2. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend,
interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior
experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their
knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification
strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter
correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use
different writing process elements appropriately to communicate
with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating
ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate,
and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and
non-print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries
in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
Students develop an understanding of and respect for diversity
in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures, ethnic
groups, geographic regions, and social roles.
Paddy Bowman's "Finding the Invisible: Folklore in Sense
of Place" workshop, a seasonal
round worksheet was distributed.
A seasonal round is a circular calendar. Each person filled in
his or her important dates using colored markers. While the teachers
were working, folk music was playing in the background. At the
of the activity, participants shared their calendars with a partner
and the group. From each person's stories, others were able to
see the similarities and differences in their daily lives. This
fabulous activity to begin the workshop.
Seasonal Round Activities on Coal River
In this example, the cycle shows the
role of the forest in community life. Gathering plants for commercial
and domestic use
was a year-round job. Hunting, fishing, planting, and harvesting
were other tasks that were essential to daily life. This seasonal
round tells the story visually and through sound recordings. By clicking
on the words, you can hear the stories about molasses making, the
art of digging ginseng, or hunting for squirrels through the experiences
of the people living in the area.
During the summer of 2001,
I had the opportunity to attend a workshop presented by Paddy Bowman
the National Network for Folk Arts in Education. Paddy is a leading
authority on folklife and culture. The title of the workshop was "Finding
the Invisible: Folklore in Sense of Place." Her inspiration
to learn about one's sense of place in the community through traditions,
music, food, and crafts was the catalyst for this article. Sometimes
everyday life becomes invisible until you begin to analyze and
categorize your experiences. You have to see, hear, smell, taste,
and touch daily life in such a way that you begin to feel a sense
of person in the place where you live. Connecting students with
community can open doorways to the cultural legacies of many diverse
groups of people. It will certainly enlighten minds.
American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress
In 1976, the
U.S. Congress created the American Folklife Center to preserve
and present American folklife. The Center has
online as part of the American Memory project. They range from
fiddle tunes of the old frontier to Omaha Indian music to the
landscapes of Southern West Virginia to blues and gospel
songs from the Fort
Valley Music Festivals in Georgia. These collections are a rich
combination of sound recordings, photographs, field notes, artifacts,
and manuscripts that serve as living histories for a new generation.
Be sure to read
Folklife and Fieldwork: A Layman's Introduction to Field Techniques before venturing into ethnographic studies with your students.
It is an
essential guide for preparing and conducting
research. In addition to the field guide, there are finding aids
to the folk archives with many states represented, information
about the local legacies project, and A Teacher's Guide to
for K-12 Classrooms that provides an annotated list of books related
to folklore and addresses for state and community-based programs.
This folklore site contains retellings of American folktales, Native
American myths and legends, tall tales, weather folklore and ghost
stories from each and every one of the 50 United States. You can
read about all sorts of famous characters like Paul Bunyan, Pecos
Bill, Daniel Boone, and many more.
American Folklore Society
The purpose of
the American Folklore Society, founded in 1888, is to stimulate
interest and research in folklore. The Web
mainly a resource with information about the organization.
is to foster New York and America's cultural heritage. Projects
supported are the People's
poetry festival; Place
an initiative that celebrates places and traditions in New York
communities; and CARTS: Cultural
Arts Resources for Teachers and Students, a cultural resource
center for K-12 education. The site
grassroots contributions to New York's cultural life through
the annual People's Hall of Fame Awards.
Montana Heritage Project
The Montana Heritage
Project demonstrates how students have preserved cultural heritage
through authentic research and serves as a
model for other schools to follow. Browse the site to find
examples of forms for fieldwork, worksheets, rubrics, and descriptions
of school projects. One of the most helpful tools is the step-by-step
process for writing an "essay of place" developed by
Michael Umphrey. The steps include choosing a place to write
about, listening to your place, exploring the history of your
nature at your place, exploring the folklife of your place, reflecting
on your writings, and transforming your reflections into a story.
This is a great short-term or long-term project that will engage
students in thinking about the sense of place in a local community.
New York Folklore Society
What are folklore,
folklife, and folk arts? Find a variety of interesting definitions
gathered from several perspectives.
Print out a fieldwork
data sheet to use with students when gathering data. Peruse samples
from publications such as Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore
or New York Folklore. Visit the online gallery for ideas about
how to display artifacts and write descriptions.
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
One of the most
popular features on this Web site is the virtual festival. Attend
a luau or an African naming ceremony. Learn
about border people in the American Southwest. Experience
and sounds of traditional folklife through dance, food, images,
and poetry. Next visit Creativity and Existence: Maroon Cultures
in the Americas, an online exhibit that focuses on the history
and culture of Maroon communities in Suriname, French Guiana,
and Jamaica, and also the Seminole Maroon communities along
border. The Maroons were those individuals who escaped from slavery.
In this exhibit, you will learn about the history of the Maroon
people, their contemporary counterparts, and crafts. After visiting
the exhibit, explore the remainder of the site for information
about projects and publications that the Center for Folklife
and Cultural Heritage has to offer.
a family affair. Have your students become family folklorists
by recording traditions, taking pictures, and
Instructions, equipment, suggested questions, interview techniques,
and tips on storing photographs and artifacts are presented
in a conversational style.
Louisiana Voices: An Educator's Guide to Exploring Our Communities
What a gem!
Choose from in-depth units or individual topics about material
culture, story-swapping, seasonal rounds,
and much more. Activities include making a cake quilt, playing
folklore bingo, taking family pictures, and examining folk
worksheets, and teacher tools are exceptionally well done and
easy to download or print. Since the guide is in the public
will be able to adapt it to your own curriculum as long as
you give attribution to the Louisiana Division of the Arts
and the National
Endowment for the Arts, as well as the authors. Check the site
for complete details.
My History Is America's History
Is America's History is an initiative of the National Endowment
for the Humanities (NEH) designed to help you explore
your family history, discover your family's place in American
history, and make your own contribution to history. The
is full of things you can do to save America's history. In
the chapter "Fun for the Family," there are projects
on making a family quilt, history museum, cookbook, and
Web album that encourage
students to become family historians.
Story Arts Online
art of storytelling is an excellent way to enhance student listening
and speaking skills. Heather Forest, an
accomplished storyteller, masterfully walks you through
the storytelling process.
She provides numerous plots, lesson suggestions, and rubrics
that you can use immediately with your students. Listen
to Heather tell
stories in the Story Arts theatre. Plan an initial listening
exercise around a wonderful tale like "The Turnip," a
Russian folktale. Rounding out the material on the site
is the section "Exploring
Cultural Roots Through Storytelling" that contains interview
questions about people to remember, life events, and objects.
There are also ideas for remembering your own life story.
Invisible to Visible
folklife are not always obvious in our day-to-day living, but
they are a part of who we are as individuals
and as a community.
Think about ways you can introduce folklore into your curriculum
through writing, games, storytelling, interviews with parents
and grandparents, ethnographic units of study, and studying
sources and exhibits on the Web. Then watch your students
grow as they learn about who they are in the place they