November 23, 2007, 12:00 am by uBUFU4r

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									9th Lit Honors                  From Object to Story: Family Artifact Nonfiction Assignment
                                adapted from http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/11/23/from-object-to-story/
ELA9RL1.a Nonfiction/Informational Text: Analyzes and applies knowledge of the characteristics of memoir, biography, and/or autobiography.
ELACCL9-10RI2: Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by
specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
ELACCL9-10RI3: Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced
and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.


     1. Read the article A 19th-Century Ghost Awakens to Redefine ‘Soul’:
        http://www.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/featured_articles/20071122thursday.html.

     2. Answer the following questions
        a. Why is Malinda Russell’s cookbook considered a great find?
        b. Who was Malinda Russell and what did she do?
        c. Why did her story inspire Jan Longone to research her life?
        d. In what way is Russell’s book like an Emancipation Proclamation for black cooks?
        e. What commonly-held beliefs about southern cooking does Russell’s cookbook dispel?
        f. What resources has Longone consulted in her search for more information about Russell?
        g. What obstacles has she faced in her search?
        h. Why might basic facts about Russell not have been recorded?
        i. In what locations was Russell known to live and what clues prompted Longone to pursue her search?
        j. Why might cooking and/or cookbooks offer an interesting view of a culture’s history?

     3. You will investigate your family history through artifacts and interviews with family members and independent
        research. Think about interesting items you have found or seen in your home or in the homes of relatives or
        friends. Which item do you think might have a story behind it? Perhaps you saw an old photograph, military
        uniform, record player or piece of furniture that caught your attention. What questions did you ask or want to ask
        about the object? What, if any, mystery surrounded the object? Might it have contributed to the family’s
        mythology about its own history?

     4. Bring in one item from home that represents an aspect of your family history. Consider items other than
        photographs, but you may bring in photographs of selected artifacts that may be too large, fragile or cumbersome
        to transport. Some objects you should consider are records, sheet music or musical instruments; quilts,
        embroidery or other crafts; cookbooks or recipes; uniforms or other clothing; seals or stamps; brooches or medals;
        birth certificates, official documents or personal documents.

     5. On __________           you will bring a family artifact to share with the class. Using the guidelines below, create an
        archive label for the item you bring into class.

                     ARCHIVAL LABELS (written on a 4 x 6 index card)
                     -Date of origin; date of use
                     -Place of origin; place(s) of use
                     -Material
                     -Past ownership
                     -Type of object
                     -Object’s use(s)
                     -Further description of object, purpose, user and/or significance to family’s cultural history

     6. Consider additional information you might need to know about the artifact in order to preserve it. Prepare a list of
        questions you would like to have answered about the artifact, along with a list of potential resources (people or
        documents that might offer answers). Your first question should be “How is this object of familial historical
        significance?”

     7. After you learn more about the personal significance of your object through interviews with family members and
        independent research, write an article similar to A 19th-Century Ghost Awakens to Redefine ‘Soul’ that features
        the object and its user(s) and reflects an understanding of your family history. Your article is due on
        .                             . Minimum 2 pages double-spaced 12 point Times New Roman font, MLA style.

								
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