The Living History Farm

Name:The Living History Farm

Brief Description of the Site:
Wessel's Living History Farm presents innovations in agriculture from the perspective of York County, Nebraska. Members of the Wessel Family, who first came from Germany to the U.S. in 1881, have chronicled farm life in a way that can provide students with an understanding of agriculture and its history in America. Video clips of interviews and a virtual reality tour of farm areas during different seasons are available for download. Be advised that one needs Quicktime to run those clips, which is available for free for those with older computers. Resources, suggested activities, and lesson plans are available for use and are correlated to learning standards in the various curricular areas.

How to use the site:
The Wessel's Living History Farm has links to farming in the 1920's, 30's, online lesson plans for those periods, a subdivision of categories that are organized according to curriculum that includes Social Studies, Reading, Science & Math, and Art. Within each there is a wealth of topics from debating the Depression to Food from Plants, to Contours, Curves and Lines in the Art section. The lesson plans are leveled with details for implementation. Each link extends a host of additional resources that make the use of the site appropriate for cross-curricular connections. There is background on the Founder (of the Wessel family), and a link About the [Wessel] Farm that offers students a glimpse of modern day farm life. The Media Search link turned up 5385 results when I used it to reveal wonderful historical photos with captions. Each caption links to more information on the historical photo going back to the early 20th century. The Text Search yielded 272 links to web pages within the site of daily life, inclusive of photos and graphics. The Living History Farm profiles its contributors and offers those with related lesson plans and information to participate in the site. Students and educators could make use of this site as a wonderful slice of American history from the rural perspective linking to all content areas. While this site is geared to students from elementary school through grade 8, use on the high school level would also be appropriate and could spawn grade appropriate learning extensions.

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