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Kansas Historical Society lesson plans

A Milestone in Reform: The Jungle and Political Change

Middle School/High School 

The Jungle Debuts in Appeal to ReasonHave you ever wondered what caused the United States Government to begin to inspect food production? Believe it or not it really started a long time ago with the publishing of a novel. In 1906, Upton Sinclair published The Jungle with the intention of enraging Americans about the unfair treatment of immigrants working in Packingtown, Chicago.  His revolting description of the meat packing process in packing plants, however, caused a public outcry for government regulation of meat inspection and production.  This lesson explores the history of a reform movement that started with a book and ended with major congressional legislation. Students will examine this reform movement from multiple perspectives using newspapers as primary sources and evaluate the role government still plays today in the safety and well-being of its citizens.

A Milestone in Reform:  The Jungle and Political Change--Lesson

A Milestone in Reform:  The Jungle and Political Change—Resource Chart

A Milestone in Reform:  The Jungle and Political Change—Readings

A Milestone in Reform:  The Jungle and Political Change—Templates and Keys


Kansas National Guard in World War 1

High School


Captain James C. HughesW. P. MacLean's My Story

Since territorial days the Kansas National Guard has been called upon to help Kansans in time of need but also to defend our nation. This lesson focuses on the role the Kansas National Guard played in World War I from recruitment to training, from action in Europe including the time as part of the Army of Occupation, to their return. The lesson is based on primary sources: 12 photographs taken by Captain James Clark Hughes and 12 excerpts from My Story of the 130th F. A., A. E. F. by Captain William P. MacLean. Both officers were from Topeka and in the130th Field Artillery Brigade of the Kansas National Guard. During World War I, the Kansas National Guard was federalized as part of the American Expeditionary Force's 35th Division. Students will use the primary sources (photographs and excerpts from an autobiography) along with secondary sources to answer the compelling question “What was the role of the Kansas National Guard in World War I?”

Kansas National Guard in World War I--Lesson Plan

Kansas National Guard in World War I--Primary Sources PowerPoint