Becoming History Detectives: History from a Can of Tuna, a lesson plan for revealing history from objects.
This lesson, designed for students 7-12 (with modifications for younger students), begins will a show and tell exercise. From there it continues with discussion and practice of the skill of inquiry - using a can of tuna, students practice how to ask an object questions that will reveal specific and thematic aspects of history.
At the end, there is a take home assignment that asks students to engage with their families about the history of household items. The lesson can be extended with a research assignment that gives students' the opportunity to read community history from objects.
Los Angeles Public Library Website
features a searchable database of historical and recent photographs. Of
particular interest is a photo collection, Shades of LA. The
collection was gathered by the Library from Los Angeles families for public
use. Shades of LA illustrates the cultural range and varied work and
social experiences of 20th century Los Angelinos.
Port of Los Angeles The
Port celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2007-2008. The website
includes a history section with archival photographs, documents, and
new oral histories covering commercial development in the area over the
San Pedro Bay Historical Society Houses
a rich collection of photographs, newspapers, social club materials,
and reference books pertaining to Los Angeles Harbor Area community and
Local History Silka, Henry P. San Pedro: a Pictorial History. San Pedro, Ca: San Pedro Bay Historical Society, 1984. - Locally published overview of San Pedro history. Wonderful photos with well-researched text.
Women and Cannery History Ruiz, Vicki L. Cannery Women/Cannery Lives (Univ. of New Mexico Press, 1987). - A study of the lives of Mexican women in the canning industry in California’s central valley who organized to form a chapter of the United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing, and Allied Workers of America (UCAPAWA).
McKibben,Carol Lynn. Beyond Cannery Row (Univ. of Illinois Press, 2006). - Heavily researched from primary sources including over 100 oral histories, this is the story of the cannery women and the Sicilian cannery community in Monterey, California.
Immigration and Migration Barkan, Elliott. From All Points: America’s Immigrant West, 1870-1952 (Indiana Univ. Press, 2007). - Barkan shows the American West to be a culturally diverse place built on the constant influx of immigrant labor competing for work and space.
Limerick, Patricia Nelson. The Legacy of Conquest, (NewYork: W.W. Norton & Co, 1987) - Nelson lays out the foundations of a new approach to Western History. Groundbreaking for its inclusivity, this text acknowledges the history of the American West as a convergence of cultural experiences.
History from Objects Lubar, Steven & W. David Kingery, eds. History from Things: Essays on Material Culture. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993. - Collection of essays exploring the methodology of studying of history through objects and artifacts.
Gender and Food Preparation Neuhaus, Jessamyn. Manly Meals and Mom's Home Cooking. (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2003). - Neuhaus explores the role of cookbooks in American Society as historical documents but also as vehicles for social ideals. Cookbooks often reveal more about expected behavior than what people actually did.