American Lives Across the Centuries: What Is an American?

Saturday afternoon in Georgia

Overview

Students will use the words of Jean de Crèvecoeur in his 1782 work, Letters from an American Farmer, to guide them as they analyze a life history documented by the Works Progress Administration from 1936-1940, using their analyses to create a patchwork of biographies. After, students consider what it means to be an American today and reflect on how the definition of being American has changed over time.

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Grade

High School

Subjects

Civics, English Language Arts, Social Studies

Length

120-150 minutes

Topics

America, American, American farmer, American workers, identity, Jean de Crèvecoeur, life histories, oral histories, Works Progress Administration

Author

Teaching with the Library of Congress

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