Social Studies Practice Lessons

Applying Author’s Reasonings and Evidence to Women’s Rights: Lesson One

Part One: Understanding Author’s Reasoning

Before we begin, let’s discuss the author’s reasoning for creating a document and the evidence that can be found in these documents.

Historical documents are written for many reasons. Authors are influenced by varying factors to create these documents: social standards, trends, current events, wars, mechanization, etc. These different factors allow readers to gain a greater insight into the time period and the mindsets of people.

It’s important that we understand the author’s reasoning for creating a text, data, comic, poster, etc. Knowing the author’s reasoning will allow readers to find any bias in the information. It will also help readers to logically and thoughtfully answer questions. Readers must be in tune with the author’s reasoning.

To understand how authors have different reasonings, let’s examine two pieces of information from the Women’s Suffrage movement. In the late 1800’s a battle for women equality arose in America, creating high tensions and varying opinions. Two definite sides had formed in America: those who wanted the 19th Amendment to pass and guarantee women equality, and those who were adamantly opposed. In response, speeches were made declaring opinions, comics were printed in newspapers, and propaganda was hung in an attempt to sway people’s vote.

Below are two pieces from the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Both were created for a particular reason, but as you will see, their reasonings are completely different.

Sample A:

First, let’s read a speech by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, from the Seneca Falls Convention.

Delivered July 19, 1848, Seneca Falls, New York.

“But we are assembled to protest against a form of government existing without the consent of the governed – to declare our right to be free as man is free, to be represented in the government which we are taxed to support, to have such graceful laws as give man the power to chastise and imprison his wife, to take the wages which she earns, the property which she inherits, and, in case of separation, the children of her love; laws which make her the mere dependent on his bounty. It is to protest against such unjust laws as these that we are assembled today, and to have them, if possible, forever erased from our statute books, deeming them a shame and a disgrace to a Christian republic in the nineteenth century. We have met to uplift woman’s fallen divinity upon an even pedestal with man’s. And, strange as it may seem to many, we now demand our right to vote according to the declaration of the government under which we live.

The right is ours. The question now is: how shall we get possession of what rightfully belongs to us? We should not feel so sorely grieved if no man who had not attained the full stature of a Webster, Clay, Van Buren, or Gerrit Smith could claim the right of the elective franchise. But to have drunkards, idiots, horse-racing, rum-selling rowdies, ignorant foreigners, and silly boys fully recognized, while we ourselves are thrust out from all the rights that belong to citizens, it is too grossly insulting to the dignity of the woman to be longer quietly submitted to.

The right is ours. Have it, we must. Use it, we will. The pens, the tongues, the fortunes, the indomitable wills of many women are already pledged to secure this right. The great truth that no just government can be formed without the consent of the governed we shall echo and re-echo in the ears of the unjust judge until by continual coming we shall weary him.”
“http://www.greatamericandocuments.com/speeches/stanton-seneca-falls.html”

Sample B

And now, examine this piece of propaganda from the time period of the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

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Part Two: Practice Questions

After examining the samples above, answer the following questions.

1. Which of the following represents the viewpoint of the speaker at the Seneca Falls Convention?

A. Women should not be treated as subordinates to men.
B. Women should appreciate their role as wife and mother.
C. Women should abide by current standards of the Constitution.

Answer: A. Women should not be treated as subordinates to men.

2. Which of the following is a supporting detail found in Sample A?

A. Only a woman is physically capable of giving birth, so naturally, it is her responsibility to stay home and tend to her family.
B. Women are physically smaller than men and therefore should be subordinate to them.
C. The government taxes women, and so women should have the right to vote in a country they are helping to fund.

Answer:C. The government taxes women, and so women should have the right to vote in a country they are helping to fund.

3. From what you can assume, Sample B was created was to:

A. sway people to against the Women’s Suffrage Movement
B. sway people to vote for Women’s Suffrage
C. persuade people to come to a come to an informational meeting

Answer: A. sway people to against the Women’s Suffrage Movement

Applying Central Ideas and Conclusions of Historical Documents to World War Two: Lesson Two

Part One: How to Read Historical Documents

Take a moment to read over the following information about the GED® Social Studies Exam:

During the GED Social Studies Exam,

Part Two: Practice Questions

Read the excerpt from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech after the bombing of Pearl Harbor:

Clarity and focus doesn't always come

1. Which of the statements best summarizes the central idea of the speech?

A. The Japanese government should be ashamed of their actions and apologize to America.
B. America will not sit idly and allow Japan to strategically attack its’ country without retaliation.
C. The President feels terribly guilty that he allowed this attack to happen to his people.

Answer:B. America will not sit idly and allow Japan to strategically attack its’ country without retaliation.

2. Which of these details supports the speech’s central idea?

A. The United States is ready to make an alliance with Japan in order to avoid future terrorist attacks.
B. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was strategically planned and carried out to intentionally harm the U.S.
C. America is aware of Germany’s treatment of their people and is ready to join the war.

Answer:B. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was strategically planned and carried out to intentionally harm the U.S.

3. Which of these conclusions can be supported by the President’s speech?

A.The American citizens are still unaware of what entering into a war will actually entail.
B. The President will make whatever decisions he feels necessary despite the criticism from American citizens.
C. The American government will do whatever necessary to protect their country and its citizens from another attack.

Answer:C. The American government will do whatever necessary to protect their country and its citizens from another attack.

Exploring the Constitutional Government: Lesson Three

Part One: Informational Reading

Take some time to read of the passage below.

After years of English rule, American colonists were tired of a monarchical rule. They wanted more decisions to be made by the people. The United States was aiming to be a pure republic, in which citizens were responsible for electing the President. They also began drafting their rights and ideas for a government in the form of a Constitution. On November 15, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation. Under the Articles of Confederation, the states were independent of one another. The acting Congress of the time served only to appeal disputes as a last result.

The Articles of Confederation were the first acting Constitution of the United States. For ten years, the 13 states abided by these loose rules and regulations. But in 1787, the Constitutional Convention met again and replaced the Articles of Confederation with the Constitution of the United States of America. The foundation of the American government and legal system became this Constitution of the United States.

The Constitution is organized into different parts. The introduction of the Constitution is known as the preamble. The drafters of the Constitution wrote their goals and ideals for their new country into the preamble.

After the preamble, are the original seven articles of the Constitution. These articles create three distinct branches in the government, as well as establish specific rights for the states. And finally, they set into motion the process for altering the Constitution.

An article of the Constitution can be changed through an amendment. An amendment may be proposed by Congress, as long as it is backed by two-thirds of the majorities in the House and Senate. This proposed amendment can then be “ratified” by three-fourths of the states.

Initially, the Constitution did not go into detail about the rights of citizens. As a result, the first ten amendments were passed in 1791. These amendments outlined the rights of American citizens. Because of the amendment process, when we look at Constitutional Amendments, we notice the path our country has taken. From outlawing slavery, to allowing women to vote, we look at the Constitution and all of its’ amendments, and we see the great history of the United States of America.

Part Two: Practice Questions

Answer the questions below.

1. In 1920, the 19th amendment was ratified, giving women the opportunity to vote.

The word ratified in this sentence means:

A. eliminated
B. altered
C. maintained

Answer: B. altered

2. The preamble acts as the introduction of the Constitution. What does the preamble accomplish?

A. It explained the goals and ideals that citizens intended for the construction of America.
B. They boldly stated the settler’s differences with England
C. They outlined the rights and responsibility of American citizens.

Answer: A. It explained the goals and ideals that citizens intended for the construction of America.

3. Which of the following best summarizes the purpose of the first ten amendments to the Constitution?

A. The original drafters of the Constitution had unrealistic expectations of the American citizens.
B. While the Constitution outlined many ideals and standards, it failed to delve into the rights of the citizens.
C. The original Constitution was a statement of separation from England, and didn’t actually set up a working system.

Answer:B. While the Constitution outlined many ideals and standards, it failed to delve into the rights of the citizens.

Understanding the Economic Marketplace: Lesson Four

Part One: Informational Reading

Read the following passage below about an economic marketplace.

A market place is a physical or virtual place where goods and services are sold. The people who make the goods and services are known as producers. To remember this, just remind yourself that producers “produce”, and that “to produce” means “to make.” Therefore, producers are the people who make the products that will be sold in the market.

The people who buy the products are called consumers. To remember this, just remind yourself that consumers “consume” and to “to consume” means to “to use up”. Therefore, consumers are the people who use up the products or services that are bought.  Remember, consumers are buying.

In a market place, buyers and sellers are able to negotiate their prices. It’s important that sellers are earning money on the goods that have been produced. But, buyers also want to spend as little as they possibly can. As a result, the price of goods and services are related to supply and demand. When there is a lot of one item (the supply is high) buyers have more options. Therefore, buyers are able to look for the cheapest price they can find. However, if there are few items (the supply is low), then buyers are forced to adhere to whatever price the seller has set. The goal of sellers is to keep their inventory moving. Inventory is how much of one thing the sellers have to offer their buyers.

Part Two: Practice Questions

 Answer the questions below.

1. Florida suffered an unusual winter, with temperature dropping to frigid temperatures for five days in a row. As a result, the production of oranges suffered, leaving farmers with the smallest crop they have had in ten years.

Which of the following would be true about the economic repercussions of this frigid weather?

A. Buyers will pay lower prices for the oranges because the supply is low.
B. The supply of the oranges will not satisfy the demand, and buyers will pay more.
C. The demand of the oranges will be lower than normal, and buyers will pay less.

Answer: B. The supply of the oranges will not satisfy the demand, and buyers will pay more.

2. Jean is a farmer in Idaho. He has a small vegetable stand at the end of his driveway that attracts several customers a day. During the summer, he employs five people to help him keep up with his vegetable production.

Which of the following would be a consumer good at his farm?

A. a tractor
B. his vegetable production
C. a passerby customer

Answer:A. a tractor

3. Which of the following is a main purpose of the marketplace?

A. To create an open exchange between producers and consumers.
B. To give consumers a better opportunity for selling their products.
C. To encourage locals to volunteer in their own communities.

Answer:A. To create an open exchange between producers and consumers.

Exploration and Colonialism: Lesson Five

Part One: Video Lesson

Part Two: Practice Questions

1. Which of the following is the primary reason Puritans came to America?

A. They believed that coming to America, while dangerous, would be a financially sound investment for their children.
B. They were no longer able to handle the religious persecution they suffered under English rule and wanted to worship as they pleased.
C. They longed to pay fewer taxes on their church and believed the colonists would be less forgiving of their debt.

Answer:B. They were no longer able to handle the religious persecution they suffered under English rule and wanted to worship as they pleased.

2. Which of the following statements about colonialism might Native American’s most likely agree?

A. Colonialism had an overall positive effect on their way of life because it allowed them the opportunity to have homes with stronger foundations.
B. Settlers were always very kind to the Native Americans, which made losing their land an easier transition.
C. Colonialism forced Native Americans to sacrifice the land, homes and food they had to rely upon for survival.

Answer: C. Colonialism forced Native Americans to sacrifice the land, homes and food they had to rely upon for survival.

3. Why might Europeans not have taken the Bering Strait to cross into America?

A. By the time Europeans began their explorations, the process of plate tectonics had separated the Bering Strait from the mainland.
B. They were not interested in going through such a frigid route.
C. Their xenophobic beliefs prohibited them from traveling with foreigners.

Answer: A. The process of plate tectonics had actually separated the Bering Strait from the mainland by the time Europeans began their explorations.