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Suggestions for the Classroom

Using the Film | Using the Web site

The Web site offers several features to use with your class: excerpts from DiMaggio’s autobiography, biographical sketches of various key people in DiMaggio’s life, a timeline covering his life, sketches of related institutions and locations such as Yankee Stadium and the Pacific Coast League, detailed baseball records, and a bibliography.

Suggested Activities

  1. Referencing the Timeline and Enhanced Transcript, ask students to make 25-30 journal entries from the point of view of a contemporary of Joe DiMaggio’s, discussing public events from 1922 to 1999. Have students consider the following when considering what was going on during DiMaggio’s lifetime: world politics, racial issues, economics, psychology, the role of sports in American life. Students may choose personality types of their liking, from the most avid sports fan to the most indifferent. Have students think about the following when choosing personalities: What is important to this person? How does he/she fit into society? Does this person’s view represent the majority? Minority?

  2. Was Joe DiMaggio a hero? Have students review the Autobiography, People and Events, and Enhanced Transcript, and view Joe DiMaggio through his own and other people’s eyes, including those of his family, friends, teammates, and oppenents. Then divide the class into two groups, and have them debate DiMaggio’s role as hero (one group defends while the other opposes). Have students consider DiMaggio’s actions as sibling, father, husband, friend, baseball player, team member, and businessman when assessing a final judgement.

  3. Have students read two of the biographies from the Bibliography and compare and contrast the styles of each. Have students consider the following: What resources did each author use in researching DiMaggio? How does each tell DiMaggio’s story? Which is more interesting? Why? Do the authors have different opinions about DiMaggio? How can they tell?

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