At the Museum

Walk students through the exhibition.
Allow fifteen minutes or more for walking through the exhibition with students so they can get a feel for its scope and for the kind of information they can include in their stories.

Give students time to collect information.
Distribute copies of the What Was It Like? activity sheet. Explain that the sheet is a research tool and that the more data the students jot down on their sheets, the more information they'll be able to draw on later when writing their stories. Then give the students at least thirty minutes to return to the exhibition and fill in as much of their sheets as possible. Afterward, you may want to have the students gather to share the details they noted and to ask questions.

Have each student choose an identity.
The identities students choose will be the main characters in their stories. Students may either invent their identities (for example, a fifteen-year-old migrant farm worker) or they may adopt the identity of a real person portrayed or discussed in the exhibit. Distribute copies of the Who Am I? activity sheet and give the students a few minutes to fill in the first four questions on the handout.

Give students time to collect additional information.
Have the students return to the exhibit to fill in as much of their new handouts as they can. Explain that the additional information they gather may come in handy when they sit down to write their stories. Tell them especially to be on the lookout for any information that could help them develop their characters. For example, if the exhibit reveals that few children of farm laborers attend school, a student who has chosen the identity of a farm laborer can assume that his or her character has little formal education.

Last Modified September 19, 1997