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Louisiana Gumbo: A Recipe for Empowerment

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(This was a federally-funded grant project carried out by the State Library of Louisiana, Louisiana State Museum, Historic New Orleans Collection and LOUIS)

Teaching with primary sources and the LOUISiana Digital Library

Louisiana Gumbo: A Recipe for Empowerment provides educators, students, and independent learners across the nation with a taste of Louisiana's hidden treasures held by the State Library of Louisiana, Louisiana State Museum, and The Historic New Orleans Collection.

At the heart of the Louisiana Gumbo lessons is the belief that students achieve success when they are engaged in authentic, active-learning classroom activities. Each Louisiana Gumbo lesson is correlated to the Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum and utilizes inquiry and collaboration as springboards for successful teacher-student interaction with relevant primary materials.

Introductory Lesson
Introduce your students to the LOUISIana Digital Library and digital artifacts with the following lesson plan:
The LOUISiana Digital Library: An Introduction

These lessons trace the evolving role and status of women, African Americans, and children in Louisiana society as reflected in vintage photographs of the mid-19th through mid-20th centuries.

Images of Women,Late 19th Century
African American Images
Images of Children
Women in the 1930s
Women in the 1950s
Women Through the 20th Century
Women and WWI
Women and WWII

Students use oral history narratives and transcripts to explore Louisiana's Civil Rights Era. Narratives examine events related to the desegregation of Louisiana universities and the impact of the Brown v. Topeka as well as civil rights organizations and leaders of the 1950-1970 period.

LSU, Leo Hamilton,1969
LSU, A. P. Tureaud, 1950s
LSU, Maxine Crump, 1960s

The Cane River oral history narratives highlight the experiences of Native Americans and African Americans in mid-20th century rural Louisiana. Lessons explore stories about segregated buses and schools as well as tribal lifestyles and leaders.

Chief John Davis, Growing Up
Andrew Vallien, Reformers

Students investigate the role of photographers as visual historians, capturing images of the people, places, and events that shaped Louisiana history. Eras explored include the Civil War, Jazz Age, World War I and II, and the Great Depression.

Civil War Photos
Gilded Age Photos
Jazz Age Photos
Great Depression Photography
World War II Photos
Nifty Fifties Photos

The Battle of New Orleans, Civil War, and World War I and II provide the backdrop for these lessons. Students examine vintage photographs, sheet music, letters and official government documents.

The Battle of New Orleans
Battle of New Orleans Lyrics
John Bull, Political Cartoon
Civil War Projects
Civil War Photos
Women at War
World War I Posters
Mobilizing for War, WWII
World War II Photos
World War II Projects
Women in World War II
Women in World War I
In Search of Pancho Villa

Flivers, tailfins, the Great Depression, and political cartoons are some of the topics explored through these lessons.

Fliver Full of Fun
Wings, Chrome, Tailfins
Life in 1840s Louisiana
Cartoons as History
Flivers and Tailfins: The Evolution of American Automobiles
Works Progress Administration
John Chase Political Cartoons
LOUISiana Digital Library Intro
History Did Happen In My Back Yard!
Queen of the Mississippi
Baton Rouge History
Privateers and Pirates
State of the State in 1833
Louisiana's Atakapa Indians
Louisiana Depression Economy

Rubrics and Resources

Writing Guidelines
Essay Rubric
Peer Editing Form
Poster Rubric
Poster Peer Critique
Graphic Organizer Rubric
Political Cartoon Rubric
Political Cartoon Peer Review
Oral Presentation Rubric
Multimedia Storyboard
Observation Form