I have been off the grid for a few weeks. Celebrating my 25th Wedding Anniversary in our 50th State - Yes – Hawaii! And of course no celebration would be complete without presenting a workshop on the Common Core and Nonfiction. I really wasn’t sure if I was more excited about being in Hawaii or getting to do a presentation in one of the best locations on this planet.
I presented a workshop for the Hawaii Association of School Librarians (HASL) on a Saturday morning program with over 30 attendees. Several attendees joined us remotely via the Internet from other islands. Marc Aronson joined us via Web-ex for part of the workshop. Our main focus was on Common Core, Nonfiction, and the important role point of view has in the standards as well as reviewing what a “cluster of resources” would look like. Attendees had time to work in groups and create clusters before the workshop drew to a close. This HASL Help session just flew by. I brought several autographed copies of Marc’s latest book The Skull in the Rock to giveaway but the big hit of the morning was Marc and Marina’s book – Sugar Changed the World – I gave away five autographed copies of this book. Sugar has a rich history in Hawaii.
Several unique resources were uncovered in my research for this workshop. The workshop was held at the Pearl Ridge Elementary School Library on Oahu and our host librarian was Loretta Nelson. I want to thank Loretta for helping me pull out great local samples of resources right from the library shelves to use during the workshop.
I created a cluster of resources on sugar plantations from the library catalog within several moments.
The resource that intrigued me the most was the – Register of the Grove Farm Plantation records and papers of George N. Wilcox, Samuel W. Wilcox, Emma L. Wilcox, Elsie H. Wilcox and Mabel I. Wilcox, Lihue, Kauai, HI : Grove Farm Homestead, 1982. This 114 page soft cover booklet provides a detailed description of the life that was Grove Farm Plantation – right down to specific household inventory when the estate was settled.
This cluster started with Sugar Changed the World for the broad perspective and then narrowed down to the local history of Grove Farm Plantation booklet then I added a work of fiction titled – Plantation Child and Other Stories by Eve Begley Kiehm. We then moved into electronic resources, which included the resources available at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, which currently has an exhibit showing until the Summer of 2013 entitled Tradition and Transition: Stories of Hawai‘i Immigrants. The museum has a searchable library and archive of artifacts as well for educators to use. http://bishopmuseumlib.lib.hawaii.edu/
Web resources to include: Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association – Plantation Archives http://www2.hawaii.edu/~speccoll/hawaiihspa.html and one of the best web sites I would recommend is the Hawaii Plantation Village web site which is an outdoor history museum that tells the story of the life on Hawaii’s Sugar Plantations (1850 – 1950) Great resource with PDF at bottom of the web site front page.
You could add more resources about sugar plantations from around the world or focus in on a specific geographic location. You could compare and contrast different types of plantations. What was different about a tobacco plantation or a cotton plantation as compared to a sugar plantation? Students can research to find evidence and first hand accounts of life on plantations. There are many variables to include in a cluster of this nature.
I want to thank Patty Louis and Diane Mokuau, Co-Presidents of HASL and Michelle Colte, VP of Programming at HASL for the wonderful welcome and to all the enthusiastic participants on a Saturday morning. Mahalo! I look forward to a return trip very soon:)
See the November 2012 Issue of School Library Journal for more on clustering in the article that Marc and I just has published.