May 23, 2017

Featured Source: A Plan of My Farm

Zoom into this old map. Do some math, how many acres in total are listed on this map. There are 640 acres in 1 square mile. Approximately how many square miles is this farm? Look for clues on the map to see if you can determine when it was made and by whom. Make a rough sketch of what you think the farm looked like in pencil. Now compare the map above to another map of the same area from a later date. What changed? What stayed the same? What more did learn about the farm and the farm owner? … [Read more...]

Featured Source: A Preacher Tries Farming

The page shown above comes from a transcript of a 1930s oral history interview with George Strester who remembers a memorable Thanksgiving time when his father, a preacher, tried farming in Nebraska in 1873. Click the links below to browse through some related images, then read Strester's whole story. Describe how the images enhanced your understanding of the story. young family, near Woods Park, Custer County, Nebraska sod house near Woods Park, Custer County, Nebraska Mrs. Debusk, … [Read more...]

Literature Links: My Daniel – Hunting dinosaurs in Nebraska

Below you will find numerous primary source activity ideas to use in conjunction with the novel My Daniel by Pam Conrad. Let us know which ones work for you. Publisher overview "All I want to find is one dinosaur," Daniel was saying. "And I'll find it right here. Like I do all my fossils." Wandering through the Natural History Museum with her grandchildren, Julia Creath feels the presence of her dead brother, Daniel, she remembers a time when fossil fever hit everyone, old and young -- a … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Zooming into Documentary Photography

Zoom into the picture above and you will see a face recognizable to many. The mother in the photo is Florence Thompson, most famously known as the migrant mother. This photograph was one in a series taken in 1936 by Resettlement Administration photographer Dorothea Lange. In this primary source activity, students will examine photographs individually and as a set. They will then analyze a variety of primary sources and texts to use as evidence in an essay that defines documentary photography, … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Life on the Farm

What was life on the farm like before large agribusness operations began to dominate U.S. agricultural production? To get a glimpse into the past, take a look at the Today in History section for August 29 (you'll need to scroll down to access the second topic), then click the links below to access a cornucopia of primary source treasures. Farming image set More farming images from American Memory Dairy farm image set More dairy farm images from American Memory Farming oral … [Read more...]

Today in History: Laura Ingalls Wilder

Today in History–February 7–the Library of Congress features writer Laura Ingalls Wilder, born on this date in 1867. Ingalls Wilder became well known for her semi-autobiographical stories collectively know as the Little House on the Prairie series. Learn more this iconic writer of American pioneer life and discover primary sources that will help illuminate her stories by visiting the Today in History section and then clicking the links below. Laura Ingalls Wilder Born from America's … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Media & Migrant Laborer Perspectives

Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection is an online presentation of a multi-format ethnographic field collection documenting the everyday life of residents of Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant work camps in central California in 1940 and 1941. Todd and Sonkin, both of the City College of New York, traveled to Arvin, Bakersfield, El Rio, Firebaugh, Porterville, Shafter, Thornton, Visalia, Westley, and Yuba City, California and recorded … [Read more...]

Today in History: Mexican Americans & United Farm Workers of America

Today in History–August 22–the Library of Congress features the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee (UFWOC), later renamed the United Farm Workers of America (UFW), which was formed on this day in 1966. Under the leadership of founders Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, the UFW won many concessions for disenfranchised  Mexican-American farmworkers. Find out more by reading the Today in History section, then clicking the links below. Cesar Chavez stories from America's … [Read more...]