Education Outreach: April Week 2

Submitted by jennifer.choi on Fri, 08/05/2022 - 01:12

Daily Primary Source Activities for Families Learning at Home

Parents and caregivers, are you looking for activities for students learning at home? Through April 24th, the Tennessee State Library and Archives will be posting primary sources from our collection here and on our Facebook page. These posts will include inquiry questions and short activities to help your students engage with social studies content while studying at home. 


April 6

Today’s primary source is a hand-tinted tintype of Pvt. Milo G. Stone with two soldiers eating hardtack.

Questions for students:

1) What kinds of food did soldiers eat during the Civil War?

2) What activities did soldiers do during their downtime?

3) How did soldiers stay connected to their families back at home?

4) Why is this photograph, along with most others of Civil War soldiers, posed?


Imagine you are a soldier during the Civil War and write a short letter back home to a loved one describing your experiences. Include answers to some of the following questions: Have you fought in a battle? What do you do to pass the time when you aren't fighting? Has life been stressful, or has the experience been fun and exciting? Have you made any friends?

April 7

Today’s primary source is a bird's-eye view map of Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1888.

Questions for students:

1) What do you think is the purpose of this map?

2) How does the image, including the words on the side, attempt to get your attention?

3) Would this map be a good way to highlight a city or town today? Why or why not?


Using what you know about your city or town, draw your own bird's-eye view map by hand or on the computer. Show community landmarks like state or city parks, police and fire departments, your favorite restaurants, and your school. What features make your community special? What else do you want to highlight?

April 8

Today’s primary source is a photograph titled “We Just Can't Shop on an Empty Stomach.”

Questions for students:

1) This photograph is from a “sit in” in Chattanooga during the Civil Rights era. What is a “sit in?”

2) What group represents the "We" in the phrase “We Just Can't Shop on an Empty Stomach”?

3) Does an "empty stomach" in this case mean there's a food shortage?

4) What is this young student’s message?

5) Put yourself in the photo and think about what she would see, smell, or hear?


Research the sit-in movement in Tennessee and write a brief summary about this event in history. What year did the sit-ins occur? As you complete your research, you'll find that the sit-ins involved protesting. What event(s), whether large or small, can you think of that also involved protesting? If you wanted to protest something how would you go about doing this?

April 9

Today’s primary source is an engraving of Daniel Boone (1784-1820). An engraving is a print made from a plate or block of wood that has an image etched into it.

Questions for students:

1) Daniel Boone was known as a longhunter and had an important role in the Wilderness Road. Based on this image, what do longhunters do?

2) What hints do his clothing and the landscape around him give you?

3) Zoom in on the image and check out his dog!


Check out some online history resources and see if you can find other long hunters from Tennessee. Also look into the Wilderness Road. How important is it to the settlement of Tennessee? Imagine you are a long hunter exploring the Wilderness Road. Make a list of or draw a picture of what would you carry with you? What would you encounter on your trip? How long would you be away from your family? Does that impact what you would take with you? 

April 10

Today’s primary source is a photograph of the Grand Ole Opry cast onstage at the Ryman Auditorium in September 1969.

Questions for students:

1) What kind of music do you think this band is playing?

2) What do the letters “WSM” mean?

3) What role does music play in Tennessee history?

4) What is your favorite kind of music and why?


The Grand Ole Opry was broadcast by radio station WSM out of Nashville Tennessee. WSM boasted the nation's largest radio tower and the show was heard all over the country. If you had a radio show that could be heard all over the country what would you want to broadcast? Write a script for your own radio spot, include a possible guest, musical acts and topics you would want the country to hear. If you can, record a sample radio spot with a parent or sibling.