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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Written History-Making it personal

What is history? It’s the study of what happened in the past. I love to take what we are learning and make it personal. Today we studied that one way of finding out history of a person, place, or thing in time is to study written records. We learned about different types of written records, and what is held within them.
Books are the first thing they thought of, so we pulled out some different kind of books, learning books, entertaining books, true story books, of course the Bible. We talked about birth certificates, how they tell when, and where someone entered into the world, death certificates, to note the opposite, medical records to tell the history of a person’s health, Dental records, and how they can be used to identify a person, and finally personal letters which can tell you so much about the intimate details of a persons history, you can tell from a letter a woman wrote to her mother in the pioneer days how life was starting up, you can learn of wars, and wartime strategies, and even stories of love. I also showed them my “mother’s diary”, and we had fun reading all the little things I jot down that are funny, cute, or monumental that they do. There are so many written records we could hardly discuss all of them and it would be way above their heads, but I tried to have some of these available to them, to see, birth certificates, medical records, whatever I had on hand.

I am all for hands on learning, and I believe that when the kids can see touch, taste, feel whatever it is they are learning about, it becomes more personal and they are more likely to remember it. The night before this lesson, I remembered that a yr ago we had done a time capsule as a family, where we all put in items that characterized our lives, so I dug it out of the linen closet and had it ready to present. Then I had some empty plastic nut canisters and some note cards so we could create a written record of our current time. After presenting the lesson, we pulled out the time capsule from last yr, there was a letter from daddy, a church bulletin, and even some bible memory verses from the kids Sunday school class with the date on it, this was perfect for teaching how we can use written records to determine history.
If we were trying to find out about this time capsule, we could conclude that this was from a Christian family (Bible verses/church bulletin) , with a devoted dad who loved his 3 boys.  We could conclude that it was during or after the year 2010 because he mentioned baby Joseph who is only 1 yr old currently. We can affirm that year because of the date on the bulletin and Bible verse pages.
After this we created a written record time capsule. I had written out questions on the cards and asked each boy the questions. and placed their answers in a time capsule to be revealed at the beginning of next school year. I can’t hardly wait!

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