Unit 2: Rural Life in the Early 20th Century
This unit explores the lifeways in and around Creelsboro, a rural early 20th-century Kentucky community in southcentral Kentucky. It also explores how documentary art can be used to bring the past to life. Students consider what life was like in their own community in the early 20th century and how they might share that story.
Through interviews, period photography, documentary art, and a short video (Rural Life), Unit 2’s introduction, entitled Rural Life in the Early 20th Century, offers students six different but integrated activities in:
- social studies -researching local history using primary and secondary sources and investigating the impacts of industrialization.
- media art – analyzing how the components of a video work together; brainstorming, creating, and refining and original video, including creating a script.
- visual and media art – exploring how documentary art communicates information and adding visual imagery to multimedia presentations; creating original works of documentary art; documenting artisans who continue handmade traditions; and making a traditional craft.
Documents for Rural Life in the Early 20th Century
- Unit 2: Rural Life in the Early 20th Century – teacher version
- Irvin Store, 1920s – Images for Projection
- Unit 2: Rural Life in the Early 20th Century – student version
- Rural Life video
- Script for Rural Life Video Clip
- Directions to the Artist – Irvin Store
Irvin Store, 1920s – Documentary Art Interactive
The Irvin Store, 1920s – Documentary Art Interactive gives students the opportunity to explore Irvin Store, 1920s, Dennis Thrasher’s documentary art painting that portrays the bustling activity around one of Creelsboro’s general stores. It offers 14 activities in visual art, visual art and theater, media art, music, reading and writing and social studies.
Teachers lead their students in analyzing the artwork and interpreting the narrative, including through the video producer’s instructions to the artist; a short script selection from the video; and this painting’s three vignettes. Then students are asked to consider how they can share the story of their own communities through art. Additional readings and activities, linked to the three vignettes that highlight scenes in the painting, permit them to dig deeper.
Documents for Irvin Store, 1920s – Documentary Art Interactive
- Irvin Store, 1920s Documentary Art Interactive Overview – teacher version
- Lesson Set 1 – Saturday Social Life – teacher version
- Lesson Set 2 – Pumpkin Harvest – teacher version
- Lesson Set 3 – Jammin’ on the Porch – teacher version
For students (also accessible through the interactive):