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Strawberry pickers near Lakeland, Florida

[Detail] Strawberry pickers near Lakeland, Florida

Lesson Overview

Most people in Central Florida came from somewhere else. Students first analyze life histories from American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940 to learn oral history techniques. They then interview and photograph these "transplants" and collect their life stories. In the process, students strengthen their communication skills and learn of the diverse experiences of people who now call Central Florida home.


Students will be able to:

  • be able to search online and other sources effectively;
  • develop visual literacy skills through analysis of historical photographs;
  • become acquainted with New Deal programs and the experiences of Depression-era Americans;
  • improve communciation skills through the oral history interview process.


Time Required

  • Two weeks

Recommended Grade Level

  • 6-8
  • 3-5


  • City & Regional History
  • Immigration & Ethnic Heritage


  • Great Depression and WWII, 1929-1945


Laura Wakefield & Joy Penney