author/issuing body; intended audience; occasion/reason for the document; and main points being communicated. What does each document say explicitly OR imply about the “official” position towards immigrants at the time? Revisit the supporting questions and add new student-generated questions that arise from the examination to the list.
  4. For Part 2 of the inquiry, students will examine (individually or in small groups) a series of articles published in the Middletown Evening Press about an incident that occurred in August 1918. Keeping the supporting questions in mind, students should make notes about the facts recorded in the newspaper, opinions/attitudes (stated or implied), and questions that they have about—or inspired by—what they have read.
  5. Students will share what they found most interesting about the incident and the newspaper coverage, as well as their new questions.
  6. As a class, revisit the supporting and compelling questions and discuss additional avenues for inquiry, if students wish to learn more.
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Imagining themselves as Middletown residents in the summer of 1918, students will write two letters to the editor of the Middletown Evening Press. The first will explain why she or he intends to contribute to the public collection taken up to pay the rioters’ fines. The second will explain why she or he intends not to contribute.
  • Students will use contemporary newspapers and additional sources to investigate immigration issues today and will create a graphic organizer illustrating similarities and differences between issues today and those during WWI. These may include the cultural/racial/religious background of the immigrants in question, the language/words used in the public discourse, proposed actions or “solutions,” etc.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Articles & Books to READ

This TeachITCT.org activity is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program, coordinated by Waynesburg University.

HS – Over There: A Connecticut Soldier in France

Letter from Charles F. Coughlin to his mother, November 16, 1917

TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
World War I
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Hartford, Statewide
Related Search Terms
World War One, WWI, First World War, Great War, Soldiers,  Enlistment, France, American Expeditionary Forces, 102nd Infantry, Hun, Doughboy, Yankee Division, How Connecticut Fought the War
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
Charles F. Coughlin of Hartford worked for Aetna Insurance Company prior to the outbreak of World War I. During the war he served in the 102nd Infantry, a national guard unit that made up part of the 26th Division (known as the “Yankee Division”) of the American Expeditionary Forces in France. Coughlin enlisted as a private on June 24, 1917, at the age of twenty-six and was later promoted to corporal and then sergeant. His letters home to his mother bring to life some of the conditions in France and the soldier’s experience of war. In the fall of 1918, the 102nd Infantry was involved in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Coughlin was wounded in battle on October 23, 1918, and died on October 27, just weeks before the armistice. Letters to and from Charles’s father, Edward E. Coughlin, regarding the details of his son’s death, burial, and personal effects reveal something of the level of confusion and chaos that existed at the end of the war. In addition to the materials at the Connecticut Historical Society included in this activity, we know about Coughlin’s background and service from the military questionnaire completed by his father after the war, which is held by the Connecticut State Library.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How do you measure the cost of war?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • How did Connecticut soldiers serving in Europe experience the war?
  • What personal hardships did soldiers endure?
  • What observations did soldiers make about France and the experiences of the French people during the war?
  • Did soldiers see a value to their service in France while the war was going on?
  • What struggles did the families of fallen soldiers face in trying to gather information about the death of their loved ones?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Part 1: Letters from Charles F. Coughlin to his mother

Source #1

Letter from Charles F. Coughlin to his mother, November 16, 1917
Detail from page one of a letter from Charles F. Coughlin to his mother, November 16, 1917. Click the image above to see all four pages in a pdf – Connecticut Historical Society, Matthew E. and Charles F. Coughlin World War I correspondence and memorabilia, 1879-1921, 66232
page  Download a transcription of the letter dated November 16, 1917.
page Download a pdf of the entire four page letter, dated November 16, 1917.
Source #2

Letter from Charles F. Coughlin to his mother, September 19, 1918
Detail of page one of a letter from Charles F. Coughlin to his mother, September 19, 1918. Click the image above to see all ten pages in a pdf – Connecticut Historical Society, Matthew E. and Charles F. Coughlin World War I correspondence and memorabilia, 1879-1921, 66232
page  Download a transcription of the letter dated September 19, 1918.
page Download a pdf of the entire ten page letter, dated September 19, 1918.
Source #3

Letter from Charles F. Coughlin to his mother, October 12, 1918
Detail of page one of a letter from Charles F. Coughlin to his mother, October 12, 1918. Click the image above to see all eight pages in a pdf – Connecticut Historical Society, Matthew E. and Charles F. Coughlin World War I correspondence and memorabilia, 1879-1921, 66232
page  Download a transcription of the letter dated October 12, 1918.
page Download a pdf of the entire eight page letter, dated October 12, 1918.
Part 2: Letters to and from Charles’s father, Edward E. Coughlin

Source #4

Letter from Edward E. Coughlin to Miss A.B. Sands, Executive Secretary, Connecticut State Council of Defense, January 8, 1919
Detail of letter from Edward E. Coughlin to Miss A.B. Sands, Executive Secretary, Connecticut State Council of Defense, January 8, 1919 – Connecticut Historical Society, Matthew E. and Charles F. Coughlin World War I correspondence and memorabilia, 1879-1921, 66232
Source #5

 letter from W.R. Castle, Director, Bureau of Communications, American Red Cross to Edward E. Coughlin, January 15, 1919
Detail of the letter from W.R. Castle, Director, Bureau of Communications, American Red Cross to Edward E. Coughlin, January 15, 1919 – Connecticut Historical Society, Matthew E. and Charles F. Coughlin World War I correspondence and memorabilia, 1879-1921, 66232
Source #6

 Letter from Edward E. Coughlin to J. L. Barty, Auditor, War Department, June 28, 1920
Detail of Letter from Edward E. Coughlin to J. L. Barty, Auditor, War Department, June 28, 1920 – Connecticut Historical Society, Matthew E. and Charles F. Coughlin World War I correspondence and memorabilia, 1879-1921, 66232
Source # 7

Letter from J. F. Butler, Graves Registration Service, War Department, February 11, 1921
Detail of letter from J. F. Butler, Graves Registration Service, War Department, February 11, 1921 – Connecticut Historical Society, Matthew E. and Charles F. Coughlin World War I correspondence and memorabilia, 1879-1921, 66232
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  1.  Introduce the compelling question and discuss possible supporting questions to guide the inquiry. These may include those suggested above, others generated by students, or both. Note that this compelling question could guide a series of inquiries using primary sources beyond those included in the toolkit for this activity.
  2. Present Charles F. Coughlin’s background, although you may wish to withhold the information about his death until later in the activity.
  3. Working individually or in pairs, students will examine the letters written by Charles F. Coughlin in 1917-1918, using SOAPSTone analysis, the Library of Congress Analyzing Primary Sources process (PDF – worksheet), or another method of your choice. Students may look at all three letters or be assigned different letters to examine and share with their classmates.
    • What can students KNOW from each source? What is the evidence?
    • What can they GUESS or infer? Based on what?
    • What does each source make them WONDER?
  4. Revisit the supporting questions and add new student-generated questions to the list for further inquiry.
  5. Share the details of Coughlin’s death, if you have not already, and distribute the second set of letters—those to and from Charles’s father, Edward E. Coughlin.
  6. Students may look at all four letters, or students may be assigned different letters to examine using the same process as above and then share with classmates.
  7. Revisit the supporting and compelling questions and discuss what further inquiries students might make in order to come to a more complete, informed response to the compelling question.
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Students will conduct research and identify additional World War I primary sources to help them respond to the compelling question. These might be photographs, posters, letters, diaries, or government publications. Students will compare the information gathered from these sources to that found in the Coughlin materials. To get started, try some of the “Additional Resources” listed below.
  • Students will conduct a fundraiser or collect donations to support an organization serving veterans in your area.
  • Students will research the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs —its history, role, and services—and then find recent newspaper articles online discussing current issues related to the VA. Students will write a letter to the editor in response to one of these, making specific reference to historic events.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Articles & Books to READ

This TeachITCT.org activity is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program, coordinated by Waynesburg University.

HS – World War I Propaganda

We closed the road to Paris

by Jenifer Smolnik
Ellington High School, Ellington


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Immigration, World War I
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Bridgeport, Norwich, Statewide
Related Search Terms
The Great War, WW I, World War I, Enemy Aliens, Propaganda, Immigrants, How Connecticut Fought the War
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
Like many wartime leaders, President Woodrow Wilson used propaganda to encourage nationalism and patriotism among Americans. The portrayal of America as the potential savior of the Allied powers in Europe influenced American attitudes about the sacrifices required to win the war. The American government delivered many of these messages through the effective use of mass media.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What role does propaganda play in a time of war?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What type of messages are being portrayed in words and/or pictures?
  • How do you think each segment of the population (e.g. immigrants, German-American citizens, other foreign-born American citizens, labor leaders, pacifists, and Socialists) might have received and interpreted these advertisements and appeals?
  • What do all of these propaganda materials have in common?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

 

Beware of Spies and Enemy Eavesdroppers!, Connecticut State Council of Defense, ca. 1914-1918 - Connecticut State Library
Beware of Spies and Enemy Eavesdroppers!, Connecticut State Council of Defense, ca. 1914-1918 – Connecticut State Library

 

Second United States Official War Film, "America's Answer", Presented by the Division of Films Committee on Public Information, George Creel, Chairman from The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, September, 7, 1918 - Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Second United States Official War Film, “America’s Answer,” Presented by the Division of Films Committee on Public Information, George Creel, Chairman. A full page advertisement in the Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, September, 7, 1918 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
page Download a pdf of the advertisement, “America’s Answer,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, September 7, 1918, or click on the image above to link to the article.

 

Our Three Lines of National Defense
R. Peckner, Our Three Lines of National Defense, poster by the National Industrial Conservation Movement, 1917 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

 

We closed the road to Paris
We closed the road to Paris – we’re on our way to Berlin. Every bond you buy of the 4th Liberty Loan is a bayonet thrust at the Kaiser, poster by AdPress, 1917 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

 

To Arms! Enlistment Week!
“To Arms! Enlistment Week! Connecticut’s Call to Her Sons! Native Born or Adopted!” A full page advertisement in the Norwich Bulletin, June 27, 1917 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
page Download a pdf of the advertisement, “To Arms! Enlistment Week!,” Norwich Bulletin, June 27, 1917, or click on the image above to link to the article.
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Students will read and reflect on the propaganda materials and discuss the supporting questions in pairs or groups. Students will use a KWL chart or Library of Congress Primary Source Analysis Tool to organize their work. Groups will share their materials and findings with the rest of the class, discuss the supporting and compelling questions, and then develop additional questions of their own.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Writing from the point of view of one segment of the population in the United States at that time, students will compose a brief (two-paragraph) letter to President Woodrow Wilson expressing their thoughts, feelings, and ideas about American entry into the war. Students may choose to write from the perspective of:

  • German-Americans (including Hutterites and Mennonites)
  • Other Foreign-Born American Citizens
  • Socialists
  • Pacifists
  • Labor Leaders
  • Women
  • Draft-Age American Citizens
  • Older American Citizens
  • Another group that they have identified (with approval)

This letter may express concern or support, based on the students’ interpretation of the propaganda images. Students may include evidence from readings and reference other sources they have investigated.

Students will then select a different group that might have had a different view on American entry into the war and write a second letter to President Woodrow Wilson from this perspective.

Working in pairs or groups, students will present their letters for discussion and reflection.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles & Books to READ

This TeachITCT.org activity is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program, coordinated by Waynesburg University.

Grade 5 – Mapping the New World: Dutch Maps of the Colonies


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Environment, Exploration and Discovery, Native Americans
Theme
The Impact of Geography on History
Town
Guilford, Hartford, Watertown, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Colonist, Colonization, Colony, Explorers, Geography, Natural Resources, Indigenous People, Dutch, Map
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 5 – Early United States History

Historical Background
In 1614 Dutch explorer Adriaen Block sailed along the Connecticut coast and up the Versche (Fresh) River—the Dutch name for the Connecticut River—as far as what is now Hartford. In 1633 the Dutch established a fortified trading post there. It was called the Huys de Hope—the House of Hope. For decades there was conflict between the Dutch in New Netherland and the English who came to settle in the same area. In 1650, the Dutch finally gave up their lands in Connecticut to the English.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How did the physical geography of New England affect how the colonies developed? 

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What resources were available in the different colonies and how were those resources used?
  • How did the colonists’ use of natural resources and establishment of permanent settlements affect the indigenous people of the region?
  • Why were the New England colonies focused on trade?
  • In what ways, and for whom, was America a land of opportunity during the 1600s?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Willem Blaeu (Dutch), Nova Belgica et Anglia Nova, 1635 - This map is held in the collections of the Connecticut Historical Society and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library
Willem Blaeu (Dutch), Nova Belgica et Anglia Nova, 1635 – This map is held in the collections of the Connecticut Historical Society and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library

This map was based on a map drawn by Adriaen Block. It is oriented with west at the top. The map shows “Nieu Pleimouth” (Plymouth) and the Noord (North) Rivier (today called the Hudson), as well as the Versche (Fresh) River. It also includes images of native animals (probably never seen in real life by the artist), examples of Native American canoes and fortified villages, and European-style sailing ships.

Novi Belgii Novæque Angliæ
Nicolaes Visscher (Dutch), Novi Belgii Novæque Angliæ, 1685 – Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

This later map features some of the same pictures and details as Blaeu’s map. It also includes the Fort de Goede Hoop (another name for the House of Hope) and some English settlements, such as Herfort (Hartford), Gilfort (Guilford), and Watertuyn (Watertown).

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Using the Library of Congress’s Primary Source Analysis process, give students time to examine the first of the two maps, and ask them to OBSERVE, REFLECT, and QUESTION.

  1. Observe: Describe what you see. What do you notice first? What information does the map provide? What geographic elements are included? Which way is north/south/east/west, and how do you know? What places are shown on the map? Are there words on the map? Pictures? What are they?
  2. Reflect: Why do you think this map was made? What do you think was important to the people who made this map? Does the map give us any clues about the time in which it was made?
  3. Question: What does this map make you wonder?

Repeat with the later map and have students compare and contrast.

You may then choose to address some of the supporting questions (above) or focus on the questions that students have developed as part of their inquiry.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  1. Using evidence from the historic maps, as well as additional information gathered through readings and classroom discussions, students will make their own map of Connecticut showing the natural resources that attracted European colonists to the area. Start with a blank outline map like this one. Have students draw in major rivers and hilly regions, and then add simple images for fish/shellfish, woods/timber, beavers (for fur), other native animals, farmland, etc. in appropriate areas of the map.
  2. Using evidence from the historic maps, as well as additional information gathered through readings and classroom discussions, students will imagine that they are sailors on Adriaen Block’s ship, the Onrust, during its exploration of the Connecticut coast and the Fresh (Connecticut) River. They will write fictionalized letters home to a loved one in Amsterdam describing their experiences and observations.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

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Grade 3 – Exploring Communities: Using Historic Maps to Learn about the Past


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Architecture, Environment, The State
Theme
Using Evidence to Learn About the Past
Town
Bridgeport, Canton, Danbury, East Haddam, Hartford, Killingly, Madison, New Haven, New London, NorwichThomaston, Vernon, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Map, Geography, Communities, Local History, Architecture, Landmarks, Insurance
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 3 – Connecticut & Local History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

Why do our communities look the way they do today?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS

In what ways has our community’s past shaped how it looks today?

How has geography affected our community over time?

How have science, technology, and innovation affected communities?

D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

An example of a Sanborn map titled Insurance maps of Danbury, Fairfield County, Connecticut by the Sanborn Map Company, 1904 -
An example of a Sanborn map titled Insurance maps of Danbury, Fairfield County, Connecticut by the Sanborn Map Company, 1904 – Yale University, Sterling Memorial Library, Connecticut Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Use the Yale University Library website–Connecticut Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps— to select and download a Sanborn fire insurance map to fit your teaching goals (you can look at the maps in your browser, but downloading the high-quality PDFs will enable students to make out more details).

You may choose just one map from your town or a nearby town, if you wish to focus on your own community, or select a few maps to show different types of environments—large cities, medium-sized towns, or smaller towns—if your focus is on urban, suburban, and rural communities. Note that many (but not all) Connecticut towns are represented in Sanborn maps. Here are a few samples from around the state:

Sanborn fire insurance maps were first published in 1867 to show how great a risk of fire there was in any town or city. The maps include all of the buildings in town, colored-coded to show what materials were used to build them (mostly “frame”/wood, brick, or stone). The maps also include important public buildings (government buildings, theaters, churches, schools, etc.), street names, and additional information. For larger cities, the maps take up several pages, like an atlas. For some communities, they are the most detailed maps available from the late 1800s to early 1900s. They are a great source of information about the past for historians–young and old!

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Using the Library of Congress’s Primary Source Analysis process, give students time to examine each of the maps you have selected, and ask them to OBSERVE, REFLECT, and QUESTION. For larger towns, you may want to start with the “title page” and then also look at a downtown detail page and one from farther outside the city center.

  1.  Observe: What do you notice first? What information does the map provide? What geographic elements are included? Which way is north/south/east/west and how do you know? Are there words on the map?
  2. Reflect: What do you think was important to the people who made this map? Does the map give us any clues about the time in which it was made? If you are familiar with this town today, what is the same and what is different? Or how is the town shown in this map similar to or different from your own?
  3. Question: What does this map make you wonder?
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  1. Imagining they are cartographers/map-makers, students will think about their own town and develop a list of all of the special places (public buildings, landmarks, public spaces, etc.) that should be included in a new map of town.
  2. Students will try their hand at making a map using rulers and graph paper. Making a map of the classroom is an easy project to start with; if your room has floor tiles, students can use those to mark out the dimensions on the graph paper.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
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HS – African Americans in Progressive-Era CT: The Battle over the Jack Johnson Fight Film

Frank Jonientz, Library Technical Assistant, Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project
Connecticut State Library


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Popular Culture, Social Movements, Sports & Recreation
Theme
Cultural Diversity and an American National Identity
Town
Bridgeport, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Censorship, Racism, Morality, African American, Sports, Civil Rights, Progressive Era
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What does the battle over the Johnson-Jeffries fight film tell us about the social position of African Americans in Progressive-Era Connecticut?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • Why was the film censored?
  • Who was pushing for censorship?
  • What were some of the responses by government officials to the controversy?
  • How did the companies that controlled the film respond to the banning of the film?
  • How did the African American community respond to the censorship of the film?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

"Portion of the Crowd Listening to The Bulletin's Fight Returns". Norwich Bulletin, July 6, 1910
“Portion of the Crowd Listening to The Bulletin’s Fight Returns,” Norwich Bulletin, July 6, 1910 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download the image “Portion of the Crowd Listening to The Bulletin’s Fight Returns,” Norwich Bulletin, July 6, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the newspaper.
Detail of the article "Buckingham's Attitude On Fight Pictures," Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 6, 1910. Click on the image to read the entire article. - Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Detail of the article “Buckingham’s Attitude On Fight Pictures,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 6, 1910. Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Buckingham’s Attitude On Fight Pictures,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 6, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “Buckingham’s Attitude On Fight Pictures,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 6, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Detail of the article "Jeffries-Johnson Fight Pictures," Norwich Bulletin, July 8, 1910. Click on the image to read the entire article. - Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Detail of the article “Jeffries-Johnson Fight Pictures,” Norwich Bulletin, July 8, 1910 . Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Download an image of the article “Jeffries-Johnson Fight Pictures,” Norwich Bulletin, July 8, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “Jeffries-Johnson Fight Pictures,” Norwich Bulletin, July 8, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
"Negro Parson Wants Fight Pictures Shown," Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910. - Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
“Negro Parson Wants Fight Pictures Shown,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download the image of the article “Negro Parson Wants Fight Pictures Shown,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Detail from the article "War Against Pictures Leads To Prohibition Before 25,000,000, People ," Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910. Click on the image to read the entire article – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Detail from the article “War Against Pictures Leads To Prohibition Before 25,000,000, People,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910. Click on the image to read the entire article – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “War Against Pictures Leads To Prohibition Before 25,000,000, People,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910 , or click on the image above to link to the article.
Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “War Against Pictures Leads To Prohibition Before 25,000,000, People,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910 , or click on the image above to link to the article.
Detail of the article "The Aftermath of the Great Johnson and Jeffries Fight at Reno, Nevada". Broadax (Salt Lake City UT), July 16, 1910 - Click on the image to read the entire article. - Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Detail of the article “The Aftermath of the Great Johnson and Jeffries Fight at Reno, Nevada,” Broadax (Salt Lake City UT), July 16, 1910 – Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “The Aftermath of the Great Johnson and Jeffries Fight at Reno, Nevada,” Broadax (Salt Lake City UT), July 16, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “The Aftermath of the Great Johnson and Jeffries Fight at Reno, Nevada,” Broadax (Salt Lake City UT), July 16, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson, Bain News Service, ca. 1910-1915 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

In July 1910, Jack Johnson, an African American prizefighter, beat Jim Jeffries, a white prizefighter, for the World Heavyweight Championship. A commercial film of the bout was made and distributed. Before the film could be widely shown, state and local governments passed laws banning it.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

If you choose, start by showing the 3:37 clip of the Johnson-Jeffries fight from 1910.

You may choose to use the full set of resources provided or focus on two or three articles. There is also a photograph of Jack Johnson available to share with the class.

Break the students into groups and have each group work with one or even a set of resources. Have students gather evidence and inferences about the controversy over the Johnson-Jeffries fight film. You may wish to use some of the supporting questions to guide the inquiry:

  • Why was the film censored?
  • Who was pushing for censorship?
  • What were some of the responses by government officials to the controversy?
  • How did the companies that controlled the film respond to the banning of the film?
  • How did the African American community respond to the censorship of the film?

Bring the class together to share their findings and remaining questions. Discuss how or where students could find answers or learn more.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Students, acting as if they were living in Connecticut in 1910, will write a letter to the editor of the Bridgeport Evening Farmer or the Norwich Bulletin in response to any of the articles provided, arguing for or against the showing of the film in their town or in the state.

Students will compare the Johnson fight film controversy to a contemporary controversy over popular culture or censorship and prepare a short oral or written presentation on the comparison.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

HS – Free Speech and Seditious Speech on the CT World War I Home Front

Waterburian Held for Reviling Flag; Another Tries to Kill Soldier

by Christine Gauvreau, Project Coordinator, Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project
Connecticut State Library


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
World War I
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Bridgeport, Hartford, Waterbury, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Protest, Labor, Patriotism, Preparedness, Pacifism, Neutrality, Free Speech, Seditious Speech, Anarchism, Deportation, Espionage, World War One, The Great War
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

Does free speech exist in a time of war?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What kinds of “speech” were limited during WWI?
  • Why was free speech restricted?
  • What were the possible penalties for those who violated the regulations?
  • How did different people respond to the limitation on speech at the time?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Extra! Police Take Notice
Extra! Police Take Notice” [ad for film], Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, April 23, 1918 – Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress
image Download an image of the article “Extra! Police Take Notice” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, April 23, 1918, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “Extra! Police Take Notice” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, April 23, 1918, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Waterburian Held for Reviling Flag; Another Tries to Kill Soldier
“Waterburian Held for Reviling Flag; Another Tries to Kill Soldier,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, April 7, 1917 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Waterburian Held for Reviling Flag; Another Tries to Kill Soldier,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, April 7, 1917, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article “Waterburian Held for Reviling Flag; Another Tries to Kill Soldier,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, April 7, 1917, or click on the image above to link to the article.

 

Hartford Police Arrest Pacifists
Detail of the article, “Hartford Police Arrest Pacifists,” Norwich Bulletin, September 17, 1917. Click on the image to read the entire article.  – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Hartford Police Arrest Pacifists,” Norwich Bulletin, September 17, 1917, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article “Hartford Police Arrest Pacifists,” Norwich Bulletin, September 17, 1917, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Street Meeting Speakers Get Arrest They Were Looking For
Detail of the article “Street Meeting Speakers Get Arrest They Were Looking For,” Norwich Bulletin, October 13, 1920. Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Street Meeting Speakers Get Arrest They Were Looking For,” Norwich Bulletin, October 13, 1920, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article “Street Meeting Speakers Get Arrest They Were Looking For,” Norwich Bulletin, October 13, 1920, or click on the image above to link to the article.

Speech considered anti-war or anti-American was regulated on the home front during the World War I era. Violations led to arrests and convictions. Pacifists, socialists, and immigrant workers were particularly monitored for disloyal speech.  The legal authority for these actions flowed from the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Start by showing “Extra! Police Take Notice!” (an advertisement for the film The Kaiser, published in the Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, April 23, 1918.) Have the class read the advertisement together, identifying:

  1. Facts/things they can know for sure from the source
  2. Inferences/things they can reasonably guess or assume
  3.  Questions they have

Working individually or in groups, have students read some or all of the other three sources. In addition to pulling out facts, inferences, and further questions, students may explore supporting questions such as:

  • What kinds of “speech” were limited during WWI?
  • Why was free speech restricted?
  • What were the possible penalties for those who violated the regulations?
  • Who accused people of “seditious” or anti-American speech?
  • What kinds of people were accused?

Discuss questions that have emerged from the sources and where students could find answers or learn more.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Students will select a person mentioned in one of the sources (a “concerned citizen,” law enforcement, protestor/accused citizen) and defend his or her position in a debate with classmates on the question of freedom of speech and censorship during World War I.

Students, acting as if they were a resident of Connecticut from 1917 through 1921, will write a letter to the editor of either the Norwich Bulletin or the Bridgeport Evening Farmer/Bridgeport Times in reaction to any of the primary sources provided.

Students will investigate events/topics related to free speech today—especially those involving national security—and write a letter to the editor of a contemporary newspaper placing these events into historical context and presenting lessons that could be drawn from the regulation of speech over time in America.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT

This TeachITCT.org activity is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program, coordinated by Waynesburg University.

Grade 8 – Myron D. Webster Civil War Haversack

by Joe Milositz, Robyn Proto, Carrie Evans
Six to Six Interdistrict Magnet School, Bridgeport


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Civil War
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Woodstock, Statewide

Related Search Terms

Haversack, Broadside, Artifacts, War, Soldier, Solider’s Life, Homefront, Union, Civilians, Daily Life, American Civil War, Civil War Knapsack

Social Studies Frameworks

Grade 8 – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How does an entire society participate in war? 

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What are the needs of soldiers during war?
  • Who provides supplies to meet soldiers’ needs?
  • How did civilians participate in the war effort?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Myron D. Webster's gear fro his service in the Civil War - Connecticut Historical Society
Myron D. Webster’s gear from his service in the Civil War – Connecticut Historical Society

The Myron D. Webster collection is an example of a typical Civil War soldier’s gear. It includes personal belongings which include military-issued items and things he brought from home.

 

Broadside: Blankets Are Wanted  for the Army!, ca. 1860 - 1869 - Connecticut Historical Society
Broadside: Blankets Are Wanted for the Army!, ca. 1860 – 1869 – Connecticut Historical Society

The Starr broadside solicits blankets from the home front to be used by Union soldiers and shows the need for civilian support during the war.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Students should examine artifacts belonging to Myron D. Webster from the Connecticut Historical Society.

  • What are the different items in the picture?
  • Who might use these items?
  • When might the items have been used?
  • What were the items used for?
  • Based on these artifacts, what were the needs of a solider during the Civil War?
  • Where did the items come from and how do you know?

Students will read the broadside and answer the following questions.

  • Who wrote this?
  • Who are they writing to?
  • After examining the broadside, what does this artifact tell you about what was expected of the civilian population during the Civil War?
  • What is the relationship between civilians and the military today, and how have their roles changed or stayed the same?
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Students will share their specific evidence in response to the compelling question.

Have students research and identify the needs of soldiers today.

  • Students will organize a supply drive.
  • Students will create an advertisement for supplies for soldiers (i.e.: PSA, broadside, social media, etc)
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

HS – “Making Munitions is a Woman’s Job” During World War I

by Edward Dorgan
Lewis S. Mills High School, Burlington


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Women, World War I, Work
Theme
Gender Roles in Economic, Political, and Social Life
Town
Bridgeport, Statewide
Related Search Terms
WWI, The Great War, Womens Rights, Defense Work, Equality in the Work Place

Social Studies Frameworks

High School – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What impact did the women of Connecticut have on the Great War (WWI)?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What is the message of the “Every American Woman” advertisement?
  • Who is being targeted?
  • What emotional reactions does the writer seem to be looking for from readers?
  • Why do you think this broadside was published in the Bridgeport Times & Evening Farmer?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Advertisement from The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer. Bridgeport, Connecticut, September 20 ,1918 - Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress
Advertisement from the Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer. Bridgeport, Connecticut, September 20 ,1918 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

Advertisement from the U.S. Employment Bureau published in The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer newspaper on September 20, 1918, page 12, that offers arguments for why American women should work in armament factories during the Great War (WWI).

image

Download the image.

 

image

Download the Library of Congress – Analyzing Newspapers – PDF.

 

 

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  1. Students will analyze the U.S. Employment Bureau’s advertisement, “Every American Woman,” and answer the supporting questions.
  2. Students will annotate the words and images in the primary source, including those linked to patriotism and making connections to earlier historical events (previously studied).
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  1.  Students will create their own advertisement/poster to recruit residents of Connecticut to assist in the effort to help win the Great War (WWI).
  2. Students will design a WWI monument that recognizes the war efforts of Connecticut residents on the home front.
  3.  Extended Learning: Students will research other primary-source materials (see below for suggestions and links) and write an editorial for the Hartford Courant arguing the importance of the role Connecticut women played in the Great War (WWI).
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Articles to READ