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Going to the Show: Lesson Plans

Explore evolution of personal transportation in Wilmington, North Carolina in the early 1900s through the use of images, Sanborn Maps and Wilmington City Directories


Introduction  |   Activity 1 -4  |   Activity 5 - 7  |   Worksheet (pdf)  |   Learn More


Students will explore and analyze photographs, postcards and Sanborn Maps available in the UNC DocSouth Going to the Show digital collection, photographs from the Dr. Robert M. Fales Collection, and Wilmington City Directories from the early 1900s that illustrate the evolution of personal transportation from horse drawn carriages to automobiles in the early 1900s. Students will expand their visual literacy skills, their map analysis skills, and their skills to synthesize information gathered from several sources to draw conclusions about historical transformations.

A lesson plan for grade 8 Social Studies, grade 12 Social Studies
Teacher Note:
High school teachers could add an economic impact analysis of the transformation of the transportation

By Lisa Speaker

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Note: this lesson is not so much focused on analyzing the photographic images. Rather the visual images are used to provide additional historical context. In this lesson, the analysis is targeted more towards the Sanborn Maps and the Wilmington City Directories.

TEACHER PLANNING

Time Required for Lesson:
2 90-minute class periods. The amount of time required depends on how much analysis time the teacher allocates for the students.

The lesson is organized into three types of activities that will compare and contrast multiple historical resources related to the evolution of travel from horse-drawn carriage personal transportation to automobiles across time:

  1. Exploring images, either photographs or postcards (2 15-minute Activities)
  2. Exploring and analyzing Sanborn Maps (2 30-minute Activities)
  3. Exploring and analyzing Wilmington City Directories (2 30-minute Activities)
  4. Optional: Using information provided in a photograph, student associates it with its Wilmington City Directory entry and Sanborn Map location.

Teachers will conduct the first pass through the above activities in a demonstration or guided-demonstration fashion, introducing the historical exploration being conducted as well as how to use the tools, particularly the Sanborn Map and the Wilmington City Directory user interfaces.

Teachers might want to conclude the session with a collective wrap-up discussion and ask students to share: What did they find? What was most interesting? What was most surprising? Are there any major questions that their explorations generated? Where might they go to get answers to those questions?

Students will prepare photographic analysis and comparisons, and complete worksheets that summarizes the data they gather that supports the transportation transformation.

Materials / Resources

Technology Resources

NORTH CAROLINA CURRICULUM ALIGNMENT

Social Studies - Grade 8
Goal 5: The learner will evaluate the impact of political, economic, social, and technological changes on life in North Carolina from 1870 to 1930.
Objective 5.02: Examine the changing role of educational, religious, and social institutions in the state and analyze their impact.
Objective 5.04: Identify technological advances, and evaluate their influence on the quality of life in North Carolina.

Social Studies - Grade 12
Goal 7: The Progressive Movement in the United States (1890-1914) - The learner will analyze the economic, political, and social reforms of the Progressive Period.
Goal 7.03: Evaluate the effects of racial segregation on different regions and segments of the United States' society.
Goal 7.04: Examine the impact of technological changes on economic, social, and cultural life in the United States

PRE-ACTIVITIES
In this lesson, students will be presented with several street scenes of Wilmington, North Carolina and with Sanborn Maps across several points in time that illustrate the geographical makeup, highlighting businesses and building construction of a neighborhood in Wilmington, North Carolina. The Sanborn Map, in particular, demonstrates the evolution of a horse livery to an automobile garage that is located in the vicinity of the Wilmington, North Carolina city hall and court house. Students will also use Wilmington City Directories to explore the nature and number of businesses that supported these industries, and analyze the impact of the transportation evolution on businesses in Wilmington.

Teachers will want to familiarize themselves with the user interface features and navigation of the Sanborn Maps as provided in the Going to the Show collection such as:

This lesson focuses on the area around the Wilmington city hall and court house, so you may want to familiarize yourself with that area of the Wilmington Sanborn Map. Select the Thalian Hall venue (Go to venue pulldown), and this will put you in the right neighborhood on the map, as Thalian Hall is co-located in the Wilmington city hall building. The Sanborn Map activities in this lesson will focus on a garage that is located just to the west of the city hall.

For additional background information on the Sanborn Maps,

Teachers will want to familiarize themselves with the user interface features and navigation of the Wilmington City Directories. They are available from the Internet Archive . A list of all of the available City Directories may be displayed by doing a Search in the Internet Archive for: Wilmington NC directory. The 1907 Wilmington City Directory can be accessed at: http://www.archive.org/details/wilmingtonncdire1907hill. Links for the City Directories referenced in the activities will be provided in the activity directions.

Optionally, teachers may want to look at the 1902 Wilmington Chamber of Commerce publication called Up To Date available at: http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/uptodate/menu.html which provides extensive background information on Wilmington, its climate, the state of manufacturing and agriculture, construction, trade and commerce, churches, schools, associations and recreation.

Students should have already covered nineteenth century North Carolina history and be familiar with the geography of North Carolina. Students should have some familiarity with the evolution of personal transportation that occurred in the early 1900s, particularly the evolution from horse-drawn carriages to the adoption of the automobile. This lesson will augment that discussion, by providing historical sources in the form of photographs and Sanborn maps that students can explore that illustrate this evolution. Therefore, this lesson would align well with discussions of the early 20th century, particularly 1900-1920. Other historical materials that provide basic historical background, technological innovations, advancements in transportation would also provide helpful background and context for this lesson, such as are provided in Chapter 8 of A Journey Through North Carolina. The timeline provided on page 271 provides a useful summary of technological advances that were occurring during this time period, and the graph on page 296 that illustrates the number of cars owned by North Carolinians between 1910-1925 provides a numerical illustration of the adoption of automobiles (3,000 automobiles in 1910, 100,000 automobiles in 1919, 500,000 automobiles in 1929, a Transportation History video available at the Smithsonian's website records that in 1900 there were 8000 automobiles in the U.S. and in 1920 there were 8 million automobiles in the U.S. (http://americanhistory.si.edu/onthemove/themes/story_48_1.html ).

Critical to this activity, teachers will want to make sure that students are familiar with working with visual and photographic primary sources. A good general primer on using primary sources in the classroom is Using Primary Sources in the Classroom (http://memory.loc.gov/learn/lessons/primary.html ) from the Library of Congress.

Learn NC provides several learning resources related to visual literacy and photographic analysis: Reading images: an introduction to visual literacy by Melissa Thibault and David Walbert, Resources for teaching with photographs by Melissa Thibault, and Reading photographs by Melissa Thibault and David Walbert

This lesson references photographic images of street scenes across the early 1900s. This lesson also prompts students to look at these street scenes across time, and consider how they illustrate the evolution of personal transportation from horse drawn carriages to automobiles.

A photographic analysis worksheet is available from the National Archives website (http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/worksheets/photo_analysis_worksheet.pdf) which may be a useful tool for students to record their impressions from the photographs. Alternatively, teachers can develop your own worksheet.

Also critical to this activity, teachers will want to make sure that students have basic map orientation skills and knowledge, such as understanding general directions of north-south-east-west, and the cognitive skills to be able to orient themselves with respect to information provided on a map. For students with basic map familiarity skills, the activities in this lesson should provide valuable practice to reinforce and grow their map navigating skills.

A map analysis worksheet is available from the National Archives website (http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/worksheets/map_analysis_worksheet.pdf) which may be a useful tool for students to record basic information related to the Sanborn Maps. Alternatively, teachers can develop your own worksheet.

Key skills for this lesson include:

This lesson also references several images from the Going to the Show website and the Dr. Robert Fales Collection website. Teachers may want to print them out to make them easily available for your students. You will find the links to the images listed in each activity below. For classrooms that do not offer individual student computer access, teachers may also want to print out relevant screen captures from the Sanborn Maps and the Wilmington City Directories. Examples are provided in this lesson for your reference.

ACTIVITIES
The activities for this lesson plan will primarily focus on images from the Going to the Show website (http://docsouth.unc.edu/gtts/) from the DocSouth digital collection at the University of North Carolina Library and the Dr. Robert M. Fales Collection (http://wwwtmpapps.nhcgov.com/lib/history/fales/) hosted by the New Hanover County Public Library in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Introduction The lesson is organized into three types of activities that will compare and contrast multiple historical resources across time:

To begin the discussion, let the students know that this lesson focuses on exploring the evolution of personal transportation in Wilmington, North Carolina in the early 1900s from horse drawn carriages to automobiles using photographs and postcards, Sanborn Maps, and Wilmington City Directories.

Remind students that images may be used as a primary source. However, the type, composition or editing of the image may impact or influence the "information" it conveys. Share with the students that you will be using content from the UNC DocSouth Going to the Show digital collection that has been developed that focuses on moviegoing in the early 1900's for the state of North Carolina that includes visual images, news clippings, and Sanborn maps, which provide geographical references for the city at several points in time, and from the Dr. Robert M. Fales Collection hosted by the New Hanover County Public Library, who personally amassed a large collection of slides of the Wilmington, North Carolina area from the early 1900s.

Next, ask some questions to get students thinking and talking about photography as an historical source, such as:

Next, ask some questions to get students thinking and talking about using maps, such as:

This lesson will probably prompt students to think about maps in ways that they may not have used them previously. (Robert Allen:"By superimposing contemporary map and satellite images of downtown with map images from a century ago, "Going to the Show" encourages the user to re-imagine what the experience of downtown spaces might have been a century ago ..." )

Before looking at the maps and images, you might want to refresh the students on the nature of technological advancements and the advancement of automobile transportation in the early 1900s. Review the information in Chapter 8 of A Journey Through North Carolina by Pamela Grundy that relates to the evolution of technology and transportation (see pages 271-273, 296). You may also want to provide some background context on Wilmington at the time: (Robert Allen: Wilmington was the state's largest city in 1900 with some 25,000 inhabitants. It was also the state's principal port and major southeastern rail hub.)

Next, ask some questions to get students thinking and talking about the evolution of horse-drawn carriages to motorized automobile transportation, such as:

Next ask some questions to get students thinking and talking about how they would use a city directory for historical research. You can introduce the city directory by describing it as something similar to a contemporary telephone book that lists individuals, government organizations, public organizations and commercial businesses.

You may want to note that the Wilmington City Directories in the early 1900s included racial coding, designating "colored" establishments and individuals with an *.

  1. In small groups, students will analyze one of the images, either the photograph, the postcard or the illustration. At the conclusion of their analysis, each small group will report their key findings and impressions. The teacher will record these in a way that the whole class can see.
  2. As a class, look at the three images together, and identify the key similarities and differences. Discuss the potential reasons and motivations behind what is retained and what is modified or manipulated.

Introduction  |   Activity 1 -4  |   Activity 5 - 7  |   Worksheet (pdf)  |   Learn More