Congratulations to the New Fellows,
I want also to welcome you to the Library of Congress and share my
experiences. Cathy Johnson and I started out with great broad strokes, got
to DC and were totally overwhelmed by the scope of the project and the
intellect and passion of the other fellows. I know practically nothing
about computers; I couldn't even figure how to transfer my e-mail account!
Watching people search all night and find wonderful tidbits of information
and then set about putting them into a web page was awe-inspiring and
totally intimidating, to boot! Personally, that was a very frustrating
point for me, carpal tunnel and all.
We went back to Horace Mann in San Francisco, and knew we couldn't
accomplish what we'd started. We each kept searching the collections for
something that would work with my 6th grade Language Arts classes, and it
was because my personal interest got piqued by the Baseball Card Collection
that we finally decided to do a lesson with something that we knew would
fly. The students loved it! We've successfully presented our project to
two Librarian Conferences and to Social Studies and Language Arts teachers
in San Francisco.
So, yes, by all means, please keep it two a manageable lesson that you can
test and rework with students. And once students get into one collection,
they move on the others. Many started surfing and found wonderful photos
they wrote stories about, they found old maps and compared them to modern
maps, and they wanted todo some of the other Fellows' lessons. It was a
My favorite primary piece was John Brown's handwritten last letter - that
one brought tears to my eyes. I still tell everyone about it - and
Washington's grocery list with his Slave List on the other side. Totally
I hope you enjoy your time in DC.
Horace Mann Academic Middle School
3351 23rd Street
San Francisco, CA 94110