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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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5. Masculine Heroes   



5. Masculine
Heroes


•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
Activities
- Author
Activities
- Context
Activities
- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Creative Response

  1. Journal: Imagine that you live next door to Caroline Kirkland in the village of Pinckney, Michigan. Write a letter to a friend who is curious about your experience in Michigan. Include a description of how you feel about Kirkland and her family. Do you see her as an asset to the community? How do you feel about the descriptions of Pinckney that appear in the book she published?

  2. Journal: Imagine that you are a miner in Rich Bar, California. Write a letter to a friend in which you detail your day-to-day life in the mining camp. You might also include a description of Louise Clappe. How do you and the rest of the miners in the community view her?

  3. Poet's Corner: Using the translations of the corridos in the archive as models, write your own corrido about a contemporary person whom you view as a hero. Whom did you choose as the subject of your corrido? How did you use rhythm and repetition in your corrido? What problems did you encounter in fitting your subject into the corrido form?

  4. Poet's Corner: Find a short poem that you like that uses conventional forms of meter and rhyme. Drawing inspiration from Whitman's poetry, translate the poem into free verse. How does the absence of rhyme and meter affect the poem? What problems did you encounter in translating the poem from one form to another?

  5. Artist's Workshop: After looking at the Native American flag art in the archive, draw a design for a piece of clothing or other object on which you will put your own version of the American flag. Feel free to abstract or modify the patterns and designs of the flag. Explain the significance of the artifact you've designed and how your representation of the flag reflects your vision.

  6. Multimedia: Referring to himself as the embodiment of America in "Song of Myself," Walt Whitman proclaimed, "I contain multitudes." What do you think he meant? What kinds of "multitudes" made up nineteenth-century American culture? Using the American Passages archive and slide-show software, create a multimedia presentation showing the diversity of American culture in the nineteenth century. Include captions that explain and interpret the images you choose.



Slideshow Tool
This tool builds multimedia presentations for classrooms or assignments. Go

Archive
An online collection of 3000 artifacts for classroom use. Go

Download PDF
Download the Instructor Guide PDF for this Unit. Go

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