Progressive Era Comprehensive Unit: Interactive Slides, Student Questions, & Primary Source



Check out this engaging PowerPoint (or Google Slides) presentation on the Progressive Era in American history. If you are a busy middle school social studies teacher that expects the best for your students, this PPT is perfect because it is professionally designed, useful, and enjoyable for the students. It shows how industrialized America during the Gilded Age brought discontent among workers and ultimately let to the Progressive Era.

Zero to minimal preparation necessary. Just print the Teacher Guide Sheet for you (if you deem in necessary), then print the Student Study Guide Notes and primary source for students. Alternatively, you could simply upload these files to your Learning Management System (LMS) and students could use the files on their devices.

To make the lesson more engaging and interactive, the PowerPoint (or Google Slides) comes with a primary source PDF with excerpts from Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. It coincides with a slide that asks historical thinking questions about the primary source. The slide is strategically placed half way through the presentation for the purpose of adding variety in the lesson and getting the students more involved.

This is a useful presentation you can use to present to your class or give to them to study on their own (students could read the slides and the notes). The design is professional and with the right amount of words on each slide (i.e. NO death by PowerPoint). The content is very detailed in the notes, so if you are busy, you could simply open the slides in front of the class and read the notes (it is suggested you review the slides before class though).

Furthermore, it includes a Teacher Guide Sheet that you can print and use when presenting. The information in the guide sheet and PPT notes include additional information that is not on the slides (in other words, it will make you look smart!). This way, the teacher can add interesting little comments or data to each slide. You can either print the whole guide sheet, or just the pages you need help with.

You can make changes to the PPT, if you deem it necessary. This presentation can be used in Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides (if you want to use Google Slides, just click the link which is found in the first slide).

Content in PPT includes:

  • Organized labor and unions
  • Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
  • Muckrakers
  • Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Live
  • Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle
  • Pure Food and Drug Act
  • Social Gospel
  • Walter Rauschenbusch
  • Women’s Movement
  • Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WTCU)
  • Carrie Nation
  • Jane Addams and Hull House
  • Suffrage Movement
  • Nineteenth Amendment
  • Monopolies
  • Trust Busting
  • Sherman-Antitrust Act
  • Clayton-Antitrust Act
  • Interstate Commerce Act
  • Progressive Party (Bull-Moose Party)
  • Federal Reserve
  • Progressive Environmentalism
  • Plessy versus Ferguson
  • Booker T. Washington versus W.E.B. Du Bois
  • Wright Brothers first motorized plane
  • and more!

This presentations touches on all of the above topics and adds more detail. Students will have a good understanding of how the Progressive Era came about and its influences on the America of today.

This PPT works with traditional American history textbooks.

How to use this presentation:

  • Present the PowerPoint (or Google Slides) in the classroom; one slide includes an interactive primary source activity for students to complete
  • While you are presenting, students need to fill out the Student Study Guide Notes
  • Present the Google Slides via Zoom (if distance learning)
  • Present and discuss – while presenting, get students involved and create discussion questions that get students thinking like a historian and comparing historical events to current events
  • Optional: print presentation with notes and let students read the slides (and notes)
  • Alternatively: have students view the slides, and they present the material in groups

How to use the primary source interactive activity:

One slide has some pictures and questions with a PDF that goes with it. This makes the class more interactive. Here is the suggested use:

  • Have students read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle primary source (this is a PDF; either print it and hand to students or display on classroom screen; there is also a Google Drive PDF available)
  • Put the students in pairs
  • Ask the provided questions (questions can be found in the notes of the PPT or in the Student Study Guide Notes)
  • Alternatively, you could print the questions on small slips and hand them out
  • Discuss the answers as a class (suggested answers are provided)

Additional information

Grade Level

8th, 9th, 10th

Resource Types

Full Units, Homeschool, PowerPoints, Google Slides


There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.