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Site Summary

Technology Considerations


Information For Teachers

In 1985, Faribault was the first city in Minnesota to receive designation as a Certified Local Government. This designation signifies a city’s commitment to the preservation of historic resources through resource surveys, designation and protection of historic structures and landscapes, and educational outreach. The Faribault Heritage Preservation Commission is especially aware that promoting an understanding of the stories behind physical historic resources is the key to uniting the community in preservation efforts.

The information in the Lives and Times web site is designed to help teachers and others share these fascinating stories of the past with students and the community, making connections between significant historical events and the local expressions of these events – and their players –that can be found right within the community of Faribault.

Site Summary

The site revolves loosely around the events of 1862, the year when the clash of cultures between American Indians and white settlers was expressed in the violence of the U.S.- Dakota War. This time period was identified as one the primary interest for teachers surveyed prior to site development. (see: About this Site) Information in the site will lead Faribault students to history stories played out literally in their backyards. Other links in the site outline the major concepts of the period, such as the settlement of the town and information on land treaties. Students can also take A Closer Look at the foreshadowing and reverberations of 1862, as well the typical and curious details of everyday life in the midst of this critical period.

The web site’s primary tools are historic fiction narratives, written for middle-school students, about the four individuals highlighted in the site. These quiet stories, which use the backdrop of early Faribault landscapes and structures, rely on the characterization of real people of the past to depict the range of lifestyles and viewpoints that could be found in early Minnesota settlement history. The use of fiction as a history tool merits more discussion than can be covered here, but teachers may want to read an ALAN Review article on the writing and teaching of historic and historical fiction.

Beyond the narratives, teachers and students have the opportunity to learn more about each individual through biographical pieces (Before the Story and After the Story) and by investigating their traces in the Faribault landscape (In Their Tracks). The stories and related elements can also be used as a springboard to broader topics of history and culture through highlighted links exploring primary source evidence and other history concepts.

Technology Considerations

The use of web technology provides many opportunities, but also requires a great commitment of resources. Due to concerns expressed by educators about the degree of student access to online learning opportunities and the hardware and software requirements for sophisticated gaming activities, the Lives and Times web site was designed to utilize the core capacity of the web: the chance to show connections and communicate information previously unavailable to a wide audience. Thus the site is text-based, providing print versions of the main body of the site that can be taken to the non-wired classroom.

Teachers who can provide on-line access for students may wish to consider the site as a research resource that can take students in many directions, from social and political history to literature and geography. It should be noted that some links take students to sites beyond the Faribault Heritage Preservation Commission sites. These off-site links are noted in the link roll-over.

The decision to create a site that is informational, rather than one focusing on interactive processes and activities, was made by the developers reluctantly, but as a realistic consequence of an educational environment undergoing rapid change. Curtailed educational resources and shifting priorities restrict the opportunities to for teachers to contribute to activity design and review, an essential element of successful activity development.

The Faribault Heritage Preservation Commission and web site development team hope the information contained in the Lives and Times web site (and its general-audience companion site, Preserving Faribault’s Past) will deepen the understanding of local history for teachers, students, and community members, and strengthen the desire to contribute to the preservation of Faribault’s wonderful historic resources.

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©2003 City of Faribault Heritage Preservation Commission | Information for Teachers