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Save the Children: American Attitudes Toward Refugees and the Wagner-Rogers Act

Grade Level Grades 6-12
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards

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What were American attitudes toward accepting child refugees who were fleeing Nazi terror in the 1930s? What role did the Wagner-Rogers Bill (1939) play in responding to this refugee crisis? What does this moment in history say about a nation's responsibility in helping people on the move with ambiguous status, especially children? How might we use our country's past to inform and strengthen our actions today?

To explore these questions, we created this resource with Jill Weiss Simins, a historian at the Indiana Historical Bureau (IHB) who works on Hoosier State Chronicles (HSC), a free database of digitized Indiana newspapers. We highlighted a selection of primary sources to demonstrate a variety of opinions and knowledge about the Wagner-Rogers act and ways to respond to the refugee crisis that was prompted by Nazi aggression. To support the resource, this lesson plan contains teaching suggestions and ideas for the classroom. 

View the original webpage on the Re-imagining Migration website.

Standards

By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social studies.
Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
Introduce claim(s) about a topic or issue, acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).
Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author’s claims.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.
Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Reviews

5.0
Adam Strom
June 13, 2019