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Saddled camel

[Detail] Saddled camel

Overview | Preparation | Procedure | Evaluation

Step One: Research Background

Your group are members of the World's Transportation Commission, a group organized to gather information on foreign transportation systems for the Field Columbian Museum in Chicago. Each of you selects a role for your trip:

  • travel planner - investigates modes of transportation, room and board, and researches and plans the itinerary. Use the World's Transportation Commission's itinerary.
  • photographer - investigates methods of photography in use in the 1890s and leads in the selection of images to be recorded. Use A Brief History of Photography to begin your research.
  • journalist - investigates the history of the World's Transportation Commission and William Henry Jackson and records the group's impressions of the trip.

Activity: As an individual, prepare an executive summary of your research topic and share with your team members. The executive summary consists of:

  • a one-page abstract;
  • a glossary or outline of important information, and
  • a bibliography of sources consulted.

Place your summary in your team folder and submit a paper copy.

Journal: In your journal, discuss:

  • What processes did you use to find the information?
  • What problems did you encounter?


Step Two: Plan Itinerary

As a team, plan the itinerary of your trip choosing from the World's Transportation Commission Trip Itinerary. You MUST include:

  • purpose of trip;
  • countries to visit (minimum of four, maximum of six);
  • world map with countries and route plotted;
  • method(s) of travel that you plan to use;
  • line budget listing items;
  • packing list; and
  • anticipated challenges.

Activity I: As a team, submit your proposed itinerary to the Board of Trustees of the World's Transportation Commission for approval.

Your proposal answers the following questions:

  1. Why does your trip merit funding?
  2. What challenges do you anticipate encountering on your trip, and how will you overcome them?

Activity II: As a team, evaluate another team's proposal. Use the following prompts as a guide:

  • Should the proposal be approved? Why or why not?
  • Respond with comments on the other team's proposal.
  • Include a one-paragraph summary of your findings.
  • (Review your partner team's proposal by accessing their team folder and record your comments in their folder.)

Journal: How does the planning process for this trip differ from planning a similar trip today?


Step Three: Tour the World

Using photographs from World's Transportation Commission, choose images that best represent your experiences and impressions. These photographs become the visual images that you present to the Board of Trustees upon return. Check Collection Connection for Around the World in the 1890s for help in searching the collection.

You must choose images from the following categories:

  • Children
  • Education
  • Fashion
  • Homes
  • Leisure activities
  • Local customs
  • Modes of transportation
  • Places of worship
  • Technology
  • Women
  • Work and workers

Activity I: As an individual, choose an image to make into a postcard to send home to the Board of Trustees on the status of your trip. Your message must include:

  • a caption identifying the image;
  • proper citation (see Citing Electronic Sources), and
  • a message to the Board of Trustees explaining the significance of the image.

Create a paper copy postcard by downloading your image and printing it.

Activity II: Your team is the Board of Trustees. Your partner team has sent you postcards from their tour of the world. As a team, use the perspective of a historian today, and write a two-page critique of the postcards sent to you by your partner team.

For each postcard, answer the following questions:

  1. Is this postcard a historically valid document? Why or why not?
  2. What does it tell you about Western point of view at the turn of the twentieth century?
  3. What is the significance of this image?

Journal: Why did you choose this image for your postcard?

Step Four: Present to the Board of Trustees

Activity I: Write a narrative report to the Board of Trustees which chronicles your experiences and impressions from the world tour. Illustrate your narrative with photographs from the collection which are linked to the text. Focus your narrative on:

  • how people live;
  • how people work;
  • how people play;
  • technology, and
  • modes of transportation.

Submit your narrative by placing it in your team folder.

Activity II: Give an oral presentation with a slideshow on your trip to the Board of Trustees. Select the images for your slideshow to document your experiences and findings as a member of the World's Transportation Commission. Each member of the team must participate and the presentation should include:

  • a description of your itinerary using a world map;
  • a description of the images and why they were selected, and
  • an analysis of your findings as the World's Transportation Commission.

Activity III: Role play a contemporary non-Westerner responding to the findings of the World's Transportation Commission and write a letter to the members of the World's Transportation Commission commenting on their mission.