Title of Collection
you are working with: ___________________________
Step One: With
a partner, locate one or two documents you think would be interesting
for students to examine. (30 min)
A. Begin from
one of two places:
- The title
page of your designated collection
- The Learning
Page and the "learn More About It" info on your collection
one partner who will take notes on the searching process, while
the other drives. (Note: you can take turns!)
C. Skim the
background material on the collection. Brainstorm for a moment
about the kinds of documents students might find interesting in
such a collection.
through the collection, using terms you brainstormed. Keep searching
until you locate one or two documents that you think students would
find interesting to examine. Bookmark or print out the document.
Step Two: Brainstorm
the document(s) with your partner. (15 min)
A. What makes
this an interesting document for students to consider? What unusual
qualities or characteristics does the document possess?
Brainstorm with your partner ways you might use the document
with students. What kinds of classroom activities might you have
What curriculum targets, if any, might the document(s) help address?
American Memory Workshop
is the framework Cyberbee followed for the three hour workshop on
the American Memory Collections
for middle and high school library media specialists. All of the individuals
attending this workshop were using the Internet with students at their
- 20 minutes
Open the workshop
by wearing white gloves to simulate how the archivists
at the Library Of Congress handle photographs. This is a real
ice breaker. Inform the group about the disappearance and return of
Whitman Diaries. The group
will be absolutely entranced with the story. Show your
groups some original photographs that you have printed. Be sure to
wear the white gloves.
Divide the group
into pairs. Have them analyze The
Close of a Career in New York photograph using the Photo Analysis
Guide. As a group, discuss the findings.
You can also
give them a photo of a one-room
schoolhouse from the Built
In America collection.
Break - 15
Search Activity - 45 minutes
papers with different collection names at the
Again work in
pairs. Have participants look at specific collections and brainstorm
ideas on how to use the artifacts in the classroom. These
are a few examples of the Quick Lessons/Ideas that
activity is an introduction to the Learning Page. By waiting until
the end of the morning to do this activity, the group will have a better
understanding of how the lessons could tie-in to the classroom.
In a group with others who have looked at your collection, discuss
the following. And take notes on the discussion! (30 min)
A. Sharing artifacts and activities
Take turns sharing artifacts you have located. On chart paper,
make a list of the student activities that your group brainstormed
around the collection artifacts. Do you see any patterns emerging
in the kinds of activities your group brainstormed?
B. Using the search engines and browsing aids
What was it like searching through the collection? What approach
did you take? What surprises or obstacles did you encounter?
What strategies and browsing aids were most effective in helping
you find documents of interest?
C. Understanding the collection
What if anything did you learn about the collection itself?
What were its distinctive characteristics or qualities? Was there
anything surprising about its contents?
Step Four: Facilitator
debriefs the groups.
A. What were some of the qualities of interesting primary
sources for students?
B. Looking at the lists of brainstormed activities, what are
some common themes and strategies that emerge? Can we begin to
identify some shared principles of good learning activities?
C. What experiences
did you have while searching the collections? What surprises
or obstacles did you encounter? What strategies
proved most effective in helping you find documents of interest?