In order to further engage my students with the subject matter of the Gilded Age, we strived to connect the lives and society that they know, with the times of the Gilded Age at the turn of the century. As an entrance ticket, we asked our students "Are we living in a modern-day Gilded Age?" and offered the scaffolding of defining what the Gilded Age was and providing descriptors of the era. After each student had something written in their notebooks, we opened it up for a discussion about whether or not we were indeed living in a modern-day Gilded Age. Without too much contextual information, the students were able to enter into a lively debate about the topic and to argue their sides of the issue. We then took the chance to create more parallels with the Gilded Age to their lives to further the debate. From comparing the Breakers in Newport, RI to Kim Kardashian's mansion, and the Ford Factory and the automobile revolution in Detroit to the Google Factory and internet revolution of today, we engaged our students in a silly yet thoughtful way. Although they maybe became too excited about seeing a Facebook page on the screen, it offered an easier way for them to remember that the Gilded Age was about individualism than just a simple DTP.
To view the full Powerpoint, please select the following link: Modern Day Gilded Age.pptx