Tell Your Story
There are many ways to learn about historic events. We can study items left behind, search for clues in the ground, and look at historic documents. But one of the best ways to understand life in historic times is to read the diaries, journals, and letters written by people living during those events. Did you know that Meriwether Lewis kept a diary while he and the Corp of Discovery explored the Louisiana Purchase? Or that many pioneers, soldiers’ wives, and homesteaders kept diaries detailing their life during the westward expansion? In this activity, you will create a diary with details about your own life and current times. Who knows? In sixty years, your grandchildren may be excited to read about your experiences growing up.
In this activity, your family will:
- Learn what a diary or journal is
- Write about your daily life
- Make notes and collect items with details about current events
- Notebook, or lined paper
- Pencils, pens, and/or crayons
- Current newspaper articles, photos, or advertisements (optional)
Key Words to know:
Diary – a book in which one keeps a daily record of events and experiences.
- Check with your family to see if anyone in your family either traveled on the trails or homesteaded in Wyoming. Is there a diary or pictures? Find out all you can about your family and the history of our state.
- Review this video to learn more about the history of agriculture in Wyoming and see changes over time.
- Watch this video for ideas about how to write in your diary.
- Find current pictures, news articles, or advertisements that can add extra details and historic information to your diary.
Do the Activity:
- Find a small notebook or some lined notebook paper you can use to keep a diary. You can continue writing in this diary for as many days as you would like.
- Write today’s date on the top of the page. Do this each day that you write in your diary.
- Write a diary entry about your day. Some things to write about could be:
- What was your favorite part of the day?
- Did something new or exciting happen?
- What did you eat today?
- Where did you go today?
- What types of activities did you do?
- How do you feel about these things? (A diary is a good place to write down your feelings, and help you think about what you have experienced.)
- Use your diary to keep records of current events. You can cut and glue newspaper or magazine clippings, or photographs to your diary pages. If you don’t have a photograph or clipping, draw a picture on your diary page. Some things you could include are:
- Clippings of current advertisements (how much did a gallon of milk or 1 dozen eggs cost? What is the current price of gasoline?)
- Local or world news (is there a major event happening?)
- Photographs of your family doing daily activities (tools and technology change throughout time, take pictures of how we do things now.)
- Other items that help tell the story of your life right now
- Continue writing in your diary daily for as long as you like. Keep it in a safe place, so you will have it to look back at and share with people in the future.