Activities for Grades 7—8
A thought experiment:
Imagine you are living in the year 2150. Write a “history report” about the early twenty-first century. What aspects of twenty-first century life will be most interesting to people in 2150? What will be hardest for people in 2150 to understand about the twenty-first century? What will they think is funny, or look on with prejudice about the twenty-first century?
Click on the links to read the historical articles, then answer the questions found below:
A Midwinter-Night's Dream (1883)
—What does this piece say about shifts in technology?
—Compare this piece with Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. How is the piece an homage to Dickens' work?
A Woman Without Cares or Children (Fiction—1889)
—Why is Rose so tired and overworked?
—How does Aunt Serepta feel about the situation?
—Describe some other examples (from fiction or from life) of people failing to understand how hard someone is working.
Bikes on Trains (1883)
—Discuss the shift discussed in this piece, from bicycles being allowed free on trains, to not being allowed at all, to certain models being allowed when a surcharge is paid. Why do you think these shifts happened? What do they say about American values about cycling? Do you think things are better or worse for cyclists now than in the 1880s?
Origin of Ice-Cream Soda Water (1892)
—Be sure to notice the date this piece was written. Did it surprise you to learn how long people have been drinking ice cream sodas?