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How to Use the Activities


Inquiry Question

Historical Context




Table of

Putting It All Together

The following activities will help students consider aspects of daily life on a rice plantation in greater detail as well as begin to understand the economic origins of their own community.

Activity 1: Laying Out a Plantation
Have the students reexamine the photographs and the drawing, keeping in mind what they have learned about rice culture and Chicora Wood Plantation. Ask them to draw a sketch map showing how they would have laid out a plantation if they had been an architect and landscape designer at the time; for example, neither reading included information on how people on the plantation obtained their food at a time when travel was difficult. How would the students take that into consideration? Where would they have placed the big house and the slave cabins in relation to the rice fields? The students should then compare sketches and discuss the similarities and differences.

Activity 2: Interviewing Plantation Residents
Divide the students into groups of three. Ask one member of each group to pretend to be a newspaper reporter from a northern city who has come to interview people living on a plantation similar to Chicora Wood. The other two students should pretend to be children their own age living on the plantation--either a child of the owner or of a slave. The reporter interviews the two about their daily lives and records their responses. Hold a class discussion to see if the students came up with similar kinds of details.

Activity 3: Researching Your Community's Economic Origins
Have the students work in groups to research the economic base of their own community when it was established. Was the economy based on a single agricultural product? An early industry? In short, why did people settle in the region? In most communities, local historians have put together pamphlets or books describing the genesis of the town or city. State histories can also be useful. Newspapers often put out anniversary issues that tell much about the early history of a town or region. Local and state libraries and archives also contain useful sources. Finally have them consider what the economic base of their community is today and explain how and why it has changed or stayed the same. Groups could present their research in short written or oral reports or create displays to share with the rest of the class.

Activity 4: Researching the Contribution of Different Cultures
Have students determine what groups (ethnic, religious, etc.) settled in their community during its history. Divide the class into teams assigning each team one of the ethnic/religious groups for which they are to research the following questions. Where did these groups come from? What special skills or knowledge did they have that helped them settle the area? How did these skills contribute to the development of the area's economy? What resources were the different groups able to use to their advantage? Were these settlers able to continue the same occupations they held previously or did their new community force them to adapt? Now, ask the students to think about their community as it is today, especially looking for evidence of these earlier groups. Can any of the buildings, social customs, regional foods, annual observances or festivities etc. be identified with particular groups? Have them note types of architecture and/or architectural details, church denominations, land use patterns, specialty stores and restaurants, annual festivals, and clubs and fraternal organizations that represent the continuing influence of the different settlers. Have each team report back on what they have learned. Facilitate discussions on the similarities and differences of the ethnic/religious groups, and which culture appears to have the most influence today and why.




Comments or Questions

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