Teacher's Guide for COBBLESTONE ® Scandinavian Americans
Teacher Guide prepared by: Cyndy Hall. Ms. Hall is a Southern California teacher, writer, and keyboard musician.
Vocabulary / Words To Know:
Scandinavian * Viking * Nordic * Germanic * Smallpox * Ethnic * Old Norse * Smorgasbord * Excavated * Artifacts * Astrolabe * Thatch * Notched * Whig * Sloop * Quakers * Haugeans * Mormons * Crofters * Cooperative * Apprentices * Assimilate * Genealogy * Promoters * Sic * Parish * Paltry * Initiative * Referendum * Suffrage * Prohibition * Tariffs * Conservative * Miranda * Liberal * Radical * Capitalism * Martyr * Cipher * Ironclad * Tenements * Utopian * Temperance * Inuit
Find Out More About . . . (Topics / People for individual research)
Leif Ericson * Henry Hudson * Peter Stuyvesant * Kendall Settlement * Elmer Olaf Pearson * Jonas Branck * Christian Gullager * Ola Evinrude * Alexander Samuelson * Chester Carlson * Knute Nelson * Earl Warren * Hubert Humphrey * Henry "Scoop" Jackson * Walter Mondale * Joe Hill * Helge and Anne Stine Ingstad * William Rehnquist * Ole Rolvaag * Charles Lindbergh * Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin * Gustavus Hesselius * Carl Sandburg * Pulitzer Prize * John Ericsson * Gutzon Borglum * Jacob Riis * Peter Martins * Victor Borge * Knute Rockne * Mildred Ella "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias * Norman Borlaug * Jon Torstein Rui (Americanized to John Thompson) * Ole Bull * Eero Saarinen * Maggie Walz * Jon Olafsson * Vilhjalmur Stefansson * Lucia Festival
"Meet the Scandinavians: Similar but Independent" by Marilyn D. Anderson (pages 2-4)
"A Smorgasbord of Words" by Barbara Krasner-Khait (pages 5-7)
- Locate Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland on a world map or globe. Using in-class, library, or Internet resources, find out more about the climate, topography, history, and living conditions.
- Why did Scandinavians (and Vikings) roam the northern Atlantic Ocean? What were they hoping to find?
- Using library or Internet resources, read some of the many legends about Viking and Norse sailors. Share these stories with the class.
- When and why did Scandinavians decide to migrate to the New World? Was life any better for them in America? Why - or why not?
- Were Scandinavian immigrants different from others groups who migrated to America? How - and why?
- When and why did Scandinavians stop immigrating to America?
- What makes Scandinavian countries so popular with immigrants from other nations? Use the library or Internet resources to find articles about the 'new Scandinavian' immigrant. Could Scandinavia now be called a 'melting pot?'
Read and discuss the article, keeping a list of Scandinavian words on whiteboard or butcher paper. Using dictionaries, library, and Internet resources, ask students to research other English words of Scandinavian origin.
"Geographically Speaking: Scandinavians in America" (map on pages 8-9)
Using library or Internet resources, find copies of government census figures during the 20th century. Compare and discuss the percentages of Scandinavian Americans living in different states. Why would one state be more popular for Scandinavian Americans than another?
"Early Scandinavian Settlements" and "The Log Cabin Comes to America" by Ann Volk (pages 10-14)
"Better Life" by Kathiann M. Kowalski (pages 15-19)
- Why did early Scandinavians abandon Vinland?
- Using library or Internet resources, find out more about the Vikings. Can you separate fact from fiction (legend)? Discuss.
- Using library or Internet resources, find out more about Leif Ericson and his voyages of discovery. Trace his voyages on a world map or globe.
- What happened to the Scandinavian settlement of Fort Christina?
- Using library or Internet resources, find out more about bark huts, pit houses, thatch, and log cabin construction during the early days of the American colonies. Make small samples of each type of construction to show the class.
- Why did the Dutch of New Netherland attack the Swedish colony on the Delaware River?
- Using library or Internet resources, find out more about the early days of New York City.
"Remembering Their Roots" by Kathiann M. Kowalski (pages 20-23) and "Digging Deeper" (pages 46-47)
- Using library or Internet resources, ask small groups of students to find out more about the daily lives of sloopers and crofters. Share this information in short oral reports.
- Ask students to imagine they were 18th and 19th century immigrants to America. What would they pack in their trunks before they left their homeland? What memories and momentos would they bring with them? Ask each student to bring in either a real object or a picture (or written description) of a 'memory keeper' for a class 'trunk' display.
- What was the 'migration chain?'
- Ask each student to imagine they were immigrating to America one hundred (or more) years ago. Write a series of letters home describing their trip, the adventures in this new land, and their new life. Using the Internet or library resources, find examples of real letters from Scandinavian immigrants to share with the class.
- Using the library or Internet, find out more about young immigrants who became apprentices in America. What were the terms of their employment? Who employed them, and for how long? Did they earn a salary? What happened when their apprenticeship was over?
Use the recommended resources in "Digging Deeper" plus other library and Internet research material to find out more about Scandinavian-American towns and cities. Ask small groups of students to develop 'travel guides' on a bulletin board or other classroom display.
"The Sausage: A Swedish Folktale" (pages 26-29)
"In The Political Eye" by Jerry Miller (pages 30-33)
- Produce a mini-reader's theatre production of "A Swedish Folktale" to present during a library book fair, international day, all-school assembly, or for younger classes at your school.
- Using library or Internet resources, ask small groups of students to find other Scandinavian folktales. Present these stories as reader's theatre, illustrated comic books, or wall murals.
"Famous Scandinavian Americans" by Mary Northrup (pages 38-41)
- Use the library, Internet resources, or interview adults in the community to find out more about Scandinavian-American politicians like Hubert Humphrey, Knute Nelson, Earl Warren, Henry "Scoop" Jackson, Walter Mondale, Joe Hill, and William Rehnquist. Write letters to those still living asking questions about their careers and heritage as Scandinavian Americans.
- Are there any prominent Scandinavian Americans in your community? Request an interview, then present the results to the class.
"A Final Word" (page 43)
- Ask students to read a biography and write book reports focusing on famous Scandinavian Americans. Ask each student to create a book cover for a bulletin board or wall display.
- Using the biographical information from their book report project, ask small groups of students to write and perform mock television 'interviews' with their subjects.
- Use library or Internet resources to find out more about Joseph Pulitzer, the Pulitzer Prize, and famous recipients of the awards. How many other Scandinavian Americans have won the Pulitzer?
Use the library or Internet to find out more about Lucia Festivals. What is the significance of the 'crowns' of candles? Do Scandinavians prepare any traditional foods or have other rituals and customs to celebrate? Share the results of this research with the class, perhaps by holding a mini-Lucia Festival in the classroom as a final activity for this month's COBBLESTONE® Magazine.
Don't forget the fun activities on pages 34-35, 36-37, and 42.