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Kansas Kaleidoscope - October/November 2008

Real People. Real Stories. For kids!

Kansas Kaleidoscope, October/November 2008 Primary sources ... history’s clues

This issue of Kaleidoscope shows you how to be a historian, or history detective. You will look for clues and learn to “read” them to learn about the past.

For Parents and Teachers:

This issue of Kaleidoscope introduces students to primary sources – what they are, where to find them, and how they can teach us about the past. Addressed is the fourth grade history standard: Benchmark 4, Indicator 4: student identifies and compares information from primary and secondary sources. Articles also can be used to teach the fourth grade reading standard: Benchmark 4, Indicator 3: student uses prior knowledge and content to make, revise, and confirm predictions; and Benchmark 4, Indicator 5: student uses information from the text to make inferences and draw conclusions.

Countdown to Statehood

In October 1854 James Burnett Abbott moved to Lawrence in Kansas Territory. He quickly became involved in efforts to make Kansas a free state.

Get a Clue

All detectives need clues to solve mysteries. Detectives also need to check their sources. Clues need to be studied.

Case #1: A 100-year-old History Mystery

Are you ready to test your skills at being a history detective? Your assignment is to solve the mystery of what it was like to be a child in Kansas in the early 1900s.


Case #2: Dusty Days

Many events have been recorded in the pages of local newspapers. Take a look at an article printed in a 1935 newspaper.

Case #3: Grasshoppers Galore

Most cartoons are made to make us laugh. Cartoons can also be history clues.

Case #4: Who’s that Mascot?

Clues don’t just come in the form of paper or photographs. Museums collect things to teach us about our past.

History Lab

This year Kansas Kaleidoscope asked fourth graders from Topeka to help with History Lab. Their assignment was to visit our website, kansasmemory.org, and use primary sources to write a story related to our topic. Primary sources are records or documents made at the time the event took place. The story they wrote is called a secondary source, just like your history textbook. You can try it, too, by visiting kansasmemory.org. For this issue, John Katz researched Sheldon Kindergarten. Thanks, John!

Story Starters

Welcome to a new section of Kansas Kaleidoscope! We want your help in writing stories that relate to our topics in each issue. Below we offer story starters for our four remaining issues. Please write a story and submit it to us either by email or mail and limit your story to 350 words or less. We’ll pick one to print in each issue.

Read what students have written for Story Starters for this issue.

In This Issue: