Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Progressive Era: Assignment


Progressive Era Magazine Project

DUE: Hard copy in class on MONDAY, MARCH 4
Noodle Tools bibliography due by Thurs/Fri before break

The Progressive Era describes the decades between 1890 and 1920, during which the United States experienced sweeping changes in technology, politics, society, and culture.

For this project, you will be part of an intrepid team of investigative journalists, reporters, editors, and cartoonists that will take up the muckraking spirit and create a magazine dedicated to a major Progressive Era event or topic.

As you cover the events of the progressive era, try to notice instances where reformers and observers invoked ideas about “progress.” What did progress mean or entail during this time period? What made something qualify as “progressive”? How did different visions of progress conflict or coincide with one another?

You will be divided into groups, and each group will create a magazine issue devoted to one of the following topics:

  1. Native Americans and Native American progressivism (topics: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Boarding Schools, Society of American Indians, the Crazy Snake Rebellion)
  2. Women’s Activism (topics: women’s clubs and societies, the New Woman, woman suffrage, the birth control movement, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union)
  3. Immigration (topics: Ellis Island, Angel Island, nativism, the American Protective Association, the Geary Act, Jacob Riis, the Settlement Movement, housing reform, immigrant perspectives)
  4. Labor Organization and Unrest (topics: unions [AFL, IWW], the Homestead Strike, the Lawrence Textile Strike, Patterson Strike, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, child labor, miners’ wars)
  5. Political Radicalism (anarchism, the Socialist Party of America, Eugene Debs, Emma Goldman, the assassination of President McKinley)
  6. Racial inequality and the struggle for Black freedom (topics: Plessy v. Ferguson, the Great Migration, the New South, African-American women’s clubs, National Association of Colored Women, Ida B. Wells and the anti-lynching crusade, Mary Church Terrell, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, Niagara Movement, NAACP, National Urban League)
  7. U.S. Imperialism (the Hawaiian Revolution, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War, the acquisition of Puerto Rico and the Foraker Act, the Hawaii Organic Act, the Panama Canal) & anti-imperialism (Mark Twain and the Anti-Imperialist League, Queen Liliʻuokalani, Emilio Aguinaldo)

Each magazine must contain the following:

  • Cover Page:
    • This cover page must feature an original magazine title of your group’s own creation. (For your inspiration, some real life Progressive Era magazine titles are: McClure’s, Collier’s Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Weekly, Atlantic Monthly.)
    • This cover page should also include an illustration and an eye-catching headline
  • Staff page: A list of the following roles and who was in those roles (you may create a Progressive Era alias for yourself, but make sure to put your real name in parentheses):
    • Editor-in-Chief
    • Reporter(s)
    • Opinion Editor(s)
    • Advertising/Art Director
  • Articles (at a minimum):
    • 1 investigative cover story about your topic or event (600-800 words)
    • 2 op-ed pieces with opposing viewpoints (300-400 words each):
      • an op-ed supporting one side of your topic (e.g., “why women should have voting rights”)
      • an op-ed arguing for the other side of that topic (e.g, “why women should not have voting rights”)
    • 2 articles about Progressive Era society and culture (300 words each). Note: these do not have to be directly related to the theme your magazine issue.
      • Examples:
        • Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
        • Brief biographical feature of a famous figure
        • Intellectual trends
        • New technology: radio communications
        • Leisure activities and cheap amusements (the Columbian Exposition of 1893)
        • Sports
        • The Progressive Era City – department store openings, skyscrapers completed.
        • . . . . and many more. Get creative! 
  • Images (at a minimum):
    • 1 original (student-created) political cartoon relating to your topic.
    • 2 original (student-created) advertisements with text and images – Be creative here. Think of/research new inventions, foods, fashions, fads, or cheap amusements that appeared during the Progressive Era.
    • 3 primary source images to support your articles.
  • A Bibliography with -- at a minimum -- at least 3 visual primary sources, 3 textual primary sources, and 4 secondary sources. Wikipedia, SparkNotes, and your textbook do not count as primary or secondary sources. You can use these resources as starting points, but that’s about it. Each entry in your bibliography should be accompanied by a sentence explaining how you used this source in your magazine, whether to “illustrate” an article or for background knowledge. The bibliography should be the last page of your magazine and should conform to MLA style.
    • The bibliography must be created in NoodleTools and shared with the inbox of your teacher’s last name.
    • Include your bibliography at the end of your magazine.


A hard copy of your magazine (because back in the Progressive Era, they didn’t read Google Docs). That said, it might be useful for your group to set up a shared Google Drive folder for your articles.

WHAT YOU WILL BE GRADED ON (100 points total):

  • Historical knowledge and accuracy – 60 points. Do your articles, advertisements, and cartoons demonstrate a deep understanding of the topic? Do your op-eds accurately reflect the sentiments and arguments of the time?
  • Originality and Creativity – 10 points. Go for the “wow” factor!
  • Bibliography – 20 points. Did you enter your bibliography in NoodleTools as well as generate a full bibliography page incorporated into your magazine? Is your bibliography formatted correctly? Did you meet the minimum number of sources? Did you find sources outside of those found in your textbook? Are your secondary sources scholarly? Do your primary sources fit your time period and do they relate to your topic? Did you rely only on websites or did you find a print source as well?
  • Presentation and neatness – 10 points. Is your magazine eye-catching and pleasing? Does it have minimal to no typos or errors? Does it look professional? Make it pretty!