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Myth and Reality
The American Dream in the 21st Century
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I Hear America Singing
by Walt Whitman
"I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The wood-cutter's song, the ploughboy's on his way in the morning, or at noon intermissions or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day - at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs."

From America Dreams, American Memory Program, Library of Congress
Lesson Plans - Webquests
Commentary / Articles

Lesson Plans - Webquests
WebQuests are Internet-based inquiry lesson models.

General Background

American Dreams: A Virtual Museum WebQuest
The Center for Technology in Education, Johns Hopkins University

The American Dream
Salzburg Seminar Online
This unit, envisaged for six teaching sessions of 90 minutes, aims to promote critical thinking in students using historical, sociological, literary and audio-visual resources related to the concept of 'The American Dream'. The students have already finished a unit on the theme of 'Immigration'. The present unit focuses especially on the dream of Equality and the forces that have come in the way of fulfilling this dream.


The American Dream of the Decades
Berrien County Intermediate School District, Educational Service Agency, Michigan

Teachers' Guide: The Gold Rush
Idaho State University

Civil Services - Exploring the Lasting Impact of the Civil Rights Movement
The New York Times Learning Network and The Bank Street College of Education

Interactive Classroom "What Dr. Martin Luther King Means To Me"
Seattle Times

Women of the Century: American Heroes


Immigration Studies: The Integration of Immigrant Families in the United States
The Urban Institute

Immigrant Education Issues
ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, Columbia University
· Including: A Historical Look at U.S. Immigration Policy

From Melting Pot to Centrifuge: Immigrants and American Politics
Online Article by Steven E. Schier, The Brookings Review, Winter 2002

Immigration - Stories of Yesterday and Today
Scholastic Online

Island of Hope, Island of Tears

Ellis Island: Through America's Gateway
International Channel

Ellis Island Interactive Tour
Scholastic Online

Cultural and Political Diversity

Diversity in a New America -- Charting the Changes
Online edition of Brookings Review, Winter 2002

Beyond Census 2000: As a Nation, We are the World
Carnegie Reporter

What's Old Is New Again - A Web Exploration About Cultural Trends in the 20th Century
The New York Times Learning Network and the Bank Street College of Education

English Learner's Baseball Primer: Classroom Hall of Fame
San Diego Unified School District's Triton Project (Technology Innovation Challenge Grant)

Walk A Mile in My Shoes - Multicultural Curriculum Resources
WMHT Educational Telecommunications, the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York

The Multicultural Pavillion


The American Dream and Experience in Literature
Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute

American Dream Songs
Online Poetry Classroom

F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great American Dreamer
A&E Television Networks

Tennessee Williams: Exploring the American Dream
American Master's Series, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
· Procedures for Teachers:


Is All Cinema Verité? - Exploring the Relationship Between Movies and Culture
The New York Times Learning Network and the Bank Street College of Education in New York City

The American Dream at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Teacher Institute, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation

Ethnicity & the American Dream on Television
Columbia University

Commentary /Articles

Full Text Articles - Document Delivery Service for Teachers

General Background

Hope and American Politics. George Shulman
Raritan, Winter 2002, pp. 1-19
Full text

Facing 2002.
America, January 7-14, 2002, pp. 3-4
Full text

Public Schools and the American Dream. Jennifer Hochschild
Dissent, Fall 2001, pp. 35-42
Full text

Still the Land of Opportunity? Isabel V. Sawhill
Public Interest, Spring 1999, pp. 3-17
Full text


Immigration's Aftermath. Alejandro Portes
The American Prospect, April 8, 2002, pp. 35-37
Full text

Cultural and Political Diversity

Making Sense of America. Christopher Clausen
Virginia Quarterly Review, Spring 2002, pp. 267-278
Full text

Diversity in a New America.
The Brookings Review, Winter 2002
Full text

An All-American Melting Pot. John Fetto
American Demographics, July 2001, pp. 8-10
Full text


American Literature and America, 1925-2000. Sanford Pinsker
T he Virginia Quarterly Review, Spring 2000, pp. 269-289
Full text

Toni Morrison's Jazz and the Racial Dreams of the American Writer. Michael Nowlin
American Literature, March 1999, pp. 151-174
Full text


Gilligan vs. Homer Simpson. Nick Gillespie
Reason, February 2002, pp. 62-63
Full text

Dreams Are As American As Apple Pie. John Lloyd
New Statesman, August 13, 2001, pp. 12-13
Full text

Americanophilia. George Watson
The American Scholar, Spring 2000, pp. 119-126
Full text

updated: September 2004

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