What a treat to check email this morning and find your message!
Making primary sources accessible to elementary grade students can be
challenging. Relevant, engaging, and age-appropriate literature pieces can
help provide the historical context and background necessary for students to
tackle reading and comprehending primary documents. Last year, at your
suggestion, I developed a lesson for Lupita Manana -
http://home.jps.net/~gailhd/crossing/esperanza/student.htm - as part of a
larger unit on Cesar Chavez. The loc interviews with Jose Flores and
Augustus Martinez led to some thought-provoking discussions with my 5th
graders. By listening to these interviews, they began to question the
historical accuracy of migrant labor life as portrayed in Blue Willow, a
novel on my district's approved reading list for 4th graders. From these
two interviews, my 5th graders could see the importance of studying
historical events from multiple perspectives.
Last summer I participated in a two-day institute at the UC Berkeley. The
purpose of the institute was to begin a dialogue with middle and high school
teachers on how the UC system, particular Berkeley's Bancroft Library, might
share its resources. I am now adding the finishing touches to "When Justice
Failed.and History Happened Here" - http://home.jps.net/~gailhd/justice/.
When Justice Failed - the Fred Korematsu Story is the touchstone piece of
this unit. The primary sources are from the Bancroft Library's JARDA
collection, with a little backup from loc and nara. I am attempting to make
the primary sources more accessible to 5th graders by providing them with
scaffolding (Researcher's Toolbox) to complete each of the four tasks. The
glossary, for instance, will soon have hyperlinks for each term, such as a
link to FDR's speech and Executive Order 9066, to provide students with
"just-in-time" background. (Monica, if you read the Teacher Notes, you will
see that I highly recommend Seeking History as a resource for this unit :-).
Both lessons are keyed to California content standards for History/Social
Sciences and Languages Arts.
Thanks, Monica and Elizabeth, for starting the dialogue and providing great
----- Original Message -----
From: "Monica R. Edinger" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2003 1:53 PM
Subject: Re: language arts documents
> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> Sender: American Memory Fellows <[log in to unmask]>
> Poster: "Monica R. Edinger" <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: language arts documents
> [log in to unmask] writes:
> >In a few weeks, I am giving a presentation to language arts teachers,
> >grades 4--12, on the American Memory Collections. The focus of the
> >conference is on language arts and history. My session will be on how
> >documents from the AM collection can be used in the language arts
> >Do you have any favorite AM documents or lessons that you use with
> >in the language arts curriculum?
> My colleagues and I have been using immigration documents from the Life
> Histories for years with 4th graders to create found poetry. You can see
> the lesson (a revised version of the one I did as fellow which is on the
> Learning Page) along with student work from 1999 at:
> Then you can see the students work from 2000 at:
> A colleague who has done something a bit different with the lesson has her
> class and their work at:
> Also, my book Seeking History comes with a CD with students talking about
> their process of creating the poems and collages.
> This project has become a part of our 4th grade curriculum and most of the
> classes (we have 5 sections) do it yearly. I've just not put the results
> on the web for a few years.
> Monica Edinger
> The Dalton School
> New York NY
> [log in to unmask]
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