Learning about 20th Century History in the 21st Century

Featured Images Sources: Upper left, upper right, lower right, lower left

Target Student Group:

The target group would be freshman high school students who are learning about the 20th century. The first quiz could be used to introduce the topic to the students and allowing (attempting to have) the students to be curious about the topic. This will help their engagement in the material. The second quiz would be geared towards being a post-assessment where students can have a choice on which path they would like to take.

Context for the Lessons:

The first quiz would be great to be used in a flipped learning class to introduce students to Cesar Chavez. The students would be able to learn about Cesar Chavez and answer questions about him. Then, whatever they did not understand or got wrong on the mini-quiz, the students would be able to have that discussion in class or over the virtual learning platform.

The second quiz would be used as a post-assessment while giving students choice. The students would be able to pick a track to answer questions regarding perspectives during the annexation of Hawai’i. The purpose of this is to allow the students to have an opportunity to choose their test within the limits of what I have taught them.

Links to Google Forms:

Quiz 1

Quiz 2

The Search for Truth

Featured Image Source


The target student group will be for 11th and 12th graders, U.S. History. Students will be able to determine the central ideas or information of primary sources and provide an accurate summary of how the Vietnam War connected to the history of the 1960s and 1970s. Students will use the primary sources to look for the truths within the different narratives during the Vietnam War and the 1960s and 1970s. This will help students think critically about information presented to them and understand that a truth for one narrative might not be the same for a different one.

For this lesson, it would be a great mini-lesson to be tacked on after discussing U.S. involvement of the Vietnam war on U.S. soil. Giving students a chance to analyze content and sources from varying perspectives can allow them to gain a better understanding of varying viewpoints in the U.S. during this time. I would probably use this as a part of the live instruction. This mini-lesson could use the Google Forms as an exit ticket for students to provide feedback on what they learned and critically use the information used in class through a critical lens. Students will be able to use Google Forms to collect their thoughts and ideas. The questions will guide the students to locate specific things within the sources to further their understanding of the anti-war perspectives. However, if it is revealed that the students need more help or more time with the content, Google Form could be transformed into a supplemental activity for the students to work through at their own pace.

Here are the links to the forms: What is Truth? and Anti-War Demonstration Photo

American Patriotism Through Images

(Featured Image Source)

Find the range of your patriotism by enlisting in the Navy / WI ; P&GA. Source.

Context: TItled “Find the Range of Your Patriotism by Enlisting in the Navy” was created to encourage more United States Americans to enlist in the Navy during World War I.

Icebreaker Prompt: Analyze the image. Does the caption help understand the image? Create a new caption for the image.

Response: The caption does help understand the image. It shows men working together to defeat the enemy. The caption points out that those men are patriots for doing so. Additionally, the “range” that the caption holds refers to the range of American patriotism. If one was not to enlist at all, one might be considered less than a patriot than those who did enlist. The new caption is “You Can Become an American Patriot by Enlisting”.

“No Known Restrictions: Pledge of Allegiance by Dorothea Lange, San Francisco 1942 (LOC)” by pingnews.com is marked with CC PDM 1.0 Source

Context: This image, taken by Dorothea Lange shows school children saying the Pledge of Allegiance in April 1942. During this time, World War II was raging on and at this point, the United States had already joined the Allied Forces.

Icebreaker Prompt: Analyze the image. What do you think the subjects in the photo are thinking? Create a thought bubble for the subjects in the image.

Response: The subjects are saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Many of the students look like they are getting into the pledge and are enjoying their time to be patriotic. As for the thought bubbles, I picked the three girls in the front row. The one on the far left is thinking “I hope I am getting these words right. I don’t want to seem unpatriotic.”. The girl in the middle is thinking “This is my favorite part!”. And finally, the girl on the far right is thinking “This is a great poem. I love reciting it every day at school.”.

“Rally against the Dakota Access Pipeline” by Fibonacci Blue is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Source

Context: This image shows the rally against the Dakota Access Pipeline in Minnesota. The planned pipeline was going to bring in thousands of barrels of oil ranging from North Dakota to Illinois. The pipeline’s track was intended to pass upstream from the Sioux Nation. The protest was to prevent the pipeline as well as prevent contamination of the water of the Sioux nation.

Icebreaker Prompt: Analyze the image. Brainstorm a list of five questions. Rank them based on the level of interest.


  1. Is protest a form of patriotism?
  2. Was the pipeline stopped?
  3. Is there another way to extract fossil fuels without disrupting any person’s way of life?
  4. When people protest against the government for positive progress and way of life, is that considered patriotism?
  5. What does it mean for the American perception of native tribes if the government allowed the pipeline to negatively affect the Sioux Nation?

The Pendulum of History

There’s a theory I learned from my high school teacher (thanks to Mr. Nickel!), it’s called the pendulum theory. The pendulum theory in the social science world looks at how history repeats itself with similar events or with similar groups of people. Movements in America tend to start a whole wave in which history moves back and forth between high levels of participation to low levels of participation. The pendulum swings back and forth between being active and dying down, waiting for the momentum of a new cause to swing back to. From the Great Awakening to the Second Great Awakening in America and the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter.

New movements stand on the shoulders of giants and are the source of inspiration for those who are leaning on the second swing of movement. Often I think about the Women’s Suffrage Movement to the Women’s March that began once President Trump took office. The women in the Women’s March stand on the shoulder of giants who come from the Women’s Suffrage swing.

Below you can view two sets of photo blends of two different protests: the Women’s Suffrage protest and the Women’s March and the Civil Rights March in 1963 and the Black Lives Matter march in 2020. Both groups are protesting against a president who ignored their needs. There are a lot of similarities and differences. However, recognizing where current movements come from can swing the pendulum to where it needs to go.

Here you see a photo of suffragists protesting against President Wilson in Chicago in 1916. During this time, women were seeking the right to vote and were protesting the president for his lack of support for the movement. While many of the women who were a part of this were white, there were women of color who contributed to the movement. Unfortunately, they would not be granted the right to vote until decades later. As for the Women’s March in Washington, it rose after President Trump’s Inauguration. The movement was sparked by individuals who were upset about statements made by the president. The march is intended to promote awareness regarding: women’s rights, reform on immigration and healthcare, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, and many more.

(Right) “Women’s March on Washington” by Mobilus In Mobili is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Source.
(Left) Suffragists demonstrating against Woodrow Wilson in Chicago, 1916. Source.

The Civil Right March of 1963 was done so to protest for equal rights, integrated schools, housing, voting rights, and an end to racial bias. The movement led to legislation that granted much of what the movement wanted. Though much racial inequality has not ended, the movement gained the attention it needed to produce legislation from this march on Washington. (Much to look into! I would encourage you to look into the speakers at the march, the leaders that organized it, its result, and why it is so significant today) As for Black Lives Matter, the movement shows that the United States is a long way from being racially equal. The movement started after the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. It has since become at the forefront in the work against police brutality and racially motivated violence. Protestors have taken to the streets night after night across the United States since Spring/ Summer of 2020.

(Right) Civil rights march on Washington, D.C. / [WKL]. Source.
(Left) “Black Lives Matter” by seikoesquepayne is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Source.


  1. Why do these photos represent the pendulum of history? How does it not?
  2. How has the Suffrage Movement and the Civil Rights Movement changed how women and people of color see themselves over time?
  3. What symbols are seen in the before and after and is there meaning behind it?
  4. What causes the shift within movements to be stagnant and active?
  5. Can you think of another movement in history that seems to “repeat itself”?
  6. Reflect. Will there ever be a time where history will not swing back and forth on the pendulum?