The Progressive Era Stations Issues and “Solutions” Print / Digital / Assessment


With this detailed lesson, students investigate both the issues of the Progressive Era and the relative success of the solutions offered during that time.
Pages: 100 + with handouts and slides

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This stations activity addresses 8 of the major issues surrounding the Progressive Era. I’ve divided the topics into the following categories:

  • Food Safety
  • City Life
  • Working Conditions
  • the Environment
  • Racial Equity
  • Corruption
  • Temperance
  • Women’s Rights 

As this unit has been created for students at the middle school level, some of the more unwieldy details related to this era have been removed and/or condensed for clarity. The goal with this unit was to introduce the topic of the Progressive Movement to students at a comprehensible level so that they could also effectively and critically think about the time period.

Students will complete stations that discuss the issues the Progressives were attempting to address and the possible solutions, laws, and amendments that came out of this time. (There are two separate station activities). As an assessment, students will complete a Progressive Era report card that determines the relative success relating to three of the major topics. You can view more in the downloadable preview here.

NOTE: Teachers might choose to omit some of the stations and can easily do so. I know that I don’t cover the Women’s Rights movement or Prohibition with the Progressive Era because those issues are discussed with more depth later in the year. As students will focus on three of the movements for assessment, it will still work effectively if one or two are omitted.

Included in this resource:

  • 8 primary source stations discussing the issues the led to the Progressive Era – print (36 pages) and digital (26 digital slides)
  • 8 primary source stations discussing the proposed solutions relating to the Progressive Era – print (29 pages) and digital (17 digital slides)
  • A graphic organizer for students to complete related to both stations (print and digital versions included)
  • A summative assessment to determine student understanding – students will create a Progressive Era report card discussing the relative success of three topics relating to the era – directions, graphic organizer, and rubric
  • A lesson plan for implementation with links to all of the resources

This resource specifically addresses the following NYS standards:

8.2e Progressive reformers sought to address political and social issues at the local, state, and federal levels of government between 1890 and 1920. These efforts brought renewed attention to women’s rights and the suffrage movement and spurred the creation of government reform policies.

  • Students will investigate reformers and muckrakers such as Jane Addams, Florence Kelley, W. E. B. duBois, Marcus Garvey, Ida Tarbell, Eugene V. Debs, Jacob Riis, Booker T. Washington, and Upton Sinclair. Student investigations should include the key issues in the individual’s work and the actions
  • that individual took or recommended to address those issues.
  • Students will explore leaders and activities of the temperance and woman’s suffrage movements.
  • Students will investigate the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and the legislative response.
  • Students will examine state and federal government responses to reform efforts, including the passage of the 17th amendment, child labor and minimum wage laws, antitrust legislation, and food and drug regulations

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