The teachers had a list of ten sources for the students to read and research for the assignment. Some of these sources were primary sources while some were secondary sources, with the sources varying from political cartoons, newspaper articles, to quotes from the individual industrialists.
Students were in charge of finding one quote from each source and determining if that quote was a representation of robber baron or captain of industry. Then they discussed what the students placed on each industrialist as to why they determined robber baron vs captain of industry.
After they completed the ten sources and discussion, students answered a series of questions that compared and contrasted the industrialists. For example, “Who was more of a captain of industry, John Rockefeller or Andrew Carnegie and why?”
The ten sources were posted on the walls of the hallway with students going from source to source recording quotes or posting thoughts on the political cartoons for robber baron or captain of industry. Through this assignment they were able to get students up and moving around. They also were able to get students to research and learn the difference between primary and secondary sources and to actually cite evidence within sources. They worked on quotes, political cartoons, and article excerpts that they used for questions on unit tests and quizzes.
Lastly, this assignment provided the teachers a way to provide differentiated instruction for all learning styles in their classroom and allowed them to work with student groups, in which they had used data from former tests to place the students in their respective groups.