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Project Clio PD. Session 4: Teaching Chronological Thinking and Multiple Perspectives December 14, 2011. Putting today in context…. Thinking historically Text, subtext, and context Chronological thinking and causality Multiple perspectives.

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project clio pd

Project Clio PD

Session 4: Teaching Chronological Thinking and Multiple Perspectives

December 14, 2011

putting today in context
Putting today in context….
  • Thinking historically
  • Text, subtext, and context
  • Chronological thinking and causality
  • Multiple perspectives

Develop chronology using sources employed by historians

    • More than temporal order
    • Instead it’s a critical determination of how the events along the line were determined to have a relationship with one another
  • Look for the causes of change in addition to the consequences of the change
  • Examine the relationships between names, dates, and events to determine why a particular event occurred.

“Why Won’t You Just Tell Us the Answer?” uses the Railroad Strike of 1877 and the Bonus Army to teach chronological thinking, causality, and multiple perspectives.


Using an image from the period under study is an effective way to begin an investigation into chronology and causality.


What event is being depicted?

What is the artist’s message about the event?

  • Clues:
  • 1914
  • “Class War in Colorado”
  • Man is wearing a miner’s cap
  • Industry depicted in the background
  • Wounded woman and children
  • The Masses was a pro-union, pro-socialist journal
  • Black, sooty, coal-like drawing
the colorado coal strike and the ludlow massacre of 1914
The Colorado coal strike and the ludlow massacre of 1914
  • Read Ludlow Massacre Background from Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States.”
  • Watch clip from PBS documentary “Rockefellers.”

Referred to as a “Ludlow Death Special” used by Baldwin-Felts’ hired strikebreakers

at your tables
At your tables….
  • In your envelope are 14 short primary documents related to the Ludlow Massacre.
  • Place the documents in chronological order. Remember it’s a critical determination of how the events along the line are determined to have a relationship with one another.
  • What factors played a role in how you determined chronology?
  • How did you decide where to put Woody Guthrie and David Mason?
at your tables1
At your tables…..
  • Complete the following sentence stems:
    • We believe that the National Guard opened fire at Ludlow because……… 
    • We believe that ___________________ was/were responsible for the decision to attack the camp at Ludlow because……………………..
multiple perspectives
Multiple perspectives

Lesh describes multiple perspectives as “an approach that examines a historical event, person, or idea through the lens of its contemporaries, participants, or proximate chroniclers.” (95)

woody guthrie
Woody Guthrie

Ludlow Massacre-1944

answer at your tables
Answer at your tables:

1. To whom is this song addressed? Who is the “you” who “would kill our children,” and whose “soldiers” were waiting while the miners slept?

2. Guthrie mentions “wire fence corners” twice. What is he describing? Why is this important to understanding the song—or is it?

3. Do Guthrie’s lyrics accurately portray the event? Why or why not?

4. Guthrie wrote the lyrics 30 years after the event. Why do you think he was inspired to write them in 1944?

multiple perspectives1
Multiple perspectives

Once an original interpretation is developed, present a final piece of evidence.

Encourage students to reconsider chronology and how the new source might challenge their interpretation

Mimicking that historians do not always have immediate access to all sources.

read one final document
Read one final document

Read Julia May Courtney and answer the following questions at your table:

1. Julia May Courtney predicted that, “every workingman in Colorado and in America will not forget” the cry, “Remember Ludlow.” Is this true? If not, why?

2. Do you think the statement, “[F]or the first time in the history of the labor war in America the people are with the strikers” was correct? Do you think the people did support them? Why, or why not? Why would they support these strikers and not others?

3. Do you think there is another side to the Ludlow Massacre, other than that presented by Courtney and Guthrie? How would that side justify its actions?

share out1
Share out
  • Key point: don’t let students dismiss a new artifact outright because it might contradict the interpretation they have already established.
  • Which artifact was most important in determining responsibility for the Ludlow Massacre?
ludlow r a f t t
Ludlow r.a.f.t.(t)
  • ROLE
  • TIME


closing question
Closing Question

From 1854-1856, Kansas was engulfed essentially by a civil war between pro- and antislavery forces. From September 1913 to April 1914, Colorado was similarly engulfed in violence that the New York Times referred to at the time as “the war in Colorado.” Standard history books refer to the violence in Kansas as “Bleeding Kansas.” Why do standard history books not apply a similar epithet to the violence in Colorado?

  • UMWA ran out of money and called off the strike on December 10, 1914
  • 400 strikers were arrested and 332 indicted for murder.
  • Only one man, John Lawson, was convicted of murder. Eventually the Colorado Supreme Court overturned the ruling.
  • 22 National Guardsmen received courts-martials although all but one were found not guilty.
  • Only guardsman found guilty was Lt. Linderfelt for his assault on Louis Tikas, although he only received a slight reprimand.

Ludlow Massacre Links