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Suggestions for YOU to write

Pretend you are living in the late 1930s or early 1940s.  Choose an historic event and write a sample journal entry.  What would you include?  What would you leave out?  How do you make history “come alive” from a personal point of view?

Keep a diary every day for a week.  Wait one more week and don’t look at it.  Then look back at what you wrote.  What personal emotions do you express?  Did you include details about your daily life?  About political events?  About classroom discussion or chatting with friends and family outside the classroom?  How can you add more detail?

Pretend there were no dates mentioned.  Would someone reading it 50 years from now be able to guess when it was written?  Why or why not?  How?  What details did you include that are universal and eternal and which are time-specific?  What makes for timeless writing?

I have many more such suggestions on the Curriculum Guide.

TEACHING SUGGESTION:  One reviewer,  Kidlithistory, writes, “Three cheers for Susan Signe Morrison!  As a historian, I’m thrilled that this diary is now widely available.  In doing a quick amazon search, there don’t appear to be many American World War II diaries in print, and even fewer by women.  The home front experience is a vital part of the history of any war, and we need this additional voice.  Especially because it is such a young voice.”  She compares Joan to Rilla Blythe in the Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery.   What an honor!  “I think it would be fascinating to teach the two books, hand in hand.”  So you could compare the two books, Canadian and U.S., World War I and World War II.

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