Where I’m From: Using Haiku Deck to Visualize Place

Where-Im-fromHere’s a lesson I designed for use in my University of Alaska Southeast summer course – ALST 600. I’ll be working with nearly 40 preservice teachers in the secondary MAT program teaching Alaska Studies using a place-based approach that integrates good instructional practice and free ed tech tools across the curriculum. For more on this lesson click here

This lesson features a poem as a prompt for a creative reflection. It also integrates two tools for presentation of the reflection.

  1. After reading Where I’m From, students will use Haiku Deck to design a brief presentation that uses text and images to depict “where they are from.” The presentation should include a a title slide plus 6 slides which explore the place you’re from. Follow this link for ideas on Where to Go with “Where I’m From”
  2. After completing the Haiku Deck presentation, students will create a blog post that includes an embedded version of the presentation and a written response to the question:

What have I learned from this activity and how might I use the learning strategies and / or technology in my teaching placement?

Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon

I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
(Black, glistening,
it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush
the Dutch elm
whose long-gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.

I’m from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I’m from the know-it-alls
and the pass-it-ons,
from Perk up! and Pipe down!
I’m from He restoreth my soul
with a cottonball lamb
and ten verses I can say myself.

I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger,
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.

Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures,
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments–
snapped before I budded —
leaf-fall from the family tree.



Uprooted: Russell Lee FSA Photo Exhibit

Uprooted from Uprooted Exhibit on Vimeo.

During the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans, some 33,000 Nikkei left concentration camps to work as seasonal farm laborers, often in the sugar beet industry. UPROOTED introduces their story. This traveling exhibit features a selection of images from federal photographer Russell Lee’s documentation of farm labor camps in Oregon and Idaho. Through Lee’s photographs, new research, and firsthand accounts from farm laborers themselves, the exhibit uncovers the rarely told story of life in the camps.

Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center
February 11th to June 19th. 
121 NW 2nd Ave. Portland, OR 97209

Uprooted Exhibit 07

The Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission is proud to present Uprooted: Japanese American Farm Labor Camps During World War II. The exhibit features a selection of photographs from Russell Lee’s documentation of Japanese American farm labor camps near the towns of Nyssa, Oregon and Rupert, Shelley, and Twin Falls, Idaho. This is the first time many of these images have been exhibited. As a photographer for the Farm Security Administration (FSA), Lee captured nearly six hundred images of the Nikkei wartime experience. From 1935 to 1944, the FSA’s documentary photography program produced approximately 175,000 black-and-white film negatives and 1,600 color images.

Visitors will learn about Japanese American farm labor camps through Lee’s photographs, interpretative text panels, and a short documentary film featuring firsthand accounts about life in the camps. The exhibit’s website includes additional photographs, historic documents, video clips and transcripts from oral history interviews, and two lesson plans - How to Read Documentary Films and How to Read Documentary Photographs (Note: I developed both lessons).

Uprooted Exhibit 05

This exhibit was supported by grants from the National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Preservation Program; the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based Program of the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Fred W. Fields Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation; the Malheur County Cultural Trust; and the Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust.

Farm Labor ad from the Minidoka Irrigator (camp newspaper)For more information on this project please contact the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission. For questions regarding the JACS grant program, please contact Kara Miyagishima, Program Manager, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, NPS, at 303-969-2885.

Click ad on left to enlarge  For more photos see Uprooted Photo Gallery 

Men on truck: Many of the single men and families came to the Rupert, Idaho camp from Minidoka, Heart Mountain, Manzanar, and Poston. The seasonal leave program drew a mix of people, some with previous agricultural experience and others without. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection, LC-USF34-073890-D.

The Ouchida family at the Nyssa, Oregon farm labor camp, pictured clockwise from the lower left: Jack, Shizuko, Henry, Thomas, Kiuda, Shizuyo, Mary, and Rosie. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection, LC-USF34-073354-D.

Newspaper Ad “You don’t need to wait any longer to get out.” From the Minidoka Irrigator.
Sugar companies posted recruitment notices and advertisements in public spaces throughout the camps, as well as in camp newspapers. Such advertisements emphasized seasonal labor as an opportunity to leave confines of camp, but also marketed the work as the patriotic duty of Japanese Americans, ignoring that they had been incarcerated and denied their civil liberties.
National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., Record Group 210, War Relocation Authority.
 

Harlem Renaissance: Rebirth of Cultural Identity

"Barbecue" by Archibald Motley “Barbecue” by Archibald Motley

My Social Studies Methods class at the University of Portland recently published a free multi-touch iBook – Exploring History: Vol III (free iTunes). It features thirteen engaging questions and historic documents that empower students to be the historian in the classroom. For more info on our project and free download of multi-touch iBook and pdf versions click here. To better publicize student work, I’m featuring each chapter in it’s own blog post. (Second of 13)

The Harlem Renaissance by Monica Portugal
Download as PDF 1.4MB

How did the Harlem Renaissance allow African Americans to express their experiences within American society?

The Harlem Renaissance was an early 20th century movement which lasted until the mid 1930s. At the time of this movement African American writers, artists, actors and musicians, were being recognized for their talents and contributions to the newest fads of pop culture. However, along with the newest Jazz songs and popular dances that came about during this period, African Americans used these mediums of art and literature as a way to express their experience of being black, being an artist, being an American citizen, and and being all of these things all at once. 
 Using music, poetry, novels, and other forms of literature and art, African Americans were able to explore questions of race and social tensions in America. Capturing the attention of white Americans, Africans Americans were able to further pursue their desires of equality, and bring to life a rebirth of their cultural identity.

 

Project Reflection by Monica Portugal

For this assignment I chose to focus on the Harlem Renaissance and have my students explore the work of various African American musicians, artists, and writers, in order to identify the purpose of their work, and what it represented. This past semester I did a similar lesson to this DBL with my 11th grade history class for a 1920s unit. For that lesson I introduced similar sources to the ones in this assignment in order to guide my students to a deeper understanding of the Harlem Renaissance, and open a small discussion of race within America. The DBL I have created here will accomplish a similar goal.

For this lesson I wanted to introduce a more serious side of the Harlem Renaissance, and expose my students to these sources in order to guide them to understand a different perspective of America during this time period. Despite the Harlem Renaissance being a time and place full of spirit, opportunity, and pop-culture, it was also a time of opportunity to captivate audiences, black and white, and explore issues of race in America. For myself, the issues and concerns that are expressed in the documents provided by these artists, are still issues seen today. Following this DBL students can be asked to make connections to more modern day issues, compare and contrast, and reflect on American society today. As an educator I want to create a place where such discussions can be held with respect, because I do believe discussing situations and concerns such as this should be held in a classroom in order to help our students be more open minded, respectful, and well rounded to the world around them.

Image credit: Wikipedia / Photograph by Alexisrael

Close Reading Political Cartoons: Reconstruction

Northern coat of arms

My Social Studies Methods class at the University of Portland recently published a free multi-touch iBook – Exploring History: Vol III (Free iTunes). It features thirteen engaging questions and historic documents that empower students to be the historian in the classroom. For more info on our project and free download of multi-touch iBook and pdf versions click here. To better publicize student work, I’m featuring each chapter in it’s own blog post. (First of 13)

Reconstruction in Political Cartoons by EmmaLee Kuhlmann 
Download lesson as PDF 
(8.3MB)

In this lesson, students will examine various political cartoons and other images from around the United States printed during Reconstruction. They will be asked questions of each image which will help them perform close reading skills and help them come to a conclusion about how the different types of American citizens experienced Reconstruction. Essential Questions:

  • How did Americans across the country experience the period of Reconstruction differently?
  • How did their experience influence their perceptions of Reconstruction policies and the government and society of the United States following the Civil War?
  • In what ways are political cartoons useful in exploring how people understood Reconstruction?
  • Are political cartoons a good primary source?

 

Project Reflection by EmmaLee Kuhlmann 

In the initial stages of developing this lesson, I had the idea that I might want to focus primarily on political cartoons for this lesson. There are so many available from this time period, and so many with such vivid imagery that allow students to engage in analysis with very little background knowledge. As I began to collect documents for this lesson, I was a bit worried that I did not have enough content, and that I might need to include other types of documents. However, because Reconstruction is such a large topic, and because there are so many different lenses through which it can be understood, I found that it was easier to stick with the medium of political cartoons, and engage with them more deeply. In this way, students get the opportunity to engage with the controversy of how to rebuild after a terrible and destructive war that changed multiple aspects of society.

In secondary history classes, topics such as Reconstruction are rarely discussed; if they are, very little time is spent uncovering the controversy and complexity of the time period. However, Reconstruction is a period in America’s history that began the current stream of history. By understanding the period following the Civil War, students can begin to see how America’s history has shaped its present. For instance, certain racial policies enacted during Reconstruction played a major role in Americans’ later perceptions of race and racial constructs. It isn’t an easy time period to untangle, certainly another reason why it rarely is at the secondary level. However, giving students primary sources to discuss and explore give them an effective entry point into the time period and the topics surrounding some difficult issues of Reconstruction.

At the end of this particular lesson, numerous different activities could be assigned. In the creation of this lesson, I wanted to leave the final product/assignment open because there are so many creative ways to assess understanding of the cartoons and the ideas and values they present. When I discussed possible options for closing assignments for this lesson, various suggestions were given. My favorite assignment idea was to have students create their own political cartoon using similar themes and imagery from the cartoons that they explored in the lesson. This could be done either about Reconstruction issues or even current events. This would allow students to make connections across topics and time periods.

Image credit: Library of Congress  LC-USZ62-19673 

Title: Northern coat of arms
Related Names: Baker, Joseph E
Date Created/Published: 1864.

Teacher’s Guide to Ed Design

Devsigner conference logoI’m pleased to be presenting at the Devsigner Conference in Portland Ore June 27-28. As the organizers describe it

The Devsigner Conference features sessions and workshops focusing on front web design and development techniques, tips and tools. We also aim to inspire our technically inclined creative community with amazing session topics that bridge the gap between art and code. Join us June 27-28th in Portland, Oregon for our second annual celebration of Devsigners.

Devsigner guyConfession – I’m not a dev. But I have spent years designing learning experiences. So my session is titled the Teacher’s Guide to Ed Design. (Sat 11:45am-12:30pm).

My workshop session will offer perspectives on designing engaging learning experiences that motivate students, provoke their reflections and monitor their progress as learners. It should be useful for educational content providers or anyone interested in instructional design. This post provides an overview of my session and provide links for my workshop attendees.

My key takeaways for ed designers:

  1. Have the courage to be less helpful. Are students making choices, reflecting on decisions and sharing their thinking with an audience beyond the teacher?
  2. Teaching is not telling. Teaching is designing learning experiences that provoke 
learner reflection. This happens best when lessons have a social component and an authentic audience.
  3. Let the student be the historian.. . or scientist, mathematician, etc. Think of the art class. Would you expect to see the students passively watching the art teacher paint?

More on info on the my session’s themes and examples:

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