Objective: Students will write a personal narrative about what they would take with them if they were fleeing a disaster.
Materials: pictures from the San Francisco Earthquake, paper, pencils. There are quite a few websites dedicated to the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake including:
1906 San Francisco Earthquake Photos
The Great Quake: 1906-2006
( www.sfgate.com/greatquake/), and the
San Francisco Library Historical Photograph Collection
1. Students will view a number of photos of the San Francisco Earthquake especially those featuring people fleeing the city and living in encampments. People had to make quick decisions about what belongings they could take with them. In a general way students might be asked to list things they think people would chose to take. Possible choices might range from pieces of furniture, to articles of clothing, jewelry, toys, photographs, etc.
2. Students will be asked to make a personal connection to the people in the photos and try to figure out what important things they would take (not including pets). It might help students to focus on what is really important to them if they are limited to three items.
3. After viewing pictures and discussing the difficult choices people would have to make (some things would be too large to move) students would then be encouraged to write what they would take and why they chose those items. They might also write about the next thing they would have taken but had to leave behind.
4. Students will share their writing with others.