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Enrichment 2 EC

Page history last edited by Cher McDonald 1 year ago


Extra Credit Enrichment Available


  • The documentaries last approximately 60 to 110 minutes.

  • There will be an assigned question or writing topic for the documentary. 

    • The Panama Canal (Watch Online)
      •  (or go to PBS.org and search for full episodes, "Panama Canal")
      • Tasks: Respond to the following questions in a one page paper.
        • The Panama Revolution. Describe the process by which America acquired the land rights to the Panama Canal zone. Review Matthew Parker's commentary on this "bloodless revolution," which appears in Chapter 2 of the film. Why was the American public "confused and very divided" upon learning of the revolution in Panama?
        • What did America have to gain from the Panama Canal? Consider the economic, political, scientific, and cultural aspects of this question as they apply both to the U.S. and to the world. In what ways did President Theodore Roosevelt see the canal as "the obvious path to America's future"? What is your assessment of Roosevelt's interest in the canal? Was he inspired? Arrogant? Visionary? Imperialist? Explain. 
        • Given the extraordinary number of lives that were lost during the canal project, what is your assessment of the morality of building the canal? Are human lives an inevitable "price of progress"? If all the workers on the canal project had been from the United States, how might working conditions have been different? How might the entire project be different?
    • Triangle Shirtwaist Fire (Watch Online)
      • (or go to PBS.org and search for full episodes, "Triangle Shirtwaist Fire")
      • Tasks: Read the quick editorial article to help put the video in context
        • http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_03/028636.php
        • Then respond to the following questions in a one page paper.
        • The film depicts an epic clash between workers who fought for unionization and better working conditions, and bosses who fought equally hard to keep their factories free of unions and regulation. While watching the film, make note of arguments on both sides of this debate. Then write a paper to discuss: Which of these arguments do you consider most persuasive? What caused public opinion to shift from favoring the factory owners' arguments to supporting workers' demands for workplace regulation?
        • Who was Clara Lemlich and what arguments did she make in favor of a general strike? How did workers respond? Why was an industry-wide strike unthinkable before the shirtwaist workers gathered in November 1909 and heard Lemlich's speech? How did reformers and labor leaders respond to Lemlich's idea? How did the police and mayor respond? What was the impact of the general strike by shirtwaist workers? In your opinion, should the strikers have softened their demands when owners offered some concessions? 
  • Poisoner's Handbook (Watch Online)
    • (or go to PBS.org and search for full episodes, "Poisoner’s Handbook")
    • Printable worksheet:  Poisoner's Handbook Video Guide.pdf
    • Tasks: Answer the following questions as you watch the documentary.
      • 1. How did coroners handle their responsibilities in the early 1900s? Why was there a need for significant change in the job?
      • 2. How was Charles Norris uniquely qualified to start a Medical Examiner’s office in New York?
      • 3. Norris was distinctly upper class, how did this contrast to his toxicological chemist, Alexander Gettler?
      • 4. After being discredited on the stand in the Jackson case, what did Gettler do?
      • 5. Why was Fanny Creighton accused, cleared and re-accused of poisoning?
      • 6. How did Gettler life reflect the frenetic turmoil of the 1920s? (i.e. how did he participate in well-known 20s pastimes.)
      • 7. Since 1920, "intoxicating liquors" had been banned throughout the United States. Prohibition was born of good intentions, but those were being overwhelmed by unintended consequences.  Within the first minutes of Prohibition going into effect people were breaking the law. How did this affect the health of imbibers?
      • 8. What were the symptoms of lead poisoning? How did Norris prove that tetraethyl gasoline was poisonous to the workers at Ethyl Corporation?
      • 9. How did the case of Francesco Travia support the need for forensic science?
      • 10. What types of diseases was radium used to treat?
      • 11. What is the real effect of radium?
      • 12. Explain the story of Mike the Durable.
      • 13. How did forensic science save Frederick Gross from the electric chair in the deaths of his wife and children?
      • 14. How was Fanny Creighton finally caught and prosecuted?
      • 15. Why had homicidal poisoning virtually disappeared by the time Gettler retired in 1958?




If you choose to complete your Enrichment with an alternate activity you must get it preapproved with Ms. McD.





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