This series of lesson plans focuses on two diaries of Vermont schoolchildren. Porter Perrin was 15 years old and lived in Berlin when he began keeping his diary in 1874. Laura Freeman lived in South Royalton and began keeping a diary in 1893 at the age of 11. These two diaries reveal much about daily life in Vermont during the late nineteenth century. Schooling, farm chores, transportation, seasonal work, and foodways are just some of the topics discussed.
Diaries and journals are important historical documents. Children can learn from them if they are helped to find the information. These lesson plans provide teachers with several ways to do this through reading and writing exercises.
- To introduce students to the rhythms of farming and childhood life in the past.
- To introduce the concepts of change, continuity, historical perspective, and evidence.
- To introduce students to keeping journals.
- To give students the opportunity to think about living in Vermont.