The Gilded Age

The Gilded Age
Caroline Harrison: Economics, Discovery and Daily Life

Skill: High School/College
Time Required: Three to four class periods


Caroline Harrison was First Lady during a period of time in United States history where its people were greatly divided economically and socially.  Because there was great prosperity in some segments of society, Mark Twain named the period "the gilded age," a name which continues to describe the era.


Students will investigate the economic events that caused such a separation between social classes in the United States during this time period.  Students will also design financial and social models with the goal of closing the gap between the super rich and the poverty-stricken.

Materials Required:

Computer Internet access Word processor (or paper and writing utensil) Books, Videos, Internet sites about the Gilded Age.  


   This is an already designed WebQuest in which teams of students collaborate in the production of a documentary about the Gilded Age.  Roles on each team are the following: Lead Historian, Media Specialist, PowerPoint Engineer, Segment Producer.  Responsibilities for these roles are clearly outlined in the WebQuest.

To access the Gilded Age WebQuest, please go to:

Extending the Lesson:

If desired, the format for this documentary could be in print form, perhaps as a news magazine, rather than in PowerPoint or video.  
Some of this material has been covered in other lesson plans; thus, this lesson may serve as both a review and a synthesis of work that has gone before. 

Sources & Resources:



  • WebQuest designed by Thomas Caswell and Joshua DeLorenzo.