Teaching Critical Thinking Creatively
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The lesson explores the cause of the NYC Draft Riots during the Civil War. These riots seem easy to understand on the surface; however, this lesson helps students to understand the complicated causes that led to the riots breaking out. This lesson involves three steps. For the first part, the students will look at a series of clues that lead them to believe that African Americans were the only victims of the draft riots. They, they’ll look at a second series of clues that complicate that picture, and causes them to blame the Irish. Then, they’ll look at a reading that describes the history of the Irish in NYC. For an exit ticket, they’ll have to bring it all together, to determine who ultimately should be blamed. This lesson encourages cooperation and communication among your students, all while they’re analyzing a complex issue.
The lesson is linked to the NYS Social Studies Framework, but you could easily cut and paste in your own standards for your state.
7.8c.3 – Students will examine the role of New York State in the Civil War, including its contributions to the war effort and the controversy over the draft.
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