HIST 398: History of Childhood


Long Term Assignments

Unit Paper/Presentation 15% This course is arranged in three roughly chronological/thematic units. For one of these units you will research and write a 5-7 page paper exploring an approved topic more in-depth. To do this, you will need to utilize at least three additional articles and at least one additional primary sources.

The week your paper is due, you will present your paper to the class in a 10 minute formal presentation and explain how it connects to our course themes and the 6 Myths of Childhood. After your presentation you will receive feedback from your peers.

Timeline Project 20% Students will build their digital literacy, research and analytical skills through the creation of an interactive, digital timeline or exhibit on one topic in the history of childhood. The topic of this timeline is open, but you will need to connect it to one of the 6 Myths of Childhood.

To create this timeline and database, the class will use TimelineJS and GoogleDocs. In small groups of two or three students will be responsible for plotting the progression of at least ten things that tell a larger story about their topic over time. In the final class period, groups will present their projects in 10-15 minute presentations to the class. The best of these timelines will be invited to give their presentations at the university wide research presentation day during the Spring Semester.


Possible Topics – Consider the following list as inspiration.

Youth in the Civil Rights Movement
Popular Children’s Literature
Bedtime Stories
Children’s Toys
Advertisement Geared Towards Children
Advertisements Geared Towards Teens
Advertisements about Motherhood
Advertisements about Fatherhood
Parenting Advice Manuals
Imagining the Child Refuge
Presidential Children
Children’s letters to the President
Age of Consent Law
Child Labor Laws
Compulsory Education Laws
Juvenile Justice Systems
Family Court Systems
Legal concepts of parental rights
Legal concepts of children’s rights
Adoption Through History
Desegregation of Schools
The Effects of School Segregation of Schools.
Children in LBJ’s War on Poverty
Juvenile Justice in the War on Terror
Famous Young Criminals
Famous Young Victims
Famous Kidnapping
African American Youth in Criminal Courts
Images of Immigrant Children 1840-1865
The Children of Hull House
Youth as Soldiers in the Civil War
Age and Youth in World War I
Age and Youth in World War II
Age and Youth in Vietnam
The History of Child Soldiers
The Civil War’s Effects on Family
World War I Effects on Family
World War II Effects on Family
University Student Movements
A History of Youth Protests
A History of Child Geniuses
Indigenous Childhood
Indian Boarding Schools
Orphan Trains
Child Protection Agencies
Foster Care
Puritan Childhood
Indentured Servants
Boy Scouts
Girl Scouts
Images of Native American Youth
Experiences of Slave Children
Age and Voting Rights
Children and Youth as Missionaries
Youth in the Chicano Movement
Images of Children in the Great Depression
A History of School Violence
History of Teen Pregnancy
Teen Idol: A History of Teen Stars
A History of Teens in Television
A History of Cartoons (TV)
A History of Cartoons (Magazines)
A History of Pop Warner Football
A History of Little League
A History of Cheerleaders
A History of Girl’s Athletics
A History of Parks and Playgrounds


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Vernon Leighton
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