Food for Thought: Life in the Agrarian Antebellum
WebQuest Teacher Guide for 8th Grade United States
Designed for Teaching American History in South Carolina US Department
of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement Award #S215X010282-01.
Any given day students pass countless fast food restaurants
and supermarkets. A quick trip to their favorite fast food dive,
and it's not long before they're munching on burgers and fries.
Or, at home students might prepare a feast of microwaveable chicken
nuggets, seasoned just right. If the cookie cupboard is bare, no
fear-it won't be long before supplies are restocked from the store
down the street. Students probably don't want to clean dishes or
utensils, so they eat their snacks with paper plates and plastic
forks. My how things have changed.... Welcome now to Lexington County,
While students will recognize many foods from long
ago, life in the 1850s is much different from what they're used
to. In Food for Thought, students learn about Southern antebellum
food traditions-what people used to eat, how they stored and preserved
food. Students also learn about Lexington County's general history
from settlement through antebellum years. As students give a little
thought for food, they will catch a glimpse of the Southern agrarian
society in the years leading up to the American Civil War.
With Food for Thought, students take an interactive
virtual tour of Lexington County Museum's buildings and rooms, which
interpret antebellum food traditions. While touring Lexington County
Museum, students make historical inquiry. They examine primary and
secondary sources. And they complete challenges, which teach important
process skills such as reading charts, graphs, and tables. Of course,
Food for Thought also addresses writing skills. In addition to food
traditions, the Lexington County WebQuest also provides rich insight
into South Carolina's antebellum cotton culture.
South Carolina Standards
Food for Thought aligns with the following South
Carolina content and process standards:
* 8.3.6: Compare and contrast the Northern industrial system with
the Southern agrarian society.
* 8.3.8: Describe the emergence of an American culture and literature.
* Distinguish between past, present, and future time.
* Establish chronological order in constructing one's own historical
* Utilize visual and mathematical data presented in charts, tables,
pie and bar graphs, flow charts, Venn diagrams, and other graphic
* Identify the author or source of the historical document or narrative.
* Formulate historical questions from a variety of sources.
* Interrogate historical data.
* Employ quantitative analysis.
* Construct sound historical interpretations with evidence.
* Communicate in written form using appropriate writing standards.
Student Challenge Tasks
In general, students' most important job is to ask
questions and take notes of interesting things they learn. Specifically,
students complete three tasks:
1. Tour the site, and keep a journal of interesting questions, facts
and concepts related to food traditions.
2. Complete the document-based Agricultural Census Challenge.
3. Ask Cosmo. Students ask questions that they and their peers cannot
answer from the available text.
As students tour the Lexington County WebQuest site
they keep a research journal-Lewis and Clark style! In their web-based
journals, students include the following:
* Interesting and curious things from each section (Yard, Kitchen,
and Dining Room).
* Well-written questions and answers.
* Unknown words that students will research in a dictionary.
All journal entries should be written in complete sentences, in
standard paragraph form. Students can be creative in crafting their
journal entries--writing as if they are time travelers. Journal
questions and answers may be used in a quiz game, where students
divide into teams, and then ask each other their journal questions.
here to read Technical Directions for Writing, Printing, and Saving
Agricultural Census Challenge
The Agricultural Census Challenge includes three
tasks: 1) Headings and Sub-Headings, 2) Fox Farm Table Challenge,
and 3) Fox-Farm Line Graph Challenge. Students can find these challenges
in the Sweet Potato House. Agricultural Census challenges include
links to 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 census records. With these challenges,
students interrogate historical data, employ quantitative analysis,
and construct sound historical interpretations with historical evidence
from primary sources. Specifically, students interpret agricultural
census records, extracting data to complete tables and construct
line graphs. Further, students interpret trends and make historical
conclusions from data.
Encourage students to be very curious about what
they learn. Students should also be very critical about what they
read. They should ask questions about the reliability of historical
resources, and about the validity of historical conclusions and
interpretations. As students learn more about the agrarian Southern
society, they should think about questions they have. First, students
should talk to their colleagues about their questions. If students
cannot determine the answers to their questions, or if they want
to challenge interpretations made in Food for Thought, then they
should Ask Cosmo.
Submit e-mail questions to Cosmo who will reply in
24-48 hours with answers. Students should be informed, though, that
sometimes Cosmo may not have all the answers. He will tell students
as much as he knows, and will give students clues about how to learn
more. Quite frequently, Cosmo will return question for question.
Hopefully, Cosmo's questions and answers will encourage deeper thinking