Tools for Teaching with FRASER

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Tools for Teaching with FRASER incorporates lesson plans and activities with FRASER, the St. Louis Fed's Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research digital library resources.

FRASER is a digital library of economic data, Federal Reserve history, archival collections and educational resources. It allows you to access these documents anywhere in the world.

Activities:

The Acceleration of the Great Migration, 1916-17

Students work in groups to examine excerpts from primary source documents. They identify social and economic factors affecting specific categories of people when the Great Migration accelerated in 1916 to 1917: black migrant workers from the South, southern planters, southern small-farm farmers, northern industrialists, agents, and white immigrant workers in the North. Each student group creates a "perspectives page" to post for a gallery walk where students analyze the causes of the Great Migration and the changes it brought to both the North and South. Students also discuss the specific economic factors that influenced the Great Migration: scarcity, supply, demand, surplus, shortage, and opportunity cost. Using the PACED decisionmaking model, they analyze the alternatives and criteria of potential migrants.

•  Activity (pdf)

•  More about The Acceleration of the Great Migration, 1916-17 activity


Barbie® in the Labor Force

Since 1920, women have more than doubled their share of the labor force. More women are working, but has the type of work they do advanced similarly? What were the top occupations for women 20, 60, and 100 years ago, and how do those occupations compare with women's choices today? In this lesson, students use primary documents to review historical trends in women's share of the labor force and chosen occupations. Using Barbie careers as a timeline, they speculate as to why Barbie represented certain careers for girls at different points in time since 1959. They choose which career Barbie might represent next year and explain that choice in a one-page essay.

•  Lesson (pdf)

•  Whiteboard (SMART/notebook)

•  Whiteboard (ActivInspire/flipchart)

•  PowerPoint (pptx)

•  More about the Barbie® in the Labor Force lesson


Hamilton's National Bank

In this lesson, students participate in two rounds of a role play to help them understand the role of banks in facilitating economic growth through loans. Round 1 is conducted without a bank. After the first round, students read excerpts from Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton’s 1790 report to Congress in which he proposes a national bank because the United States had few banks at the time. Students then conduct Round 2 of the role play with a bank. After the round, students read excerpts from and summaries of the statute creating a national bank, Thomas Jefferson’s opposition, and Hamilton’s rebuttal.

•  Lesson (pdf)

•  More about the Hamilton's National Bank lesson


Historical Inquiry with 75 Years of American Finance

This unique activity features a primary source from FRASER. 75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation, 1861-1935, is an 85-foot long detailed timeline compiled in 1936. The activity reviews the document layout and provides historical inquiry questions divided into four sections: observe, reflect, question, and analyze. Students can evaluate any given year(s) of the timeline, and the document may be used to introduce historical inquiry and/or to support study of historical themes, years or eras noted in the timeline.

•  Activity (pdf)

•  More about the Historical Inquiry with 75 Years of American Finance activity


Historical Inquiry with Charts Toolkit

Historians are experts at assessing and analyzing documents to build a narrative but may be stymied by numbers. Charts (tables, graphs, maps, diagrams, and so on) provide a graphical view of information and can be a powerful way to display evidence. This toolkit provides a series of resources for students to read, interpret, and think critically about charts in textbooks and historical documents. It has three main parts: (i) the Glossary of Charts Terms, (ii) the Glossary of Chart Types, and (iii) Historical Inquiry Questions for Charts. It also includes a suggested procedure for how to use the Toolkit. Keep the Toolkit resources bookmarked to use each time you come across a chart for study.

•  Toolkit (pdf)

•  More about the Historical Inquiry with Charts Toolkit


Historical Inquiry with the Statistical Atlas of the United States (1870) Church Accommodation Chart

This activity reveals a snapshot of declared church affiliation in 1870. It provides historical inquiry questions for students to evaluate the chart. The questions are divided into the following topics: observe, reflect, question, and analyze. This activity may be used to introduce and engage students in the process of historical inquiry and/or to process and reflect about the influence of church affiliation in the United States.

•  Activity (pdf)

•  More about the Historical Inquiry with the Statistical Atlas of the United States (1870) Church Accommodation Chart activity


Historical Inquiry with the Statistical Atlas of the United States (1870) Occupations and School Attendance Chart

This activity allows students to compare and contrast U.S. occupational categories and school attendance in 1870 across genders and states. It provides questions for students to practice historical inquiry and evaluate the chart. The questions are divided into the following topics: observe, reflect, question, and analyze. This activity may be used to introduce and engage students in the process of historical inquiry and/or to supplement study of workforce participation in the United States.

•  Activity (pdf)

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Historical Inquiry with the Statistical Atlas of the United States (1870) Population Maps

This activity features a primary source from FRASER. The activity allows students to see maps depicting the best data available for the U.S. population at the time and to practice historical inquiry skills. The activity may be used as a way to introduce early migration or as a supplemental activity.

•  Activity (pdf)

•  More about the Historical Inquiry with the Statistical Atlas of the United States (1870) Population Maps activity


Historical Inquiry with the Statistical Atlas of the United States (1870) State Population Chart

This activity features a primary source from FRASER. The Statistical Atlas of the United States Based on the Results of the Ninth Census, 1870 includes a "Chart Showing the Principal Constituent Elements of the Population of Each State" that details U.S. population distribution by race. This activity reviews the layout and format of the chart and provides historical inquiry questions divided into four sections: observe, reflect, question, and analyze. The chart may be used to introduce and engage students in historical inquiry and to reflect about race in the United States.

•  Activity (pdf)

•  More about the Historical Inquiry with the Statistical Atlas of the United States (1870) State Population Chart activity


More:

Tools for Teaching with FRED (the St. Louis Fed's "Federal Reserve Economic Data" website)

Tools for Teaching with GeoFRED (the St. Louis Fed's online data mapping tool)

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Audience:   Middle School, High School
Language:   English
Subjects:   History, Geography, Economics
Resource Types:   Activity, Primary Source Documents, Charts/Graphs, Series
Concepts:   Human Capital, Factors of Production/Productive Resources, Economy
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