English 518 Course Blog

April 12, 2007

“American Memory Project”

Filed under: Uncategorized — spiders8 @ 1:03 am

When I began to browse the American Memory Project, I was very unsure of what I would actually find.  However, I was certain that the information would be new and greatly rewarding to me.  Eventually, the title Native American History seemed to draw my attention to it.  Since I teach Native American students Reading for Success, and English I at a high school, I was absolutely pleased to encounter this resource of information.  I am learning some very interesting details about this culture.  This experience remains most unique.

Although, I have not located any information about Indians on the East coast, I have taken an interest in the pictures of the Chilkat dancers in their ceremonial dress with their wood carvings.  I have enjoyed attending the Indian ceremonies locally in Pembroke and I still remain quite in awe about the ceremonial attire of the Indians in Robeson County.   These  pictures from the web site will give me more photos to add to my class walls.  A closer look at this resource may give me local details about the Indians I teach.   

A second resource for me was in “Portraits by Carl Van Vechten.” I discovered in this photographers’ collection  there are 1, 395 photographs of celebrities which include many figures from the Harlem Renaissance.  This will serve as a valuable tool to me for a resource in my poetry and short story unit as well as in the celebration of Black History Month.  I did take the time to read information about Ella Fitzgerald.  Her photo featured is the youngest photo of her that I have ever seen.  I am thinking that my students would enjoy engaging in research and viewing photos of Black Americans which are not seen as much in other library or Internet resources. 

Yet a third resource was information about the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.  Since I read the novel, Out of the Dust, by Karen Hesse, I have longed for an opportunity to teach it to students.  For a future plan, I will engage students in grand conversations and in literature circles in my Reading for Success classes next year.  I have located some excellent photos and targeted resources to enhance my students’ critical thinking skills as they learn about life in the Dust Bowl as presented in this novel.

Finally, I encountered from the Learning Page a list of resources about nature’s fury.  The resources include fiction at the middle level, elementary level books, adult books, reference books such as multi-media, online resources outside of the Library of Congress, and a list of suggestions for the classroom in the teaching of the theme–The Dust Bowl.

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