Tune In!

Premiering tonight on PBS — “The Gilded Age” — Um, hello, that’s what we’re studying RIGHT NOW!

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In the closing decades of the nineteenth century, during what has become known as the Gilded Age, the population of the United States doubled in the span of a single generation. The nation became the world’s leading producer of food, coal, oil, and steel, attracted vast amounts of foreign investment, and pushed into markets in Europe and the Far East. As national wealth expanded, two classes rose simultaneously, separated by a gulf of experience and circumstance that was unprecedented in American life. These disparities sparked passionate and violent debate over questions still being asked in our own times: How is wealth best distributed, and by what process? Does government exist to protect private property or provide balm to the inevitable casualties of a churning industrial system? Should the government concern itself chiefly with economic growth or economic justice? The battles over these questions were fought in Congress, the courts, the polling place, the workplace and the streets. The outcome of these disputes was both uncertain and momentous, and marked by a passionate vitriol and level of violence that would shock the conscience of many Americans today. The Gilded Age presents a compelling and complex story of one of the most convulsive and transformative eras in American history.

Cities & Immigration…

…at the Turn of the Twentieth Century


It’s a snow day… so you can explore cities and immigration at the turn of the 20th century from the warmth of your own bedrooms!

Please check out the resources below and read and annotate the texts via GoogleDocs on GoogleClassroom. Students in sections 2 and 6, you can work with a partner or group of three with anyone in sections 2 or 6; make sure everyone contributes to one document and include everyone’s names. This work is due on Tuesday for sections 2 and 6.

Students who had class yesterday in sections 1, 5 and 7, you’re finishing up with whomever you worked with yesterday as homework for Monday.

Show what you think the texts mean; look up words, phrases, allusions you don’t know. Last week, you did an awesome job closely reading and analyzing Emily Dickinson’s poems — do the same with these!

Take your time, give your full effort, and show me your ready-to-move-on-to-Upper-School skills.

If you do not finish in class, this is homework for Monday/Tuesday. If you have extra time, dive back into To Kill a Mockingbird.

Even though we had a snow day today, next week is still busy with assessments:

  • Monday/Tuesday – American Studies joint assessment on the turn of the 20th Century Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
  • Wednesday/Thursday – Vocabulary assessment on Lists #1, 2, and 3. While the assessment will focus on List #3, words from the first two lists can always make a comeback!

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair


Click here for an introduction to Upton Sinclair and The Jungle.

Read a brief excerpt from The Jungle.

Revisiting ‘The Jungle’ in modern times

7 Things You May Not Know About “The Jungle”

Carl Sandburg


“I Am the People, the Mob”

Emma Lazarus

“The New Colossus”

Interactive New Colossus

Vocabulary Assessment coming up!


We will have a vocabulary assessment on words from lists #1, 2, and 3! While the assessment will focus primarily on list #3, words from the first two lists will also appear!

Please note: There will be NO opportunity for reassessment. Whatever learning target scores you earn on the assessment will be your final scores. You will NOT be able to reassess.

Also, please keep in mind — there will be a comprehensive vocabulary assessment at the end of the year with no opportunity for reassessment. I would hope that at this point, you have lists #1 and 2 mastered and are now working on mastering list #3.

Also note, list #4 is coming very, very soon as we begin our unit on WWI!

Really, at any time, you should only have to study the current list because you have already learned the past lists. If you are not studying vocabulary daily and integrating these words into your own speech and writing, you need to begin doing so immediately.

Student-created Study Tools: