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Mining the Past

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I teach a class of adults who are from all
different parts of the world. I often want to
learn more about their lives before they came to
the US, so I've done activities before like "Make
a Time Line of Your Life," which have always been
interesting. One of the best recent activities I did
was to have them write about "What was your life like
two years ago?" (I chose two years for this class
because most of them weren't here yet two years ago,
and those who were had been beginning students quite
often. But you could choose a different one, like "...5
years ago," depending on your class). As soon as I gave the
assignment, one student said "What a good idea" and the
results have been very interesting. I'm sure that it sounds
like a very simple topic but if you try it, you'll likely find
it to be very interesting. (and as an aside, it shows
students the value of keeping a journal!)

Karin Abell
Carrboro, NC

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