• CCB Social Studies pages 94 - 101



  • Understand the economic and social issues of the Progressive Era

  • Evaluate the impact of World War I on the United States

  • Identify the results of FDR’s New Deal

Key Concept

  • Industrialization, a world war, and a bust-and-boom economy led to major social and economic changes in the first half of the twentieth century.


Tier 2 irony
Tier 3 muckrakers
Test Words identify

Evidence-Based Reading

  • Word Stress: Tell students that some words with the same number of syllables do not necessarily have the stress on the same syllable. Point out the three-syllable vocabulary words-irony, muckraker, and progressive. Have students identify the stressed syllable in each word (EYEroh- nee, MUCK-rak-er, proh-GRESS-ihv).

21st Century Skill

  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Remind students to use signal words and phrases indicating comparison and contrast in their writing. You may want to review some of them as a class before they begin to write.

Writing Practice

  • Help students begin their writing by giving them sentence starters, such as * major problem that needs to be addressed immediately is …* or Many of society’s problems stem from … Students may focus on issues that affect them directly, such as taxes, immigration reform, or wages.

Before Lesson

Have students think about what happened during the 1800s. What issues were left unfinished after the Civil War and Reconstruction? (civil rights for African Americans, workers’ rights, women’s suffrage, women’s rights) Tell students that in this lesson, they will learn how some of these issues were addressed in the first half of the twentieth century.


Point out that at the turn of the twentieth century, immigrants were still pouring into the United States to find factory jobs in the cities. Similarly, people were coming from rural areas of the United States into cities looking for higher wages than they could make farming. At the same time, the United States was taking a greater role in international politics. Show students images of immigrants, factory workers, and city life around the turn of the century. (Images by Jacob Riis document many of these issues at the end of the 1800s.) Work with students to analyze the photos and identify difficulties city-dwellers faced, conditions in which they may have worked, and places they lived.

Guided Practice

  • The Progressive Era 1900-1917
  • World War I
  • The Roaring Twenties
  • The Great Depression

Core Skill

Interpret Political Cartoons: Work with students to create a political cartoon about a current event, such as a war, passage of a new law, or a local election. Tell students that it is not necessary for a political cartoon to be funny-it can be ironic or thought provoking. Have students complete the sidebar activity on their own and discuss their answers as a class.

Locate Reliable Sources: Explain to students that Wikipedia is not generally considered a reliable source because its articles can be created and edited by anyone. Other encyclopedias are considered reliable, however, such as Encyclopedia Britannica. With students, look up Jane Addams and sort through the search results to find reliable sources. Then have students research one of the other people on the list.

Interpret Graphics: Provide students with several political cartoons from the Progressive Era. Work with them to interpret the cartoons by identifying the cartoonist’s perspective or opinion, the message of the cartoon, and the historical setting. After students have completed the activity, have them write a summary sentence about the cartoon.


Using Their Own Words: Assign each student a section of the lesson and have them reread it, taking notes on the main events during the period it covers. Then, as a group, have them retell the events of the lesson in chronological order, with each recounting their section in their own words.

Formulate an Opinion: Have students create presentations that show the positive and negative aspects and events of the early 1900s. Encourage them to formulate an opinion about the time period and support it with facts and quotes.

Lesson Review