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Do students read "between the lines"? Do they read with thought of finding answers to their own questions? These activities have been designed to teach students how to critically evaluate what is read.

Directions: Using the journalistic approach of Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How, examine one of the documents below. Use the How Does It Read? Guide to describe what you are reading.

Your Boy & My Boy
Post Toasties


For your boy and my boy; Buy bonds; Hear the bugle call, 1918

Egbert Van Alstyne, 1882-1951

Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920 (from Duke University)


C. W. Post; or, What is this Strange Power?

Cornflake Crusade

By Gerald Carson

Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910

Elizabeth Blackwell Fire Brigade


Why Women Should Vote

Alice Stone Blackwell, 1857-1950

Votes for Women: Selections from the National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection, 1848-1921


CHAPTER XIV Fire Departments of Early Days

Memories; my seventy-two years in the romantic county of Yuba, California.

By W.T. Ellis

California As I Saw It: First-Person Narratives of California's Early Years, 1849-1900

Lobo, the King of Currumpaw


Lobo, the King of Currumpaw

Wild Animals I Have Known

By Ernest Seton Thompson

The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920


J. W. Wilson Interview

"Twenty Little Froggies"

By. J.W. Wilson

American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940


apparatus - a set of materials or equipment designed for a specific use, 1628 (date of the earliest recorded use in English)

bivouac - a temporary encampment under little or no shelter, 1702 brigade - group of people organized for special activity, 1637

canon - form of canyon, deep narrow valley with steep sides often with a stream flowing through it (American spelling), 1837

doll up - to dress elegantly or extravagantly, to make more attractive (as by addition of decorative details), 1906

enfranchised - to endow with a franchise as to admit to the privileges of a citizen and especially of the rights of suffrage, 15th century

jollifications - festivity, merrymaking, 1809 Postum - cereal coffee, late 1800's

rudiments - a basic principle or element or fundamental skill, 1548

strychnine - a bitter poisonous alkaloid, used as a poison for rodents, 1819 veritable - capable of being verified, confirmed, 1593

Civil War Slippers

View this clip as Rosemary Plakas, Curator in Rare Books and Special Collections at The Library of Congress tells the story about this pattern for slippers.

Hospital slippers for the sick and wounded soldiers of the Union

Click here to see the item in the American Memory Collection.

Updated March 11, 2017
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