While students are engaged in distance learning, as part of our history classes, they are being asked to keep journals in order to create primary sources for future generations. These journals include documenting their own experiences (through writing, art, and music), documenting the experiences of the people they live with, and documenting (through remote Question & Answer) the weekly experiences of two people with whom they do not live. Students also will record a "news item of the day" and a photo of the day. We hope this assignment will help students reflect on their own experiences during the pandemic and see how their own experiences fit in with the larger trends in society at this time.
This assignment aligns with our history curriculum in many ways. One of our main goals is to teach students how to think critically about the nature and biases of all sources (primary and secondary). This means helping them identify the biases in everything from secondary sources on the Civil War to being able to recognize reliable news sources from unreliable or undocumented sources on social media.