DOROTHEA DIX

II. LESSON PLAN CONTENT

PART I - In Handout #1 there are passages and a drawing that illustrate how people with mental illness were treated in the mid 1850s. For each passage write a brief summary that explains how mental illness was treated. Conclude by discussing what you think about the treatment being described, and writing down any questions you have about the passage. Use the work all ready done for #1 as a model for your work on #?s 2-5.

pdf handout #1: Passages & Questions

PART II - Although most people in America in the 1850s accepted how the mentally were treated, some individuals thought is was wrong and worked make changes that would improved the lives of the mentally ill. One reformer in this area was Dorothea Dix. In handout #2 there is an example of how one textbook views the life and work of Dix and excerpts from testimony she gave to Congress on this issue. Read over the passages and answer the questions that follow.

pdf handout #2: Reading: ?Reformers Struggle to Improve American Life: Dorothea Lynde Dix" from Rise of the American Nation

PART III ? Use what you?ve learned about the treatment of the mentally ill in the mid 1850s and the work of Dorothea Dix to write a paragraph for an 8th grade history class that has not studied this issue and Dix. The paragraph should explain who Dix was, the problem she was trying to solve, and why you think this other class should know about her and her work.

pdf handout #3: paragraph writing exercise

Part IV ? New Information on Dix that makes her a more complicated individual

pdf handout #4: additional information about Dorothea Dix

Part V ? Return to the paragraph you wrote in Part III and, using this new information on Dix, revise what you wrote. How does the new information change, or not change, your view of Dix and her work.

pdf handout #5: paragraph revision exercise

PART VI ? Essay
Possible prompt ? Was Dorothea Dix a heroic person in American history? Use what you learned about Dix, her work, and her beliefs to support your argument.

pdf handout #6: essay