Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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3. Utopian Promise   



9. Social
Realism


•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
Activities
- Author
Activities
- Context
Activities
- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Problem-Based Learning Projects

""How can I get my students to think?" is a question asked by many faculty, regardless of their disciplines. Problem-based learning (PBL) is an instructional method that challenges students to "learn to learn," working cooperatively in groups to seek solutions to real world problems. These problems are used to engage students' curiosity and initiate learning the subject matter. PBL prepares students to think critically and analytically, and to find and use appropriate learning resources." -- Barbara Duch, University of Delaware

  1. Imagine that you and your peers sit on the town council of a small suburb of Pittsburgh in 1900. Andrew Carnegie, the wealthy Pittsburgh industrialist, has offered to donate funds to build and operate a library in your town. Some citizens of the town do not want to accept the gift because they believe that Carnegie's money is tainted by his unscrupulous business practices. Others believe that the benefits of a library outweigh any scruples they might have about accepting a robber baron's money. Deliberate as a council, come up with a plan of action, and prepare a statement of support for your plan.

  2. You have been asked to create a museum dedicated to interpreting the immigrant experience in New York. Where will you house the museum? What kinds of information and activities will you provide?

  3. It is 1905 and the state of Mississippi has allocated funds to charter a new school for African American students. Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois are holding a meeting to discuss how the school should use its funds and what its educational mission should be. Imagine that you have been hired to help Washington and Du Bois prepare for the meeting at which they will debate this issue. Divide into two groups and prepare your arguments.



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