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Summer of Love
Teacher's Guide: Hints for the Active Learning Questions

History | Culture | Geography | Society

  1. You may want to point out to students that since the Summer of Love took place 40 years ago, interviewees -- who can be family members, neighbors, teachers, etc. -- generally should be about age 50 or older.

  2. Students may want to read these accounts for some participants' perspectives on the legacy of the Summer of Love. Also, students may want to read the Washington Irving short story, "Rip Van Winkle," for ideas on how to structure their essays.


History | Culture | Geography | Society

  1. Students should also try to use hippie slang, as mentioned in the film.

  2. Before writing, members of each group should decide the background (age, profession, core beliefs, etc.) of the person they will represent in this activity. To get students started, you might want to suggest some possibilities. For example, the Summer of Love participant might be a dropout from a prestigious law school, and she might be writing her father, who is a prominent lawyer. Or, the participant might be an unemployed recent high-school graduate, and he might be writing a friend, who is a civil rights activist. Or, the participant might be a teenage runaway, and she might be writing her sister, a college student. Remind students to view the Summer of Love from the perspective of the character they have created, not from their own personal perspective.


History | Culture | Geography | Society

  1. Before breaking the class into groups, you may also want to ask students if they know how and when California became part of the United States.

    Students should understand that many of those who headed to California in search of a better life never found it. One of the most tragic examples is the Donner Party.

  2. You might want to introduce the activity by asking students why efforts to create a better society so often involve young people. Are young people naturally more idealistic than middle-aged or elderly people, and if so, why?


History | Culture | Geography | Society

  1. Groups may want to begin by considering some of the motivations behind the original Summer of Love; the online readings and game linked to the poll question provide background on this issue.

    A variation on this activity would be for students to create a publication that serves as a voice of the hypothetical new Summer of Love, just as The San Francisco Oracle did in 1967.

  2. Students should note that the memorial does not have to express any particular opinion about the Summer of Love -- it can be either supportive or critical, depending on their own personal view. To help students begin thinking about the form their memorial might take, you might look at photos of some well-known memorials as a class and discuss what messages they convey.

    To make their proposals more persuasive, students may want to consult a map of the Haight-Ashbury district and decide where they would like their memorial to be located, and then explain the reason for this proposed location in their presentation.

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Summer of Love American Experience

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