Listening to the Past
In our Georgia Archives Month Display, we highlight badges current Girl Scouts can earn that relate to history. At the Brownie level (grades 2-3), one of the badges that can be earned is called “Listening to the Past.” On pages 154-155 of Try-Its for Brownie Girl Scouts (New York: Girl Scouts of the USA, 2000), the badge description and suggested activities are listed. In earning the badge, the Brownie is required to do four activities out of six.
“When you listen to the past, what will you hear? You will hear stories about how people used to live and what children did a long time ago. When you listen to people talk about their past, you are participating in oral history. You can also listen to or see the past in museums, storybooks, skits, and movies. Listen carefully and see what you can learn.”
- Community stories: Listen to the stories of some of the oldest people in your community. Find them through a senior citizens’ organization, a religious group, a nursing home, or even in your family. Tape their stories or take notes. Share the stories with members of your family and your Brownie Girl Scout troop or group.
- If These Buildings Could Talk: With an adult, visit the historic buildings, monuments, and sites in your neighborhood or in the nearest city. Learn an interesting story or fact about each.
- Visit the Oldest Cemetery: Get permission to visit the oldest cemetery in your area. Do the following activities: 1) Find the oldest dates on the gravestones. Write them down. How old were the people when they died? 2) Write down some of the most unusual names. What is the most common name? 3) Take photographs, make rubbings, or draw pictures of the most unusual gravestones.
- Tell Stories of the Past: Read two stories written in the past or about the past, and tell them to others.
- Acting Out: Act out a scene from the past. Choose a favorite person or fictional character from the past. Do one of these activities: 1) Act out a scene from her life or from the fictional story. 2) Dress up like her and act like her during your Girl Scout meeting. Here are some suggestions: Joan of Arc, Sacagawea, Anne Frank, Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller.
- Games of the Past: It may be hard to believe, but years ago your mother, father, grandparents, aunts, and uncles were all young children. They played some fun games. Here is a list: Dodgeball; Red light/Green light; Tic-tac-toe; Simon Says; Guess What I Am; Kick the Can; Jump Rope Rhymes; Jacks; Doggy, Doggy, Where Is Your Bone; Crack the Whip; Sharks and Minnows. Ask family members and neighbors if they have ever played any of these games. Then select a game and learn how to play it. Teach the game to others.