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America’s Documents of Freedom

Posted under History Lab for Grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the Emancipation Proclamation are often referred to collectively as the Documents of Freedom. As a group, these documents demonstrate the evolution of American democracy and freedoms. The lessons in this unit examine how changes in government impact individuals differently; how freedom is interpreted through More

African American Life in the Nineteenth Century

Posted under History Lab for Grades 6, 7, 8

John and Mary Jones were two of Chicago’s most influential and prominent black citizens in the late nineteenth century. By examining primary documents and artifacts related to the couple, students will learn about African American life in Illinois from 1818 to 1867. The lessons in this unit investigate the lives of John and Mary Jones More

Fighting for Freedom: African Americans in the Civil War

Posted under History Lab for Grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

This unit explores the African American’s experiences during the Civil War. Students will learn how government policy evolved over time regarding African American service in the Union forces and examine issues of propaganda and unequal treatment. The unit utilizes a variety of primary source materials, including illustrations, photographs, and documents. Students will complete a variety More

The Civil War: Up Close and Personal

Posted under History Lab for Grades 3, 4, 5

Confederate Private William D. Huff began a diary after he was captured during the Battle of Chickamauga, fought September 18 and 19, 1863. In his diary, Huff narrates his experiences at Camp Douglas, Chicago’s confederate prison camp. He includes descriptions of escape attempts, harsh punishments, and disease. The diary ends with Huff’s parole and return More

Through the Camera’s Lens: The Civil War in Photographs

Posted under History Lab for Grades 5, 6, 7, 8

This unit uses the work of the studio of Mathew Brady to explore the process of photography during the Civil War, discuss issues of early photojournalism, and interpret specific events and places of the Union experience of the Civil War. Students will analyze a variety of photographs depicting naval scenes, images of battlefields, and camp More

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