Engaging students in stories through different perspectives is a key element when teaching history. It is important to help students understand that humans experience an event through different eyes and walks of life. I like to extend this teaching to photography and primary sources.
Most commonly, the images of MLK's "I Have A Dream" speech are focusing on him as he is standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I like the image above as it encourages a different perspective. I am curious to see if my students can identify the location of the image based upon the Washington Monument in the background. Secondly, this view encourages a discussion around the overwhelming number of people gathered on this particular day. Why are they there? What event could draw such a large crowd?
Several years ago, I taught with a woman who is one of those little specks of a human in that overwhelming crowd. Her father had taken her and her brother on a bus from Philadelphia to see MLK's speech that day. She was very young and doesn't remember all that much aside from the large crowds. She does know that they were standing to MLK's left. I like to look at this photograph and think of my friend standing in this huge crowd witnessing this life altering speech.
Perspective is important, both for the stories and the images.
I have been wanting to start this segment of my blog for awhile. I incorporating a strong piece of literature with a Moffat photograph and a primary source document in as many of my lessons as I can. It's hard to go wrong when you have the primary source and a Moffat photograph!
I love election season. Let me clarify, I love teaching during election season.
It's Friday and I often use the day to put done stamps on projects or do fun stand alone projects. I am tucking election/presidential pieces in all over the place right now.
I love the new series of Fly Guy books by Tedd Arnold. They have a great storyline, while at the same time, tucking in all kinds of crazy facts that the kids just eat up. We were using the fire station one earlier this week.
I purchased the White House books for all of my kids so that we could access the presidential timeline within the book. The math involved with the presidential terms is too good to pass up! We made it through part of the book, discussing along the way and then looking at the timeline.
I decided to wrap up our day with one of my favorite Kid President videos where he get to go to the White House to meet President Obama. It's a classic! What surprised me was the amount of kids in my classroom that had never seen Kid President. WHAT? Never seen Kid President? Clearly, I know what I will be showing during snack time today. The message Obama shared with him was even rather timely for some kindness issues.
As I shared the video, I stopped along the way to show the images of White House photographer Pete Sousa. I am honored to have both a family photo with the President, as well as an individual photo, taken by Pete. They both hang in my classroom. As I discussed Pete's job with my class, they began to wonder if his photographs of the President are some of the ones highlighted in Fly Guy Presents The White House. What a great question! I don't know the answer, but it was an incredibly fun lesson.
If for some reason you have not seen Kid President or the new Fly Guy book, I encourage you to check them out. Also, take the time to look at some of Pete's photographs. The are magnificent!
This summer, I was fortunate enough to participate in the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute. We were treated like royalty and the learning that we were able to participate in will be hard to be repeated.
During my time there, I spent an afternoon visiting the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. My husband and I have always loved folk art and I had seen the pictures of the collection. The collection did not disappoint!
During my visit, I have to say my favorite exhibit was "Down On The Farm" featuring a collection of folk art farm animals. Prince, the main character of the exhibit, is a carved terrier from the Weill family. The designers of the exhibit set Prince as the main character in a narrative where he travels to a farm and encounters many adventures with the local animals. The setting is brought to life through a series of folk art paintings of rural farm life.
This weekend, I had some long overdue time to do some creative planning. I had purchased the book and stuffed dog from the exhibit, uncertain of how I might use them in my classroom. Time is a magnificent thing! We have been working on narratives during writing and I am always looking for new opportunities to extend our museum studies.
I am not sure where my plans will take our class, but I am excited for the possibilities. The wheels are turning and that always leads to a grand plan.