Category Archives: US History 2

Unit Guide & Directions

This unit is a deep one.  It forces students to ask questions about the nature of history and why it is told.  Is the focus of this unit to simply present American expansion westward objectively, or to take a position on the consequences by asking powerful questions about the ethical choices made by key players in the events and issues of their times?   Ultimately, students should be able to do both.  We do not sit passively in our own lives watching events unfold around us without taking positions on them.  Students should be given the skills necessary to problem solve and ask critical questions about the world in which they live.  We can ask no less of the study of the West.

Here’s the Unit Guideline on the West (1870’s) from Google Docs as well as the Homework Directions concerning options from website reviews, RAFT assignments, and essay questions.  There’s a PDF of the unit guide here.

By the way, there are some great website reviews on this unit here.  Click on them and check them out.

1.        http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/ This PBS documentary is a huge resource oneverything to do with the West.  Take the online quiz too.
2.        http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/ This documentary is the latest by the famous Ken Burns.  The site is breathtaking and informative.
3.        http://www.pbs.org/mormons/ One distinct group that settled in the West was the Mormons.  This site has a full video available to watch.
4.        http://www.pbs.org/wnet/frontierhouse/index.html This PBS reality show takes people from the 21st century and places them on the frontier.
5.        http://www.isu.edu/~trinmich/Oregontrail.html Remember the Oregon Trail game?  This website has a great deal of information on the trip.
6.        http://www.hbo.com/movies/bury-my-heart-at-wounded-knee/index.html This HBO documentary explore US/Native American conflict.
7.        http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/weshallremain/ This outstanding PBS documentary has real actors playing roles in the history of the West.
8.        http://www.americanwest.com/ This site has everything from gunslingers to pioneer towns to cowboys and colorful stories.
9.        http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/eamerica/media/ch22/resources/documents/populist.htm Populist Party Platform of 1892
10.     http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5303/ Famous speech by Mary Lease, one of the most outspoken leaders of populism and women’s rights.

UbD Unit on the West

Although this took all day to complete, I feel very pleased with the result.  This year our group of teacher-leaders is designing units based on the ‘backwards design’ concept.  We are using templates that guide us through three stages of unit design: 1) identifying desired results, 2) determining acceptable evidence, and 3) planning learning experiences.

This unit is one of my favorites, because it forces students to make ethical choices concerning their interpretation of the past.  Asking those deeper questions is part of the joy of studying history.  It is a perfect example of how students apply their learning of history in their daily lives – making choices, defending positions, evaluating consequences, etc.

So here is the first try.  I was able to ‘benchmark’ some of the work from excellent teachers on the UbD Exchange website as well as the outstanding work done  by the Colorado Department of Instruction (Social Studies Division).  I would not have been able to put this together without their guidance.

Here’s the link to the unit plan on Google Docs: UbD Unit Plan on the West (1870-1900) and here’s a PDF of the unit.

  • The Plains Indians had their own culture and religion.
  • The contrast between the Plains Indians’ nomadic hunting lifestyle and the desire to incorporate the lands and resources of the West into the rapidly industrializing United States set the stage for cultural conflict.
  • The Native Americans fought the movement of settlers westward, but the U.S. military and the persistence of American settlers proved too strong to resist.
  • The resulting “Indian Wars” had disastrous consequences for Native Americans.  Those that survived the battles lost their land and were forced to assimilate into white America.
  • Many people sought fortunes during the mining and cattle booms of the American West.
  • The U.S. government promoted the settlement of the West, offering free or cheap land to those willing to put in the hard work of turning the land into productive farms.
  • Farmers realized that class inequality affected them as much as workers in factories, especially when farming became more industrialized and influenced by railroads and their trusts.

US History II Syllabus

United States History II 2010

Course Description: Anyone can learn about events, issues and people in history by learning on their own.  The true essence of studying history, however, comes not from gathering historical knowledge but from gaining understanding from that knowledge.  US History II is a course that covers American history from the Reconstruction era to the 21st century.  The course will not only cover the international and political developments of the United States during the 20th century.  It will also focus on the common stories of immigrants, farmers, factory workers, children, women, the poor, and more.  We are not just a nation of leaders, but a diverse community of common people who often struggle to find love, purpose and a common identity in each day.  That is American history.

Weekly Topics         Themes         21st Century Skills

The 21st Century Art Think creatively
Post Cold War World Class Reason effectively
Reagan Conservatism Culture Make decisions
America in the 1970’s Diplomacy Solve problems
Civil Rights Movement Economics Communicate clearly
Cuba and Vietnam Immigration Collaborate with others
Cold War in the 1950’s Literature Access & evaluate info
World War II Philosophy Create media products
The Great Depression Politics Adapt to change
The Jazz Age Religion Be flexible
The Great War Science Manage goals & time
Progressivism Slavery Work independently
Imperialism Technology Be self-directed learners
Populism

Native Americans

War

Women

Interact effectively

Work in diverse teams

Labor History Manage projects
Industrialization Produce results
Reconstruction Guide and lead others
Be responsible to others

Attendance: Attendance is one of the highest priorities. It is the student’s responsibility to see the teacher for any work missed.  All work is due three days after one absence.  If a student is out for multiple days, all work is due five days from their return.  The school’s attendance policy will also be strictly enforced (students must maintain 95% attendance for the semester).  If a student misses 5 or more days, no credit for the course will be issued.

Grading Policy                 Standards-Based Grades

Exams 20% On many assignments, students will receive objectives and a rubric.  Advanced, Proficient, Partially-Proficient and Needs Improvement will be standards-based grades used to assess how well students achieve the objectives.
Quizzes 15%
Online Work 15%
Projects 20%
Effort 10%
Homework 10%
Essays 10%

Frequently Asked Questions

On an average day, what will we do in class? I like to use many different methods of teaching and learning in my lessons.  We will be using a lot of movies, research articles and websites, pictures, music, literature, poetry, and art for resources and will be doing many projects and activities each week that focuses on different themes and topics.  Some of the projects will be mock trials, role plays, debates and discussions.  The class will also use online discussion forums to explore topics.  We will focus on developing skills that support what we learn.  For many of the assignments, we will assess not just what you learned, but how you learned it and what skills you developed along the way.  In this sense, we will prepare you to be academically successful, active leaders and exemplary citizens preparing you for success in the 21st century.

What are we going to learn? The goal of the class, as stated earlier, is to build knowledge, understanding and action on issues, events and individuals in history.  I want to expose students to different stories from history, have them think about how different issues and topics connect in the world today, and be able to act on what they’ve learned.  Even though we will refer to the textbook from time to time, the majority of the topics learned in class will come from other sources, like websites, articles, documentaries and more.  There is also going to be a strong thematic focus on leadership in the class.  We’ll explore what qualities a leader needs, how leaders influence the world, and who are leaders in our own lives.

Is there homework? Yes, there will be homework, but nothing from texts.  Most of the work in the course is exploratory.   In other words, the answers to questions won’t be right or wrong.  They will simply help you explore more about yourself and the world by studying the past.  Some of the work will be online, but options will always exist for students who don’t have online access at home.

How will the class be graded? All of your grades will be recorded in a grading program.  Once you are entered on the email list, you will receive updates of your grades and averages almost weekly.  You can see which assignments are missing and what areas are stronger than others.  Your parents will also receive a copy of your emailed grades.  There are a lot of projects (almost weekly).  Some of them are the ‘Essential Questions’ and ‘RAFTS’ assignments for each unit.  This work will be explained in greater detail by the teacher in class and online.

And though

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

The First Day

For years I have given my students an information sheet to fill out on the first day of class.  While much of the information is basic – because it provides contact opportunities – the real reason I give this out is to ask the questions towards the end.  Something happens when students notice that the questions are a bit atypical for the ‘business as usual’ expectations of the first day in a new year (or semester).  Some are stumped, but others relish the opportunity to express themselves in sometimes direct and other times cryptic ways.

It’s truly one of the best times of the year for me.  I can honestly say that I have read some of the most profound words from these lines.  For me, it is one window into the greatness of youth.  Over the days, weeks, and months, I try to learn more about these individuals, through good days and bad, so that they can teach me.

Sometimes the lines are blank, but that emptiness tells a story as well.  It is an opportunity for kindness and structure, so that each student has the time to find out who they are and will become.

Welcome to the first day of class!  Welcome 2010!

Name:
Your Email: (print clearly please)
Parent’s Email: (print clearly please)
Home Address:
Home Phone:
Homeroom: Guidance Counselor:
School Activities/Clubs/Sports:
Place of Employment:
Favorite Movie: Favorite Adult:
Favorite Food: Favorite Game:
Favorite Sport: Favorite Hobby:
Favorite TV Show: Favorite Subject:
Favorite Color: Favorite Teacher:
Favorite Book: Favorite Historical Figure:
Favorite Song: Favorite Celebrity:
Favorite Band: Role Model:
If you wrote your life story, what would you title it?

Your house is on fire.  What one item do you take with you and why?

What is the most inspiring thing you’ve seen done by anyone?

If you could go back in time and meet anyone in history who would it be and what would you ask/do?

What is the most confusing thing you’ve ever thought about?

What do you want most from life?

Unit Guides for US2

How do we learn history?  There are so many different ways – talking to people, reading books, watching documentaries, doing our own research, reading the actual words (written or spoken) from the past, studying our family tree, archaeology, and more.  In order to help share the discussion on different periods in US History, I have collected a group of documents that go through the last century and organize topics for study, along with ways offered to study them.  Each document has the following criteria:

  • One weekly topic (usually a decade)
  • Five daily topics with pages listed in the text, so you can look there as a reference
  • Sub-topics that guide classroom discussion
  • Five daily essential questions, with more created by students
  • A list of common ID terms, as a weekly word wall
  • Ten suggested website to look at interesting issues, individuals and events in that week’s topic
  • Ten RAFT assignments, for students to put themselves in the shoes of the people of that time.
  • Ten essay questions that look in depth at the week’s topic

All of these documents have been saved as PDF files.  Click on the PDF icon to open or download them.

Unit 1: 2000’s – America in the 21st Century
Unit 2: 1990’s – The Post Cold War Era
Unit 3: 1980’s – American Conservatism
Unit 4: 1970’s – America in Transition
Unit 5: 1960’s – Cuba and Vietnam
Unit 6: 1960’s – The Civil Rights Movement
Unit 7: 1950’s – The Cold War in America
Unit 8: 1940’s – America in World War 2 (1)
Unit 9: 1940’s – America in World War 2 (2)
Unit 10: 1930’s – The Great Depression
Unit 11: 1920’s – The Jazz Age
Unit 12: 1910’s – The Great War
Unit 13: 1900’s – Progressivism
Unit 14: 1890’s – American Imperialism
Unit 15: 1880’s – The Gilded Age
Unit 16: 1870’s – The West
Unit 17: 1860’s – Reconstruction

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Unit 1: 2000’s – America in the 21st Century

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Unit 2: 1990’s – The Post Cold War Era

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Unit 3: 1980’s – American Conservatism

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Unit 4: 1970’s – America in Transition

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Unit 5: 1960’s – Cuba and Vietnam

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Unit 6: 1960’s – The Civil Rights Movement

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Unit 7: 1950’s – The Cold War in America

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Unit 8: 1940’s – America in World War 2 (1)

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Unit 9: 1940’s – America in World War 2 (2)

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Unit 10: 1930’s – The Great Depression

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Unit 11: 1920’s – The Jazz Age

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Unit 12: 1910’s – The Great War

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Unit 13: 1900’s – Progressivism

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Unit 14: 1890’s – American Imperialism

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Unit 15: 1880’s – The Gilded Age

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Unit 16: 1870’s – The West

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Unit 17: 1860’s – Reconstruction

US History 2 Unit Plans

bookstackOver the years, I have been uploading my lessons and activities as PDF files to my website.  One of those sets of lessons is based on a 18 week chronological breakdown of topics in US History 2.  Basically, I spend 1 week per decade (with exceptions for the 1960’s and the 1940’s).  On the unit plan, I explain the topics covered each day, where the information can be found in the text, what the essential questions are for each day and more.  I then go on to list common vocabulary terms for each day and then provide students with common assignments for each week (website reviews, RAFT assignments and essay questions).

Here’s a list of links that will take you to the unit guides:

Cuban Missile Crisis Project

cuban-missile-crisis1

Author: Nate Everett

Title of Lesson: The Cuban Missile Crisis

Curriculum Area: United States History

Grade Level: 10th Grade

Instructional Grouping: Heterogeneous

Approximate Time Required Completing Lesson: 3, 83 minute class periods (blocks)

Overview of Lesson: Students of history must live what they study.  Analysis of history is not passive, nor is it confined to the past.  Active learners must challenge the world around themselves in order to define it.  In this sense, each student creates their own understanding not only of the past, but the world in which they live.  Just as our own lives have turning points, so to does the history of our nation.  One of the most pivotal events in the history of the United States, as well as the world, was the Cuban Missile Crisis (CMC).  In this lesson, students will examine the intrigue, drama and suspense of a global stand-off between nuclear superpowers and its consequences.  The class will be divided according to readiness levels in this differentiated lesson.

Essential Questions:

Where is Cuba?

Why are people afraid of nuclear weapons?

What is a stand-off?

What is power and how is it used?

How can we make decisions based on potential consequences?

Materials:

  • Computer Projector, Laptop and Projection Screen
  • Computer files projected on screen
  • Task card directions for each group, grading rubrics for each student
  • Research books from the school library on the CMC, nuclear weapons and biographical material on the major players
  • Light, thin labeled colored binder folders to be used as portfolios (one for each student, four colors representing the four research categories)

Learning Objectives:

  • Know:
    • People – President Kennedy, Premier Khrushchev, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Sec. of Defense Robert McNamara, US Ambassador to the United Nations Adlai Stevenson, EXCOM
    • Places – United States, UN Headquarters, NATO nations, Warsaw Pact nations, Soviet Union, Cuba, Turkey
    • Events – Bay of Pigs Invasion, Cuban Missile Crisis, Cold War, Nuclear Arms Race, Cuban Revolution
  • Understand:
    • Consequences of a nuclear war
    • Skills of diplomatic negotiation
    • Relationship between political and military power in the United States
    • Connection between weapons of mass destruction and global politics today
  • Do:
    • Determine a course of action for the US president concerning the Cuban Missile Crisis by discussion, debate and consensus.

Pre-Assessment: Students will be pre-assessed by taking a multiple-intelligences survey.  Students will be sorted according to learning style according to results. (See Step #5)

Steps in Lesson:

  1. Students will receive lecture notes (approximately 20 minutes) with video and web presentations concerning:
    1. Background information on US/Soviet/Cuban relations
    2. The chronology of the CMC (without outcome)
    3. Biographical descriptions of major players
  2. Students will be divided into groups according to the Jigsaw method.  First, students will be divided into three Research groups according to readiness: Military, Diplomats, and Scientists.  Then, each student in their group will receive a number (1-5, depending on the number of students) to make up their EXCOM group (with one student member from each field).  This group will function as the President’s Executive Committee on the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Their task is to determine which option is the best decision (see Step #6) for America to take in the CMC.  Task cards will explain the directions to each student group.  All students will be given a grading rubric.
  3. The task of the Research groups is to gather information and evidence on their specific topic.  Each task card will contain different methods used to build a portfolio.  This information will be vital to making informed choices.
  4. The task of the EXCOM group is to receive portfolios from each of the researchers (shared by a brief presentation with all EXCOM members) and then collaboratively make a decision based on consensus as to the appropriate course of American action.  Each member must defend their position orally and in writing.
  5. Research Group Tasks
    1. Military Task Card [Logical-Mathematical Intelligence]
  1. i.      Research: Students will research the number of armed forces, nuclear missiles, and non-nuclear forces for the American, Soviet and Cuban forces in 1962.
  2. ii.      Task: Students will create a battle plan portfolio for the US for each of the proposed options (attack, internationalize or negotiate) outlining a speculative sequence of events and their military consequences.
  3. i.      Research: Students will research the history of American foreign policy in the Cold War regarding relations with the Soviet Union and Cuba (1945-1962).
  4. ii.      Task: Students will create a foreign policy portfolio advising the leaders of the US, Cuba and the Soviet Union on a diplomatic sequence of events and their consequences based on the proposed options (attack, internationalize or negotiate).
  5. i.      Research: Students will research the effects of nuclear weapons on humans, buildings, the environment and atmosphere using books and websites.
  6. ii.      Task: Students will create their portfolio by visually representing (drawing) the impact of nuclear weapons on cities and people, drawing charts demonstrating existing (then) nuclear stockpiles and finally, their locations around the world.
    1. Diplomat Task Card [Linguistic & Interpersonal Intelligences]
    1. Scientist Task Card [Spatial Intelligence]
  1. Students will be informed of the choices they may make from three options:  (additional choices can be made through consultation with the teacher)
    1. Attack: Use tactical air strikes to disable and destroy existing nuclear weapons followed by an invasion of Cuba
    2. Internationalize: Use the United Nations to create an international agreement  requiring mutual disarmament for all nuclear nations
    3. Negotiate: Negotiate with the Soviet Union to withdraw American missiles from Turkey in exchange for a Soviet withdrawal of missile from Cuba
  2. Students will begin their research and complete their tasks within approximately 2.5, 83 minute class periods.
  3. Students will convene their EXCOM groups for discussion, debate and decisions using the following procedure:
    1. Each person will take turns presenting their portfolios to the group.
    2. After each portfolio presentation, each student will orally discuss the following question: “How does this information support or oppose each option?” (attack, internationalize, negotiate)  Students may debate the answer.
    3. Students will question each other concerning facts and information presented in the portfolios and their relationship to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
    4. After all three presentations, students will then make recommendations for action by writing down their vote for their chosen option along with three reasons supported by evidence.
    5. Each EXCOM group will then explain their recommendations to the class as a whole.  The whole class will then ask questions concerning the recommendations and the teacher will guide students through the actual outcome of events in October 1962.

Assessment:

Students will be assessed by completing the following tasks for homework over the next three days.

  • Creative Writing Assignment: Imagine a nuclear war had taken place between the US and Soviet Union over missiles in Cuba.  Write a diary entry for President Kennedy, Fidel Castro and Nikita Khrushchev concerning the aftermath and their thoughts on it.  This will be assessed using the following rubric:

Creative Writing Rubric

Characters

Setting

Plot/Action

Historic Content

Mechanics

Who is the story about?  What are their personality traits?  Description, depth and development/change of people in the story Where and when is the story taking place?  City? Town? Climate? Mood? Year? Background? What is happening in the story? Crisis? Adventure? Drama? Conflict? Resolution? Action? Information presented, dates, people, events, issues, and facts that demonstrate research done pertaining to the story Grammar, spelling, punctuation, run-ons, fragments, subject/verb agreement, modifiers, etc.
Grade: Grade: Grade: Grade: Grade:
Comments: Comments: Comments: Comments: Comments:
Final Grade:
  • Reflection Journal: Since you have retired from your position on the President’s Executive Committee on the Cuban Missile Crisis, you have had time to think about your experience and the crisis itself.  Perhaps you will decide to write your memoirs about these critical events and your role in them… What would you say about your experiences?  Write a two page (or more) self-reflection journal concerning 1) your research and portfolio and 2) your thoughts and actions debating these immense decisions while a member of EXCOM.  What have you learned from these experiences?  This assignment will be assessed using the following rubric:

Workers Today: Waging a Living

In the effort to learn more about workers and labor 100 years ago, we began this new unit by studying the stories of workers today.  What’s this film about? Here’s it’s description:

If you work hard, you get ahead. That’s the American Dream in a nutshell  no matter what your race, color, creed or economic starting point, hard work will improve your life and increase your children’s opportunities. Yet, this widely held dream is out of reach for an increasing number of working Americans.

One in four American workers more than 30 million people are stuck in jobs that pay less than the federal poverty level for a family of four. (i) Housing costs, to name just one of several essential living expenses, have tripled since 1979, (ii) while real wages for male low-wage workers are actually less than they were 30 years ago. (iii) But the new face of the working poor is overwhelmingly that of a woman struggling to support her children. Only 37 percent of single mothers receive child support, and that support averages just $1,331 per year. (iv) Nearly a quarter of the country’s children now live below the poverty line. (v)

What do these numbers mean in human terms? What is it really like to work full-time and remain poor? Waging a Living provides a sobering answer. Filmed over three years, the documentary offers intimate profiles of four working Americans: Jean Reynolds, Jerry Longoria, Barbara Brooks, and Mary Venittelli as they struggle to lift their families out of poverty.

Good-humored and strong-willed, Jean Reynolds is a 51-year-old certified nursing assistant in Keansburg, N.J., who supports three children, including her cancer-stricken eldest daughter, Bridget, and two of Bridget’s four children. She receives no help from her ex-husband. After 15 years working at the same nursing home, providing care to the infirm and dying, Jean earns the maximum wage the home pays — $11 per hour. Without health insurance, Jean is losing the battle to cover her daughter’s medical bills and her own everyday household expenses. It isn’t the life she was born into, and Jean grieves that she can’t give her children what her parents gave her. Ironically, Jean leads a successful drive for wage increases that do not ultimately benefit her; she’s already at “the max.” So when she is forced to take emergency custody of Bridget’s two other children, her situation becomes dire. Evicted from her home, with seven dependents in tow, Jean desperately turns to public assistance for the first time in her life and receives emergency aid. As grateful as she is, Jean knows all too well that the reprieve is only temporary.

Jerry Longoria is a 42-year-old security guard, whose $12 hourly wage barely covers the basics, including a tiny room in an SRO hotel in a blighted San Francisco neighborhood. A recovering alcoholic and drug addict, now four years sober, Jerry is nothing if not a dreamer. He dreams of finding better work, meeting someone special and finding a decent place to live. Although he manages to make child support payments every month, his fondest dream is to see his children in North Carolina after a nine-year absence. Jerry also jumps into union activism, speaking at rallies and meetings in support of a successful campaign for regular, yet modest, pay increases and health benefits for the city’s security guards. With remarkable discipline, Jerry saves enough money to travel cross-country for a warm reunion with his children, but when he returns home, he loses his job after an argument with his boss. He finds another job, but at lower pay, and laments that it will take eight years just to get back to the salary he used to earn.

Barbara Brooks is a 36-year-old single mother of five living in Freeport, N.Y. Her story most graphically illustrates the hazards of what she calls “hustling backwards.” Barbara, raised in abusive and impoverished homes, is poised and determined. In Waging a Living, she’s in a grueling struggle to balance her responsibilities as a mother, full-time worker and student. As a counselor at a juvenile detention facility where she herself was placed as a teenager, she earns $8.25 per hour and relies on a range of government services to make ends meet. Barbara dreams of a better life, which is why she continues her education despite the almost unbearable demands it places on her. The first blow comes when a favorable job evaluation brings her a promotion to $11 per hour, but the additional $450 she earns each month will cost her $600 a month in lost government aid. Though being off government assistance is part of her dream, she is falling behind financially even as she succeeds at work. More determined than ever to find the answer in education, Barbara earns her associate’s degree and gets a $15-an-hour job as a recreational therapist at a nearby nursing home. But, once again, she finds her income gains are wiped out by the elimination of government benefits. Unable to support her family on her new salary, she returns to a grueling work-and-school schedule, this time to earn a bachelor’s degree.

A 41-year-old single mother of three living in southern New Jersey, Mary Venittelli once led a comfortable middle-class life until it was derailed by a bitter divorce. When Mary re-enters the workforce, the only job she finds is a waitress position paying $2.13 per hour plus tips. In her own version of “hustling backwards,” Mary must now hire babysitters who eat up a major portion of her earnings. There are nights she comes home with $30 in tips and owes the sitter $28. Without financial help from her husband while the divorce is being settled, she relies on local food pantries to feed her family, borrows money from friends and runs up $15,000 in credit card debt. She loses her car and is in danger of losing her home. She also sees the impact the situation is having on her children, especially her son Quinn, who begins throwing violent tantrums. At the last possible moment, a divorce settlement and a new relationship help prevent Mary and her kids from joining the ranks of the working homeless. But Mary, having experienced how easily the coin of middle-class life can flip, is determined to rely on herself to secure her future. She returns to school to acquire new computer skills.

“In making Waging a Living, I wanted viewers to understand what it’s like to work hard, play by the rule and still not be able to support a family,” says producer/director Roger Weisberg. “It’s easy to take for granted the janitors and security guards in the offices where we work, the waiters and bus boys in the restaurants where we eat, and the nurses and caregivers in the facilities where we place our children and elderly. I wanted to bring viewers inside the daily grind of the nameless people we encounter every day who struggle to survive from paycheck to paycheck.”

“My goal,” he concludes, “was to get people to take a new look at the prevailing American myth that hard work alone can overcome poverty.”

Waging a Living is a production of Public Policy Productions in association with Thirteen/WNET New York, with funding provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Ford Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

Now on to the podcasts: (iTunes player required – you can download it here)

  • POV: Waging a Living – Beyond the Living Wage – In conjunction with the P.O.V. broadcast of “Waging a Living” on August 29th, this podcast features Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman talking to experts about the nation-wide struggle for a living wage, and the future of the living wage movement.
  • POV: Waging a Living – New York City Poverty – In conjunction with the POV broadcast of “Waging a Living” on August 29th, this podcast features Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman talking with experts about poverty in New York City and the struggle toward a living wage.
  • POV: Waging a Living – Barbara Ehrenreich – In conjunction with the POV broadcast of “Waging a Living” on August 29th, journalist David Brancaccio hosts a special podcast conversation with Barbara Ehrenreich on the state of American workers and wages today.
  • POV: Waging a Living – Howard Zinn and Amy Goodman – In conjunction with the POV broadcast of “Waging a Living” on August 29th, this podcast features historian Howard Zinn talking with Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman about the history of workers’ movements in the United States.
  • POV: Waging a Living – Chicago’s Big Box Ordinance – In conjunction with the broadcast of “Waging a Living”, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman talks with experts about the passage of the Big Box Ordinance in Chicago, which requirs large retailers to pay their workers $10 an hour with $3 in benefits by 2010.
  • POV: Waging a Living – Filmmaker Interview – Filmmaker Roger Weisberg talks about how he found the people featured in “Waging a Living,” why there is a lack of media coverage of this issue and his use of cinema verite style in the film.