Two Local Studies
Developing Research Skills
using old Newpapers|
Making best use of Library Services
If you ask the Guardians of the Time Machine Room to open a window on the past, one of the first resources you may get to see is the collections of old newspapers. Most counties have newspapers that go back more than one hundred years and they are full of fascinating Time Machine windows. However, the pages I make for to use in Local Studies projects are the classified pages. It is amazing what you can find to explore on those pages. I suppose news items generally have a purpose, an adgenda. They often feel like moments frozen in time. The classified pages are different. It feels like peeping in on life in the past whilst no-one was looking. It is all so ordinary, so every day.
For example, for the "My Place 09" and "Explorers" projects, I used a collection of classified pages from 1935, 1947 and 1955. The students were given them to explore freely.
All they were asked to do was to jot down anything they found odd, or funny or that they just didn't understand.
The students made a list of questions about information they discovered in the old Longford leaders. Then they thought about ways they might research the answers. They:
There was a lot of interesting information. Sometimes it was difficult to understand.
- went to the library
- researched on the internet
- asked older people in the community
- thought of imaginative theories for themselves
The sudents came up with their own theories before exploring the available evidence,
Together we made lists of questions we wanted to explore further. Could we solve the puzzles from the past?