Like Civil Rights Movement in Context, this assessment gauges students’ ability to contextualize two historical documents and place them in the correct chronological order. Document A is from an interview with Barry Commoner in Scientific American in 1997. Document B is part of an 1894 bill introduced to the House of Representatives. This assessment draws on students' knowledge about American environmental movements but in a way that measures more than just the recall of facts and dates. Students must show that they have a broad understanding of how the focus of the environmental movement changed over time and demonstrate the ability to use their knowledge about these changes to place the two documents in context.
In this assessment, students who correctly contextualize the documents will see that Document B, which is a bill that proposed the establishment of Yellowstone as the first National Park, was a product of the Progressive Era push to conserve land in the West, and therefore likely written before Document A, which reflects more contemporary concerns about the effects of modern technology on the environment and human health.