This activity was created by ELA Educators in Kansas City Public Schools, part of the 2021 cohort of The 1619 Project Education Network. It is designed for facilitation across approximately 1-2 weeks, or 10 class periods.
Students will be able to...
- Accurately re-frame specific events in U.S. history from the lens of public education in order to access a learning experience that is culturally relative and inclusive.
- Trace the foundational principles of the current economic system to historical origins in order to support their understanding of the economic and social landscapes they are apart of.
- Critique the idea of linear American progress and the equality therein in order to increase understanding of judicial, sociological, and economic trends in their communities and the communities around them.
Students will engage with The 1619 Project goal of reframing America’s history and consider their own place within that history as a way to support and inform their futures. Students will be able to deconstruct and analyze major sectors in America, like the economic and justice systems, via various forms of literature. Students will be expected to think critically about the framing of historical perspectives and as a result, become empowered to deepen their own experience and perspectives.
Ten-day extended close reading activity for teachers, including pacing, texts, and student resources. Download below, or scroll down to browse the unit resources.
|Primary Source Documents||Indian Removal Act: Primary Documents of American History from the Library of Congress|
|News Reporting||"Drug Goes from $13.50 to $750, Overnight" by Andrew Pollack: A 2015 New York Times Business report covering the price increase for the drug Daraprim when it was acquired by Turing Pharmaceuticals.
"The Clear Connection Between Slavery and American Capitalism" by Dina Gerdeman: A Forbes interview with Sven Beckert, an editor for the book, Slavery's Capitalism, A New History of American Economic Development.
|Historical Essays & Opinions||"The Idea of America" by Nikole Hannah- Jones (The 1619 Project): The essay at the cornerstone of The 1619 Project, exploring the contributions of Black Americans in moving America towards its stated democratic ideals.
"Chained Migration: How Slavery Made Its Way West" by Tiya Miles (The 1619 Project): A short essay about the enslaved Black people that were relocated by their enslavers as white settlers displaced Native American people and moved into the American West in search of more land.
"Capitalism" by Matthew Desmond (The 1619 Project): An essay that traces the brutality of American capitalism to practices created as part of the institution of slavery.
"Good as Gold: In Lincoln’s wartime ‘‘greenbacks,’’ a preview of the 20th-century rise of fi at currency" by Mehrsa Baradaran (The 1619 Project): A short piece on the origins of the United States national currency.
"Municipal Bonds: How Slavery Built Wall Street" by Tiya Miles (The 1619 Project): A short essay about the history of slavery in New York City and the forced labor used to build the city known as a center of American commerce.
"Lincoln's Panama Plan" by Rick Beard: A New York Times opinion piece reflecting on Abraham Lincoln's emigration plans and policies during his presidency.
"How the Nazis were inspired by Jim Crow" by Becky Little: A blog from History.com's Race in America series about German leaders who studied the racist laws and systems of early 20th Century America when writing the Nuremberg Laws.
"The Mexican-American War in a Nutshell" by National Constitution Center Staff: A short blog providing an overview of the Mexican-American War and placing the war in a chain of events that would lead to the American Civil War.
Common Core ELA Anchor Standards
Key Ideas & Details
- R.1: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
- R.2: Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Craft and Structure
- R.4: Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
- R.9: Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
Production & Distribution of Writing
- W.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Production & Distribution of Writing
- W.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.