A Timeline of Memories and Past Reflections
Medea E. Lamberti-Sanchez
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Classroom Activity Four: the Proof's in the Pudding
Mrs. Sanchez introduced the idea of archives by prompting what the students know about an archive. She asked them to give a definition of archives, and explained to them that sometimes the archive help fill in the gaps of information that was unknown, and also helps to explain the significance of the day in question. Mrs. Sanchez compared this idea to an investigator where clues are left behind for the detective to seek out and try to make sense of. The class was told to pretend Omar's portable video game player was buried in a box outside the school and then dug up fifty years from now. What would this say about the technology of today versus future's technology? Mrs. Sanchez asked the class if this video game could possibly give us information about Omar's trip to Florida, and the students' responses were varied. John replied that he did not think that the portable video game player would tell anything about Omar's trip, and the class agreed. The students were then asked to track their lives for the next week in a journal, so that they have a record of what they have done, ate, or where they went. When the week's record is complete, Mrs. Sanchez asked that they place all of their papers in a file that she will keep in the closet until June 20
to be shared with others. Keep in mind that the activity will be done early on so that by the time June comes, there would have been nine months lapse, so that the archives will show the events of the week tracked by the students. In June, the students will get back their record of the week they had in September and will be asked to use their imagination to fill in the information that they did not have written down in their records. Mrs. Sanchez found that most of the students forgot about the particular week that was tracked so the students had to guess what happened just as Omar had to guess why he brought his game player to Florida and misplaced his game. John and Maria, as well, as the rest of the class had to imagine using vivid details what happened, why it happened, and when it happened. Using the archives, the students had a chance to begin writing their first draft of their autobiography or biography and upon completion, share or role–play with another fifth grade Language Arts class. The writers of Mrs. Sanchez's class needed an audience.