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									Title: Muckrakers Museum
Historical Background:
The rapid industrialization of the United States in the late 1800’s led to many social, political, and
economic problems. Poverty, the tenements, child labor, corrupt political machines, unfair business
practices, and lynching in the South were some of the problems affecting society. There was certainly a
need for the government to take a more active role to protect the interests of its citizens. Muckrakers
helped to expose these problems with their investigative journalism and inspired the government and
other reformers to take action.

Correlation to New York State Grades 7/8 Social Studies Core Curriculum:
       Unit Seven: An Industrial Society
               III: The Progressive Movement

Suggested Timeframe: Three class periods of approximately 40 minutes.

Materials and Resources:
   • Computer Lab with access to Internet
   • Muckraker Summary Chart (attached)
   • Digital Poster Rubric (attached)

Student Objectives: Students will be able to:
   • Identify the major social, political, and economic problems of the Progressive Era.
   • Identify the muckrakers and the actions they took to improve society.
   • Analyze the impact that muckrakers had in improving society.

Teaching Strategies and Methodologies:
   1. Divide students into seven groups of three to four. Assign one muckraker to each group to
        research on the Internet. The following websites can serve as a starting point for student
               Lincoln Steffens - http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Jsteffens.htm
               Ida Wells - http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FWWwells.htm
               Upton Sinclair - http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Jupton.htm
               Ida Tarbell - http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Jtarbell.htm
               Jacob Riis - http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAriis.htm
               Nelly Bly - http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAWbly.htm
               Henry Demarest Lloyd - http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAWdemarest.htm

   2.    Student groups will research their muckrakers and fill in that portion of the Muckraker Summary

   3.    Have students perform a Jigsaw or similar activity to complete the rest of the muckraker chart.
         All information to complete the chart should come from other students.

   4.    Student groups should continue to research their muckraker for related images and quotes. To
         commemorate the accomplishments of their muckraker, they will prepare a digital poster using
         Glogster; see website at www.glogster.com for information about how students can make
         posters of their muckrakers using on-line images.
Use the attached Digital Poster Rubric to assess posters.

About the Author: Mike Varney teaches 8th grade social studies at the Queensbury Middle School.

Poster Rubric
  CATEGORY                  4                      3                     2                      1
Graphics -         All graphics are       All graphics are     All graphics relate Graphics do not
Relevance          related to the topic   related to the topic to the topic.       relate to the topic.
                   and make it easier     and most make it
                   to understand.         easier to
Required Elements The poster              The poster            The poster             The poster
                  includes all five       includes four         includes three         includes less than
                  images and five         images and four       images and three       three images and
                  facts about the         facts about the       facts about the        three facts about
                  muckraker.              muckraker.            muckraker.             the muckraker.
Content -          Five accurate facts Four accurate facts Three accurate      Less than three
Accuracy           are displayed on    are displayed on    facts are displayed accurate facts are
                   the poster.         the poster.         on the poster.      displayed on the
Attractiveness     The poster is          The poster is         The poster is          The poster is
                   exceptionally          attractive in terms   acceptably             distractingly messy
                   attractive in terms    of design, layout     attractive though it   or very poorly
                   of design, layout,     and neatness.         may be a bit           designed. It is not
                   and neatness.                                messy.                 attractive.
Mechanics          Capitalization and There is one error        There are two          There are more
                   punctuation are    in capitalization or      errors in              than two errors in
                   correct throughout punctuation.              capitalization or      capitalization or
                   the poster.                                  punctuation.           punctuation.
Use of Class Time Used time well          Used time well        Used some of the       Did not use class
                  during each class       during each class     time well during       time to focus on
                  period. Focused on      period. Usually       each class period.     the project OR
                  getting the project     focused on getting    There was some         often distracted
                  done. Never             the project done      focus on getting
                  distracted others.      and never             the project done
                                          distracted others.    but occasionally
                                                                distracted others.
   Muckraker           Problem Exposed   Accomplishments
Lincoln Steffens

Ida Wells

Upton Sinclair

Ida Tarbell

Jacob Riis

Nelly Bly

Henry Demarest Lloyd

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