- Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project with 5th grade students. They were assigned to select a couple of the pieces and read the stories to familiarize themselves with the stories as told in first-person accounts from former slaves. They were then assigned to write their own narrative in the voice of a former slave. The writing was assessed based on the facts surrounding the character’s life and the reflection of emotion in the story.
- The Industrialization Documentary Project, where the student researched the early part of the century, collected media, and used movie editing software to put together their own narrated video documentary. Several collections were used, depending on the sub-topic that the students selected; Alexander Graham Bell papers, Detroit Publishing Company, America at Work, America at Leisure Motion Pictures, Emergence of Advertising in America, Chicago Daily News – Chicago Historical Society, The Life of a City – New York City Films, Inventing America – Early Sound Recording and Motion Pictures of the Edison Companies, American Environmental Photographs, Inside an American Factory, The Nineteenth Centry in Print, Railroad Maps, Historic American Sheet Music, Around the World in the 1890’s
- After studying inventors, 3rd graders collected images from these collections: Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers, Samuel F.B. Morse Papers, Alexander Graham Bell Papers to create a “scrapbook” page with a small sampling of the images and annotations or captions
The collections from the Library of Congress are vast. For anyone studying American History, they are essential resources. The challenge is to find the right resources to help in the study of a particular topic. There isn’t an effective way to search through the millions of pictures to access the appropriate group that illustrate a period in our culture. It takes a great deal of time and familiarity with how the Library organizes the collections to select the images. Students, particularly those in elementary school, or even the general public would find navigation impossible. Perhaps recognizing this, the staff at the Library offices have posted thousands of images to Flickr, the world’s most popular photo-sharing site. The plan is for the the Flickr community to tag, comment, and make notes on the images. Flickr users use 20 million unique tags to categorize the hundreds of millions of photographs on the site. That’s the idea. The Library wants us to go th the collections on Flickr, called Commons, and add information to the photographs to make them easier to find. The whole concept is amazingly innovative and I for one am looking forward to years to come, when every one of the 10 million images are tagged, commented on, and easier to find and use because of the contributions of the Flickr community.
Read more about this project on the Library of Congress Blog.
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