First The Photo: Where can you have the opportunity to sit right next to Franklin Delano Roosevelt? Can you guess where this picture was taken? If you know the city, can you google a map of the city and find the specific monument? It is a wonderful way to teach the difference between country, state, and city, with their various scopes and scales.
Second The Question: Do you think that FDR or Anne Frank or Abraham Lincoln knew that they were capturing history by keeping a personal journal? Most people don’t think about the fact that each time in history is unique and right now we are all living history. Last week we talked about our favorite time in history, this week talk about the person from history you would be most interested in meeting. Would you like to hear a firsthand account of the New Deal from FDR himself? Or would you rather talk to Julia Caesar and learn about what Rome was like back in the days when the Colosseum was used for more than just tourist visits? Would you like to hear about Lewis and Clarks adventures as they explored the unsettled West? Or would you enjoy hearing the gruesome tales of battles fought and won from Joan of Arc? Without personal accounts, journals or biographers we would not have the ability to share the rich history that we now cherish.
Third Next Steps: You could be part of that process. Begin capturing your own history. There are several simple ways to start. For really young children have them draw a picture each day of their favorite memory from the day’s events. This can be a nice part of the bedtime routine. A way to calm down and sum up the day’s experiences. It can also be a fun way for you to find out what they remember the most. For older children the easiest way to begin journaling is to get a calendar with fairly large squares for each day. Then at the end of the day have your child simply fill the day’s square with notes about what happened during their day, or how they felt about what happened. It can be a great way for them to practice their descriptive writing and an easy way to begin feeling sharing from the day. As children get older buying them a nice covered journal at the beginning of each New Year can be a great tradition. It will be an amazing keepsake for them, later in life, to see first-hand their own memories in their own words.
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