Guided Primary Source Analysis: I Am an American Day

I Am an American Day articles

Find a partner and have one read the first article and the other the second article. Each person should re-read their article and then analyze the source to answer the questions below. (NOTE: to enlarge the type, click here to read them online)

  • What argument does the article present? What evidence from the text supports your response?
  • Why do you think the author chose to include these specific details of description or explanation?
  • What was happening during this time period?
  • Who do you think was the audience for this text?
  • What do you think the author might have wanted the audience to think or feel?
  • What do you feel when reading this text?

With your partner, read this abstract about the Northwest Enterprise newspaper and then read the articles aloud. After,  discuss your analyses and respond to the questions below.

  • How are the articles similar and different?
  • Which article did you find most powerful? Why?

I Am an American Day became Citizenship Day and the date moved from the third Sunday in May to September 17 in 1952. In 2004, Congress changed the designation of this day to “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day“. With your partner or on your own, write a short opinion piece, modeled after one of the two articles, for a modern-day audience that speaks to being an American.

What other observations, reflections or questions does this source inspire? Let us know!

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