Connecticut History on the Web

Assessments

 
The assessments are organized by unit. Each unit has one or more assessment exercises from which to choose, and each assessment has an accompanying rubric for scoring student work. Choose from the units below to get the assessment or assessments that have been created for that unit. You may want to copy the text of the assessment into a text file for your word program and make adjustments to suit your own needs.

 

The Pequot War

Connecticut Colony and the Empire

The Ratification of the Constitution in Connecticut

Dissent and the Standing Order: The Fight for Religious Toleration in Connecticut

Water Wheels and Steam Engines I: Shops Along the Brook

Water Wheels and Steam Engines II: Visions of Change

Newcomers to the Land of Steady Habits

The Woman Question

Connecticut Progressives

The Promised Land in Connecticut?

A World Apart: Connecticut's African Americans, 1900-1970

 

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Assessments for the Pequot War

( - 2 assessments - )

I

The Statue Debate

For this project you are to play the part of a historian who has been asked to present a position paper to the Connecticut Historical Commission on the Pequot War. The problem the Commission faces is that there has recently been considerable controversy over a statue of John Mason, who was the commander of the English troops who fought the Pequots in 1637. A few years ago the statue was moved from the sight of the fort where the ancestors of the present-day Pequots were killed because they consider this holy ground. Furthermore, they do not consider Mason a hero, but a murderer who ordered the burning of women and children inside the fort. They consider the English the aggressors in an unjust and genocidal war of conquest and wanted the statue removed. It was moved to the Palisado Green in Windsor, Mason's home town when he led the troops in the Pequot War. Even so, there has been debate over whether the statue is an appropriate memorial at all, even standing in Windsor, and even with a new plaque which focuses on Mason's achievements as a colonial leader, rather than on his victory over the Pequots.

The Commission is not asking for your opinion on the disposition of the statue, although you are free to give it. Instead, the Commission would like your carefully-studied analysis of the causes of the Pequot War. This will address the matter that seems to be at the root of the controversy: were the English the aggressors and were their actions unjust? Therefore, you must study the available contemporary sources on the war and come to some conclusions which the Commission may consider in its deliberations.

Be sure to state clearly, in the beginning of your paper, the importance of discovering the causes of the war. Then state your thesis on the causes very carefully, so that your readers know what your main ideas will be. Incorporate the evidence you have gathered from the documentary sources into discussion paragraphs on each of your main ideas, and wrap up the essay in a convincing argument.

Attached are the standards by which you will be graded. After you have finished the final draft of your paper, evaluate it yourself, making appropriate check marks on the right hand side. You will have a chance to discuss your evaluation, and any disagreements I may have with it, after I have read the paper.

Standards

A Range

Issue is clear
Thesis identifies multiple combined factors behind the Pequot War
Ample evidence is given in support of each factor identified
Arguments are convincing and relate evidence to main idea
Ideas are presented in a logical structure
Writing is clear (main ideas stand out, argument easy to follow)
No mechanical errors
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________

 

B Range

Issue is clear for the most part, or can be inferred
Thesis is reasonable, but does not fully recognize the complexity of causes
Sufficient evidence is given in support of each factor identified
Most arguments are convincing and relate the evidence to the main idea
One or two points may need restructuring or reordering
Writing is clear with a few exceptions
Only a few mechanical errors
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
    

C Range

Issue is not clear
Thesis could use a good deal more thought, given all the information available
Some evidence is given
Arguments need work to be more convincing
Significant work is needed to make presentation orderly
Writing needs to be clearer in many cases
Some major mechanical errors
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________

 

D Range

The paper does not address a particular issue
Thesis does not give an explanation for the Pequot War
Little evidence is given, or what is given is not supportive
Arguments are weak or missing
No clear organizational structure
Writing is difficult to understand
Many mechanical errors
   


II

The Textbook Section

You are a staff writer for a prestigious textbook publishing firm. Your boss has just discovered that the recent edition of your flagship American history text, The Saga of America, has a hopelessly inadequate section on North American colonial history. In particular, there is virtually nothing written about Connecticut, and it is in that state where your firm has had, not surprisingly, no textbook sales in the past five years! Furthermore, your boss is irate because there is little or nothing written in the colonial history section about native Americans. Therefore, for better or for worse, he has assigned you to "kill two birds with one stone," and write a narrative history of the Pequot War of 1637.

Attached are the standards he expects you to meet in writing this narrative. Be sure to pay close attention to them as you develop your narrative, because your boss is a hard person to please. He has given you all the source material you will need (at least he thinks so), so stick to that collection of documents and be as accurate as possible in telling the story.

Keep in mind that there is a good deal of controversy about this event. In the past, public figures and historians have argued about its causes and its outcomes. Even in present-day Connecticut, the power and influence of the Mashantucket Pequot nation is a controversial matter. Tell the story as you see it, but be aware that there will be some complaints no matter what you say. Therefore, you will need to be prepared to justify every sentence that you write.

At our next staff meeting your boss and associates will review your narrative and decide on whether it will become part of the next edition - an edition they hope to be able to sell in Connecticut!

 

Standards

 

Excellent - you can have my job as soon as I get promoted

The narrative has a beginning, a middle and an end, and its path is clear from the start
You have identified principal cause/effect relationships and these stand out in your narrative
You have made clear reference to chronology (when things happened)
You have plenty of details, but not so many as to swamp your reader
Your narrative is engaging and it "flows" - it's attention-grabbing and easy to follow
Your narrative is based on good judgment and competent use of the sources available to you
Your narrative reveals the complexity of events - multiple causes, complex motivations, etc.
There are no spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors (we have to publish this stuff)

 

Good work - take an extra week of vacation this year

The path the narrative is taking is a little unclear at points
You have identified most cause/effect relationships and most stand out in your narrative
You have used chronology effectively, for the most part
You have used good detail, but could include more (or you have too much)
Your narrative is generally well-written, but could use attention in spots
Most of the time you have exercised good judgment, but there are one or two erroneous spots
Your narrative reveals some of the complexity of events
There are only a few minor mechanical errors (the desk editor will probably catch them)
    

OK - maybe we should use another piece for your performance rating, though

In terms of beginning, middle and end, the narrative is deficient in one
You have identified some cause/effect relationships, but missed some important ones
You have some dates included, but need more
You have some details, but need more to make the narrative concrete
There are several places where the writing could be clearer or more engaging
You have made some significant errors of judgment
While you have the skeleton of the story, you've left out important components 
A few major mechanical errors (let's hope they don't make it to print)

 

This is in need of a lot of work

In terms of beginning, middle and end, the narrative is deficient in two
You missed many important cause/effect relationships
You have too few dates
You have too few details
Writing is unclear
You are not using source material very well
Much of the story has been omitted
Mechanics need a general cleanup 

 

You're fired

There doesn't seem to be much of a story line here
Where's the map?
Do you know what we mean by cause and effect?
Did it occur to you this all happened in the past?
How about writing about something that actually happened
How about writing something I can understand
How about using the source material
Please attend third grade and take spelling

 


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Assessment for Connecticut Colony and the Empire

You and your group are representatives from several Connecticut towns to the colonial legislature that will convene in October, 1765. Last year the colony received word that the Parliament had passed the Sugar Act and that orders had been issued to tighten up on enforcement of the Laws of Trade and Navigation. Furthermore, your colony's agent Richard Jackson wrote that prime minister Grenville planned to present a bill for a stamp tax at the next session of Parliament. The colony commissioned Governor Fitch to write a protest against such taxation and to defend Connecticut's traditional independence. Now you have received word that Parliament has passed that act in spite of opposition, that distributors have been appointed to sell stamps in the colonies, and that these stamps must be placed on various documents and publications.

There has been considerable turmoil up and down the coast, including riots in some of the port towns. Some legislatures have reacted by sending strongly worded petitions back to Parliament, and there is to be a congress of representatives of the colonies to meet in New York to consider collective opposition.

Your group has made a habit of getting together at Moses Butler's tavern in Hartford in the evenings, when the legislature has adjourned for the day, to discuss current issues. You are not the most congenial group, for in the past fifteen years you have had much to argue about. However, you have maintained your contacts with each other because, in spite of your differences, you have seen these informal discussions as an opportunity to reach agreements that cannot be made in the more formal atmosphere of the House of Representatives.

The current situation, however, has created strains within the group that may not be mended. You will portray these divisions be reenacting a debate over the way that Connecticut should respond to the Stamp and Sugar Acts, and other developments affecting the colony. You may reenact this debate in the form of an after-hours argument, or in the form of opposing editorials published in local papers.

Use the documentary and background readings provided to help you understand the complexities of the issues that political leaders were discussing in 1765. Try to incorporate their language and the manner in which they use various concepts into your debate. You may assume that the issues would fuel some degree of anger, although you will always want to maintain rational argument, even if you have to ridicule your opponents on occasion. Be sure that you demonstrate the way in which the colony's local political issues have an impact on the way people think about relationships between the colony and Great Britain.

The public will be your judges, of course, for they determine whether you will continue to represent them in the future. Each of you has a particular constituency that you feel obligated to represent to the best of your ability. Try to appeal to all of their concerns, including those that may at first seem unrelated to the great imperial questions before you.

 

Standards

Excellent - you will all be returned to your seats by landslides in the next election

Opinions were stated clearly, and contrasted sharply
You demonstrated a highly informed grasp of the issues in dispute
Language and words used were close to 1760s expression
Strong arguments and evidence to support your opinions
Appealed to local concerns and showed how the imperial questions related
No mechanical errors (if written), or clearly intelligible (if spoken)
Well organized and carefully presented

Good work - in spite of some close calls, the majority of your constituents voted for you

Opinions stated clearly for the most part
You are informed about the issues in dispute
You use language and words used in the 1760s
Strong arguments and evidence, with a few weak spots
Appealed to some local concerns but ignored others or did not relate to larger issues
A few mechanical errors or slip-ups in speeches
Well organized and carefully presented for the most part

Satisfactory - most of you get reelected

Opinions are stated, but are not always clear
You seem informed about these issues, but don't always display your knowledge
Your expression is clear, but not always authentic for the time
Some good arguments and evidence
Some local concerns addressed, but relationship to larger issues is unclear
Several mechanical errors or rough spots in your speeches
Some spots need better organization

Unsatisfactory - most of your are sitting home at the next session of the legislature

Opinions generally unclear
General lack of understanding of the issues displayed
Little authentic expression
Generally weak support
Few local concerns seem to figure in here
Many mechanical problems
Generally disorganized


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Assessment for the Ratification of the Constitution

You have been assigned a role to play for the reenactment of Connecticut's ratification convention of January, 1788. Before reading about your role, you should read the essay on the political background to the ratification convention. Be sure to pay close attention to the issues that have been of concern to people in Connecticut, for their feelings about the new Constitution of the United States of America are shaped by those local issues (and you are supposed to represent their concerns to the other delegates at the convention). As you learn about your role, you should also read the newspaper articles that have been written about the new constitution. Then carefully prepare arguments to support the position you will take at the convention. If you are not yet sure what position to take (some of the characters were undecided before the convention), prepare arguments for both sides, or prepare a list of questions you want to ask the advocates of each side, to help you make up your mind.

Your grade will be determined by your performance at the convention, as well as your follow-up essay on the question "Why did Connecticut ratify the Constitution?"

 

Standards

A Range

Arguments at convention are convincing and supported by evidence
You have portrayed your character's views accurately and with sophistication
Your speeches and essay contain substantial detailed information
Your essay makes a clear statement in answer to the question
Essay is very well organized and has no mechanical errors
Both show a sophisticated understanding of the ratification process in Connecticut
   

B Range

Arguments have a few holes, but are generally convincing and supported by evidence
You have portrayed your character's views accurately
Speeches and essay contain detailed information
Essay makes a reasonably clear statement in answer to the question
Essay is generally well organized and has few mechanical errors
Both show a good understanding of the ratification process in Connecticut

C Range

You state some arguments and evidence, but you are not convincing
You have portrayed some of your character's ideas and views
Speeches and essay contain some relevant information
You have answered the essay question, though not as clearly as you might
Essay has a structure, but organization could improve, as could spelling and grammar
Adequate understanding of the ratification process

D and F Range

Arguments and evidence lacking
Inaccurate portrayal of your character
Little relevant information given
Answer to the essay question is unclear
Disorganized essay, numerous mechanical errors
Inadequate understanding of the ratification process

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Assessment for Dissenters and the Standing Order

The following is a fictitious letter that Rev. Lyman Beecher might have sent to Oliver Wolcott after hearing that the new state constitution had been ratified in 1818. You are to assume the role of Oliver Wolcott and answer the letter.

Litchfield

January 4, 1819

To the Honorable Oliver Wolcott, Governor of the State of Connecticut

Dear Oliver,

It has been some time since I spoke with you, and I apologize for that. My work here in our old town has kept me very busy, mending and reclaiming souls, and working with others to spread the gospel across the country.

I was greatly distressed to hear that we had a new constitution which has withdrawn the support of the State from the church. As you know, I have long believed that a state without a church is a ship without an anchor, doomed to being carried by the most unpredictable winds, and in constant danger of washing onto the shoals. This turn of events has upset me so, that I have been unable to communicate to my parishioners, and even to my family, for weeks. I have had to leave the business of the administration of the sacraments to my assistant, and have withdrawn to my study to contemplate what the Lord has planned for me in the future.

What has distressed me even more, was to hear that you stood behind this new constitution, that you led the party that put this despicable instrument before a largely ignorant populus. That they so quickly embraced it was predictable, given their desperate need to close with the gospel salvation. But I have to believe they would not so readily have done so, had you cautioned against precipitous action and devised some way for the church to remain under the care of the government. Honestly, Oliver, what would your father have said! Now the rock of our morality must limp along on its own, and I fear the day will come when it disappears.

I do not write you, Oliver, to ask for reassurance, for only God can provide that. However, in my contemplations I feel I could come closer to an understanding of God's plan if only you could explain HOW this event occurred. HOW was it, Oliver, that a state led by high-minded citizens could turn its back on its most illustrious institution? Please, I must know. How could this have happened?

Yours in the true faith,

Lyman Beecher

 

How do you know if your reply was satisfactory to Rev. Beecher?

An excellent letter would

Explain clearly from the start the general causes of disestablishment
Display a sophisticated understanding of the causes for disestablishment
Tell the story of disestablishment in detail
Be well organized in presenting the explanation
Provide arguments that are convincing for the explanation
Have no mechanical errors

A good letter would

Explain the general causes with reasonable clarity
Recognize multiple causes for disestablishment
Relate substantial details of the story
Be well organized for the most part
Be convincing for the most part
Have only a few mechanical errors

A satisfactory letter would

State clearly at least one cause for disestablishment
Display understanding of some of the causes
Relate some of the details of the story
Be organized to some degree
State arguments in support
Have a number of mechanical errors

An unsatisfactory letter would

Not be very clear on the cause of disestablishment
Display only a superficial understanding of the causes
Relate few details
Be disorganized
Make little effort to be convincing
Be riddled with mechanical errors
   


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Assessment for Water Wheels and Steam Engines I: Shops Along the Brook

As a class we have asked a number of questions about change in the small New England town of Granby, Connecticut. Now it is time for you to dive into the kinds of source materials used by historians who investigate the history of ordinary people, and to try to come up with some answers to those questions. The key here is to work with multiple sources, as you would fit together pieces of a puzzle to see the whole picture. Try to avoid making generalizations based on one source alone. It is all right to draw inferences and working hypotheses from a single source, but then be sure to look at other sources for verification, or evidence suggesting that some revision of your original thoughts is in order. To make one overall generalization in answer to one of our questions, be sure to draw evidence from at least four sources.

Your final product should be a well-crafted general statement, a paragraph in length, in which you answer the question you have chosen or has been assigned to you as clearly as possible. Accompanying this answer you should list the sources that you used to derive this answer, with very brief explanations of how each contributed to the answer. Choice quotations from documents, cutouts of pictures or selected statistics may also be included with this annotated list of sources used. You will be asked to present your findings to the class, after which the class will offer comments and ask questions. Then you will have an opportunity to make revisions and clarifications before you hand in the written material.

 

Standards

A Range

More than four sources used
Numerous important fragments of sources included
Explanations of source interpretation are clear and convincing
Overall generalization is clear and sophisticated
No mechanical errors

B Range

Four sources used
Some fragments of sources included
Explanations of source interpretation are clear and convincing for the most part
Overall generalization is clear and reflects serious thought
Few mechanical errors

C Range

Only two or three sources used
A few fragments of sources used, not necessarily supportive
Explanations are satisfactory
Overall generalization is clear and contains some original ideas
A number of mechanical errors

D or F Range

Only one source used
Virtually no representation of sources
Explanations not clear or convincing
Overall generalization unclear or does not address the question
Substantial mechanical repair needed


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Assessment for Water Wheels and Steam Engines II Visions of Change

 

For our study of the growth of large-scale industry in Connecticut and its impact on the people of the state, you will be maintaining a portfolio of notes, questions, thoughts, and writings which, when viewed as a whole, will show that you have learned a good deal from the wide range of sources we will study. We have already looked at some statistics the reveal that Connecticut was experiencing industrial development on an unprecedented scale after 1850. We have raised a lot of questions already. It will be your job to focus those questions into larger issues, to select an issue to concentrate on, and to work with the various sources to arrive at some overall theories regarding your issue.

Your portfolio should include our initial questions, along with follow-up thinking in the form of focused questions and hypotheses. You will also keep notes on primary sources (including notes on interviews we will have with people playing roles of historic characters). After we have learned a lot about Samuel Colt, you will write a formal obituary of the man, in which you capture the essence of his character and achievements. I will also expect to find continuing entries containing questions, thoughts, revisions of hypotheses, and, finally a theory on the causes, nature and impact of industrial and economic change in late-19th century Connecticut, with a final list of unanswered questions appended.

Portfolio Standards

A Range

Questions and hypotheses demonstrate serious, creative and sophisticated thinking
Notes on sources capture important information, and summarize material well
Obituary is creative and reflects a sophisticated understanding of the complexities of Sam Colt
Final reflections demonstrate sophisticated understanding of the industrialization experience
Portfolio is well organized, neat, complete
Obituary and final reflections have no mechanical errors

B Range

Questions and hypotheses demonstrate serious thinking
Notes on sources capture some important information, and summarize material
Obituary reflects understanding of Sam Colt
Final reflections demonstrate understanding of the industrialization experience
Portfolio is organized, and generally neat and complete
Obituary and final reflections have few mechanical errors

C Range

Questions and hypotheses demonstrate some thought
Notes on sources capture some information
Obituary reflects some thought about Sam Colt
Final reflections demonstrate understanding of some aspects of the industrialization experience
Portfolio is somewhat organized, has most required items, and is not too messy
Obituary and final reflections have a number of mechanical errors

D or F Range

Questions and hypotheses demonstrate little serious thinking
Notes on sources are not very useful
Obituary is superficial
Final reflections demonstrate little understanding of the industrialization experience
Portfolio is disorganized, incomplete and/or messy
Obituary and final reflections have far too many mechanical errors


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Assessment for Newcomers to the Land of Steady Habits

In looking at the charts on the ethnic composition of Connecticut's population at various points, we discovered that "the land of steady habits" was actually the scene of considerable change during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Immigration is a continuing theme in the history of the United States as a whole. In fact, some historians would say that the story of immigration is fundamentally the story of the United States. And so it is with the state of Connecticut. But what do the numbers mean in terms of experience?

As we progress through our course, we will take up the subject of immigration periodically. As we do this, you will make important additions to your portfolio that you are keeping on immigration. For now it is enough that you have some ideas about what was happening in Connecticut, based on the numbers alone, and that you have developed some questions to guide our continuing investigation into this theme. As we look at source material, you will add notes to the portfolio, and continue to jot down ideas, revisions of ideas, and more questions. After we have looked at important "waves" of immigration in the 19th century, each of you will engage in an oral history investigation of someone who is alive today who was an immigrant to this country.

When the time comes, I will help you to find someone to interview, to develop questions for an interview, and to learn some other techniques involved in oral history research. A typed transcript of your interview, with your commentary, will become part of your portfolio. Finally, you will write some reflections on what you have learned overall about immigration to Connecticut, and explain some unresolved questions that you still have.

Portfolio Standards

A Range

Questions and hypotheses demonstrate serious, creative and sophisticated thinking
Notes on sources capture important information, and summarize material well
Interview was in-depth, drew out important information, and followed "tips" list fully
Commentary and final reflections demonstrate sophisticated understanding of the immigration experience
Portfolio is well organized, neat, complete
Interview, commentary and final reflections have no mechanical errors

B Range

Questions and hypotheses demonstrate serious thinking
Notes on sources capture some important information, and summarize material
Interview was drew out important information, and followed "tips" list for the most part
Commentary and final reflections demonstrate understanding of the immigration experience
Portfolio is organized, and generally neat and complete
Interview, commentary and final reflections have few mechanical errors

C Range

Questions and hypotheses demonstrate some thought
Notes on sources capture some information
Interview was drew out some information, and followed some of the "tips"
Commentary and final reflections demonstrate understanding of some aspects of the immigration experience
Portfolio is somewhat organized, has most required items, and is not too messy
Interview, commentary and final reflections have a number of mechanical errors

D or F Range

Questions and hypotheses demonstrate little serious thinking
Notes on sources are not very useful
Interview was superficial and did not follow the "tips"
Commentary and final reflections demonstrate little understanding of the immigration experience
Portfolio is disorganized, incomplete and/or messy
Interview, commentary and final reflections have far too many mechanical errors

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Assessment for The Woman Question

You are a reporter for Harper's Weekly, a magazine with a national circulation that takes pride in its in-depth stories on current issues. You have been assigned to go to Hartford to investigate the creating of a woman suffrage association for the state of Connecticut. The leaders of this effort appear to be Isabella Beecher Hooker and her husband John Hooker. It is expected that quite a few celebrities will be in attendance at the founding convention to be held in that city. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, William Lloyd Garrison, Catharine Beecher and many other well-known figures have said they will attend, although it is not clear how many of these are fully in support of the effort to amend the national constitution to give women the right to vote.

Your job is to read all of the local publications you can on the subject, and get within earshot of as many of the leading figures as possible in order to get a good sense of what is going on? How strong is the movement? Does it have support across the social classes? Do men support it as well as women? Are all women in support of their getting the right to vote? What is the response of the general public and of the press? Probably you can think of many other avenues of investigation.

After you have done your research, write an in-depth article for Harper's in which you explain to our readers both in Connecticut and across the nation just what is happening, what seem to be the forces and people at work behind the events, and how much significance this organizational effort will have for the future. Be clear and well-informed, and be sure to write in an engaging manner from the start, so that our readers will want to know more.

 

Standards

 

Excellent - you can have my job as soon as I get promoted

Your story is accurate, detailed and complete
You have included references to and quotations from many sources close to the events
You have provided a sophisticated explanation of the forces and people behind the events
You have provided a sophisticated appraisal of the significance of the developments in Hartford
Your story reads exceptionally well and keeps the reader interested
There are no spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors (we have to publish this stuff)

Good work - take an extra week of vacation this year

Your story is, for the most part, accurate, detailed and complete
You have included references to and quotations from a number of sources close to the events
You have provided a reasonable explanation of the forces and people behind the events
You have provided a reasonable appraisal of the significance of the developments in Hartford
Your story reads well and keeps the reader interested
   There are only a few minor mechanical errors (the desk editor will probably catch them)

OK - maybe we should use another piece for your performance rating, though

There are a few major flaws in your rendition of the story, but the story is there
You have included references to and quotations from a few of the sources close to the events
You have provided an explanation of the forces and people behind the events
You have provided an appraisal of the significance of the developments in Hartford
Your story reads fairly well, but could use some work in spots
   A few major mechanical errors (let's hope they don't make it to print)

This is in need of a lot of work

The story line is hard to follow
Your references to and quotations from sources are unclear and irrelevant
You have not provided a clear explanation of the forces and people behind the events
You have not provided an adequate appraisal of the significance of the developments in Hartford
Your story is not easy to read
   Mechanics need a general cleanup 

You're fired

There doesn't seem to be a story line
You not found any sources
You have explained little or nothing
You don't seem to think there is anything significant going on
Your story is unreadable
   Please attend third grade and take spelling

 


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Assessment for Connecticut Progressives

 

Attention Connecticut Journalists

Special to The Hartford Courant

July 9, 1912

THE NEW PARTY

Messrs. Alsop and Luther Invite Sympathizers

To the Editors of The Courant:

Dear Sir: - We, the undersigned, whose names appear among the signers of the call for the new party which is to be printed in the press of the country today, respectfully request you to print in your paper the appended notice.

Yours very truly,

J. W. Alsop
Flavel S. Luther
Per M.N.
Hartford, July 9, 1912

 

THE CALL

To the Voters of the State of Connecticut:-

 

A Call for the organization of a new political party, setting forth its aims and the reasons for its formation having been printed in the public press of the country; it is requested that any voter of this state of any political party who is in sympathy with this movement communicate with J.W. Alsop, Avon, Connecticut.

 

Notice: You are hereby given notice of a special invitation to an important news conference featuring Republican State Central Committee Chairman, J. H. Roraback, his Excellency the Governor of the State of Connecticut, Simeon Baldwin, Democratic State Senator and party leader Thomas J. Spellacy, and the leaders of that "new" third party movement in Connecticut, the "Bull Moose" or Progressive Party.

When: November 1, 1912 - one week before election day in Connecticut, and across the nation.

Purpose: To continue to investigate what it meant to be a reformer (progressive) in the early 20th century, and to hypothesize further about the concept of "progressivism" at this time. As experienced newspaper reporters from all over the state of Connecticut, you are very anxious to learn more about this new political party and its leaders who are vying for the highest elected positions in state government. You should come to this news conference armed with questions to ask the panelists in order to help you with your investigation. There may be a great deal of tension in the room as the election draws nigh.

Preparation: You will want to get some background by reading some of the articles that have already been published in The Hartford Courant. Also you may want to look at an article called "The Progressive Party," by Herbert Knox Smith, their candidate for governor. This article appeared in The Yale Review in October and explains what this new party stands for. Finally, you should do some research on some of the national issues of the time, the records of both the Taft and the Roosevelt administrations, and some of Woodrow Wilson's ideas. Most importantly, you will need to do some serious thinking, so that your questions are truly challenging in the best tradition of early 20th century journalism!

When you have finished your research and attended the news conference, your assignment is to write a news analysis piece for your local paper, explaining Who were the Progressives, What were their goals, What tactics did they employ, How successful were they, and How do we account for their rise and fall?

 

Standards

 

Excellent - you can have my job as soon as I get promoted

You have provided a sophisticated analysis of the Progressives' goals
You have provided a sophisticated analysis of their tactics
You have provided a sophisticated analysis of their successes and failures
Your analysis includes many details from the news conference and documents
Your analysis is well organized, reads exceptionally well and keeps the reader interested
There are no spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors (we have to publish this stuff)

Good work - take an extra week of vacation this year

You have provided a careful analysis of the Progressives' goals
You have provided a careful analysis of their tactics
You have provided a careful analysis of their successes and failures
Your analysis includes details from the news conference and documents
   Your analysis is organized, reads well and keeps the reader interested
   There are only a few minor mechanical errors (the desk editor will probably catch them)

OK - maybe we should use another piece for your performance rating, though

You have provided some analysis of the Progressives' goals
You have provided some analysis of their tactics
You have provided some analysis of their successes and failures
Your analysis includes details from the news conference and documents, but could use more
   Your analysis has some order to it, reads fairly well, but could use some work in spots
   A few major mechanical errors (let's hope they don't make it to print)

This is in need of a lot of work

You have provided little or no analysis of the Progressives' goals
You have provided little or no analysis of their tactics
You have provided little or no analysis of their successes and failures
Your analysis includes few details from the news conference and documents
   Your analysis is disorderly and hard to follow
   Mechanics need a general cleanup


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Assessment for

The Promised Land in Connecticut?

Assessment 1

Using the primary sources provided in this lesson, students are to construct a narrative of immigration experiences in Connecticut in the early twentieth century for a new teaching unit on Connecticut History (for an elective secondary course).

A Narrative Account of AN IMMIGRANT'S EXPERIENCE IN CONNECTICUT [ early 20th century ].

An evaluation tool [suggested point value = 100 points].

 

OBJECTIVE:

The student will write a narrative account of the experiences of certain immigrant groups in Connecticut, in the late 1930s. (Students are expected to follow a standard essay format when completing this assignment). Students should write a thematic sentence and answer the questions found below by using the accompanying source materials. (Students should use the MLA format when writing this narrative).

One evaluative option is to grade the narrative report by a point-value (an example follows). In addition, a peer review outline has been included to be used on first drafts.

 

[ 6 points ]Title page = Correct spelling of the topic, (if applicable) an interesting sub-title, an appropriate illustration, name & date of the student.

[ 8 pts.]Set-up= Proper essay-style format, typed or written in ink, minimal spelling errors, minimal capitalization ( & grammatical) errors, no 'cross-outs' &/or 'marks' in the report.

[ 6 pts.]Introductory paragraph= The topic is properly introduced with a topic sentence. In addition, at least three items are mentioned, that will be explained in the report. Finally does it allude to what will be summed-up at the close on the report.

[ 60 pts.]Answering questions ( body of the report )

a] How are different immigrant groups presented in the W.P.A. interviews treated by the residents, the 'yankees' (those whose families have resided in Connecticut for two or more generations) of Connecticut? [give at least three examples ].

b] What are the reasons the 'yankees' and even the different immigrant groups give for being prejudicial views towards the more recent immigrants to Connecticut? [give at least three examples].

c] What impact did this discrimination have on the social and economic well-being of Connecticut's lifestyle in the late 1930s? [Interpret what impact any of the previously mentioned discriminatory actions might have had on Connecticut's recovery during The Great Depression].

d] Why do you think the residents of Connecticut, in the late 1930s, were so intolerant towards the different immigrant groups that had migrated to the state after World War I? [explain 2-3 reasons].

 

[ 6 pts.]Endnotes = are quoted facts properly identified and given credit with an endnote.

[ 6 pts.]Conclusion = The conclusion should leave the reader of the report with a meaningful &/or interesting idea about the overall theme (topic). [optional question = What lesson(s) do you think we should remember from this era of Connecticut's history ?]

[ 8 pts.]Source list = cite sources by including a complete bibliography.

Assessment 2

Students will role play in an activity where they are editors to the Connecticut Historical Society newsletter, and are required to write both a PRO & CON persuasive letter on the effectiveness of immigrants assimilating into the social and economic communities of the state. [The format of the assessment will be based on the CAPT Interdisciplinary Assessment activity].

Student Assignments:

A Persuasive Essay on IMMIGRATION ISSUES FOR CONNECTICUT IN THE EARLY 21ST CENTURY.

An evaluation tool: Using the C.A.P.T. Interdisciplinary RUBRIC standard established by the Connecticut State Department of Education as a reference tool.

 

Objective ( for the persuasive essay ): Should the state of Connecticut support or not support increased restrictions on the number of immigrants allowed into the United States?

 

Writing a Persuasive Essay on - The Acceptance of Different Immigrant Ethnic Groups into Connecticut

 

In this writing activity the students will think about and take a position on an important issue:

 

Was Connecticut a state that was accepting and open to immigrants in the early 20th century ?

[Furthermore, did racism affect how the recent immigrants became 'Americans' ?].

 

Your Task:

The student will read some articles about immigrant experiences in Connecticut during the 1920s and 1930s (from W.P.A. interviews conducted during the late 1930s). In the letter (essay) to a historical society, to be published in their quarterly newsletter, you will agree or disagree with the view that Connecticut communities were open to different ethnic groups. (Your letter should contain supporting information from the source materials).

 

Procedure:

1. Read all the source materials.

2. Prepare to write your letter.

3. Write your letter (the final draft).

 

How your letter (essay) will be scored:

[Assessment Scoring Rubric (based on the Connecticut C.A.P.T. Interdisciplinary Rubric)]

Score 5 = Excellent.

Takes a clear and persuasive position: in the opening paragraph. Furthermore, the position is fully supported with relevant and accurate information from the source materials. Moreover the position reminds the reader of the unified theme and has at least three supporting arguments/ideas. The letter is well organized and the writer demonstrates awareness of the assigned audience; ideas are clearly and effectively developed; and the writing includes effective transitions for a overall fluency to the article.

Score 4 = Good.

Takes a clear and thoughtful position; well supported but not as completely developed as a "5" response. Uses source material accurately and may have 2-3 supporting arguments/ideas. The letter is fairly well organized and the writer shows some sensitivity to an audience. The views (ideas) are expressed clearly, although it may lack the fluency of a "5" letter

Score 3 = Fine/adequate.

Takes a stand (on the issue) but has difficulty expressing a clear position. The writer has used some source material to support his position (but it is somewhat limited). He letter shows some organization and an awareness of the audience; but occasionally the writer does digress from the main argument at hand and some ideas could be more fully detailed (expressed).

Score 2 = Needs Revision.

Does attempt to take a position, but fluctuates between the two sides on the issue. Very limited support from the source materials; in addition some of the source facts may be misinterpreted or use out of content (concerning the topic ). Furthermore, the letter is too limited in the supporting arguments/ideas (only one or two presented). Moreover a sense of an audience is missing and transitions are lacking (making it difficult to follow the 'direction' of the letter).

Score 1 = Poor/inadequate.

The writer fails to take a stand (a position) on the issue. The writer offers no supporting source information from the readings; many times just providing an (personal) emotional response, that is much too limited in arguments/ ideas and collaborating facts ( a number of facts used are irrelevant &/or inaccurate). The letter lacks any (overall) organization and many times digests from the main topic/ reason for the assignment.

 

 

Assessment 3

Students will conduct oral interviews with first and/or second generation immigrants to Connecticut. They will complete an interview questionnaire and then compile a critical summary based on three other students interviews from their classmates.

 

Conducting an Interview with a recent immigrant into the State of Connecticut

An evaluation tool= use a RUBRIC tool &/or an Interviewing Worksheet ( see worksheet below).

(60 points for completion)

 

The U.S. Immigrant Experience

Which Analogy =A'Melting Pot' or A 'Tossed Salad'?

 

Name:_________________________

Class:________________

Date:____________

Students, please complete this questionnaire when interviewing a recent immigrant (& their family members). The interviewee should have had been born outside the U.S..

 

1] Name of the interviewee [the immigrant ] =___________________________________

2] His/her native land = _____________________________________

3] Number of people in their immediate family = __________________________________

4] The interviewee's age and occupation =_______________________________________

 

 

optional = answers also for other immediate family members =

 

 

5] What are some of the customs he/she has retained in the U.S. from their 'mother nation' ?

 

 

6] What are some of the customs they have given up, while living in the U.S. ?

 

 

7] What are some of the traditional 'American' things they do now ?

 

 

8] What are some of the traditional 'American' things they don't do ?

 

 

9] What are some of the things they like here in America ?

 

 

10] What are some of the things they don't like here in America ?

 

 

11] How has America lived up to their hopes ( they had before migrating to the U.S.) ?

 

 

12] Does the interviewee think America is more like a mix stew (Melting Pot ) or like a mix salad (Tossed Salad) ?

 

STUDENT NOTES:

 

 

 

 

Assessment 4

[An optional assessment: The use of a debate on the immigrant experience today (and of the past) in Connecticut].


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Assessment for A World Apart: Connecticut's African Americans, 1914-1970

For our study of the history of Connecticut's African Americans in the twentieth century we will be looking carefully at the climactic moment of civil discontent when riots broke out in Connecticut cities in 1968. Certainly, this is a negative approach, for there is the very real danger of defining the African American experience in terms of violence and oppression, and ignoring the positive aspects of community building and long-term struggles for equality that are also a significant part of that experience. However, there can be no doubt that as protests became more militant and as anger grew, most of the important forces at work within the African American community, or acting upon relationships among different racial and ethnic communities, including positive forces, were brought into sharp focus. For this reason, we are reenacting the investigation conducted by the state government into the causes of the riots and how such violence can be prevented in the future.

After the investigative commission has done its research, conducted its hearings and offered its report and recommendations, you will write a newspaper editorial in which you critique the report, assessing its strengths, weaknesses and ways it could be improved. Be sure to be very clear in stating your opinions, and argue your opinions convincingly, drawing upon your own understanding of the materials and people we have studied. You may even compare the report of our commission to the excerpts of the report from the actual Waterbury commission issued in 1969, although you should not necessarily think of that report as a perfect model. Finally, you may want to take into account the figures on school populations that extend into the 1980s. While you cannot mention these in your editorial (since you are writing in 1970), they may influence the way you respond to the report&endash;consider yourself far-seeing.

 

Standards

A Range

You have stated your opinions with great clarity
You have argued your opinions convincingly
You have given a careful assessment of the report's strengths and weaknesses
You have made some excellent suggestions as to how the report could be improved
You have drawn on all of the materials we have studied
Your editorial has no mechanical errors
      

B Range

You have stated your opinions clearly
You have argued your opinions convincingly for the most part
You have given a reasonably careful assessment of the report's strengths and weaknesses
You have made some good suggestions as to how the report could be improved
You have drawn on many of the materials we have studied
Your editorial has few mechanical errors

C Range

You have stated your opinions clearly some of the time
You have argued some of your opinions convincingly
You have given an assessment of the report's strengths and weaknesses
You have made some suggestions as to how the report could be improved
You have drawn on some of the materials we have studied
Your editorial has a few major, or a number of minor mechanical errors

D and F Range

Your opinions are not stated clearly
You have not argued your opinions convincingly
You have not given an assessment of the report's strengths and weaknesses
You have made no suggestions as to how the report could be improved
You have drawn on few of the materials we have studied
Your editorial has too many mechanical errors
 


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