Assume that PBS is producing another "hands-on history" series set in another time period. What period would you most want to see? What would be the qualities and characteristics needed to succeed in that time period. Develop biographies for the ideal participants in the next series based on research about your chosen time period.
Write a monologue or a diary entry for one of the family members you created for this lesson.
The producers of the series had to visit families in 20 states during the selection process. Create a list of cities in 20 states across the country, and then create a workable itinerary and route for DRIVING to each of these locations. How many miles would the trip cover? How long would the trip take?
Several of the FRONTIER HOUSE applicants sent in homemade materials such as soap and candles. How would you make soap and candles at home? Research the process and create usable products.
Contact a local television station and arrange for a producer of human interest stories to visit your class and discuss the process he or she goes through when developing a story for broadcast.
Photograph people and places in your community, and create a "time capsule" photo album to be left in your school detailing life in the year 2002. What will people in 150 years be able to learn while examining your photographs?
Investigate the early European settlement of your area. Research the buildings, materials, animals, and other objects you would need to develop a FRONTIER HOUSE Štype show in your own community.
Interview your own family members about whether or not they would want to participate in a project like FRONTIER HOUSE. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of appearing in a nationally broadcast television production? What factors would influence their decision? Chart or graph the results of the interviews.
About the Author
Christopher W. Czajka is a Historical Consultant for FRONTIER HOUSE. He also serves as the Associate Director of the National Teacher Training Institute (NTTI), an educational initiative of Thirteen/WNET New York that teaches educators across the country strategies for incorporating PBS programming, instructional media, and emerging technologies into classroom curriculum. To learn more about NTTI, and to explore more media-rich lessons, visit NTTI Online (http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/ntti).