Designed for use in 5th and 6th grade elementary school classrooms, A HERITAGE WITHIN examines the culture and heritage of Irish, French-Canadian, and Puerto Rican immigrants in Holyoke, Massachusetts, one of America’s first industrial mill towns. Through oral history interviews, folk music, dance, and children’s games, the program takes us on a multicultural musical journey with Holyoke school children. The program is divided into four 12-minute sections which can be shown independently for classroom use.
The Working Life examines labor history in Holyoke, known as the “Paper Capital of the World” in the early 1900s, through oral history interviews with paper and cotton mill workers. Rare 1912 archival footage depicting the working conditions inside a Holyoke paper mill are contrasted with scenes inside a contemporary mill.
I Left My Native Land explores the family histories of immigrants coming to Holyoke. In Being Different, experiences of discrimination are examined through a student skit enacting the song “No Irish Need Apply,” followed by a classroom discussion about prejudice.
The final segment, Celebrations of Culture, looks at the traditions of Holyoke’s most recent immigrants through an examination of Puerto Rican folkloric music. Children’s clapping games, rap, and breakdancing are shown as examples of contemporary culture, along with a cross-cultural survey of the music, dance, and food of Holyoke’s Irish, French-Canadian, and Puerto Rican communities.
A HERITAGE WITHIN is an engaging example of how any community can explore its multicultural history and present-day life.
"Many communities today have students who are themselves immigrants. Although based on Holyoke, Massachusetts, A HERITAGE WITHIN can be useful—by example—to teachers trying to develop understanding and appreciation in a multicultural classroom anywhere."
"A HERITAGE WITHIN is an excellent resource for helping elementary and middle school students to become aware of and understand multicultural concepts."
"I found A HERITAGE WITHIN a useful guide for how to construct a unit of study based on the ethnicity of the students in the class."
"A HERITAGE WITHIN is an artful movie intended to be a documentary, a teaching tool, and an entertainment all in one."
RECOMMENDED SUBJECT AREAS
Multicultural Education • Elementary Education • Music Education • Music • Percussion • Latin American Music and Culture • Spanish • Teaching Social Studies • Teaching Foreign Languages • Bilingual Education • Sociology
A HERITAGE WITHIN
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