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Putting It All Together

The following activities will help students to appreciate the experience of living on Little Cranberry Island and Baker Island, and to compare that way of life to the experiences of early settlers in their own community.

Activity 1: Living on an Island
Divide the class into two groups--one representing the Hadlocks and the other the Gilleys. Have each group list the advantages of their way of life. Then have each group elect a spokesperson that you, as a visiting journalist, will interview. Some questions you might ask include: As islanders, how isolated do you feel? What is appealing about your island--to adults and to children? What hardships do you face? Do you enjoy the way you have to make a living? What do you do for fun?

After each group has made a case for island living, have the groups research everyday life in the early 1800s for people living in their own community or region. Then ask one group to describe the similarities of life in their community to the life of the Hadlocks and the Gilleys, while the other group should point out differences.

Activity 2: Local History
Have students create their own (temporary) historical museum. They can prepare documents by writing short accounts of their own family history or that of neighbors who have lived in the community for a long time. After choosing aspects of life that they think are important to remember, they can collect family papers and artifacts that represent those aspects and develop a one-day exhibit. Consider asking local history societies and people knowledgeable about the local community to collaborate on the project. Ask students to list local historic buildings and vote on which one might be an appropriate home for a community museum. Students might invite other classes, their parents and others to view the completed exhibit.

Explain to students that individual family histories combine to make local history and local histories are part of our national heritage. Ask students to write about their current lives or a current issue as if they were writing in 2050. How will what is happening now look as history? Remind students that today's events and lives are the history of the future.

 

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