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Teachers and community members can help young community members explore and contribute to their cultural heritage by arranging learning expeditions that include the ALERT processes.

The Heritage Project is an educational initiative that began as a partnership between the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the Montana Historical Society, and the Montana Office of Public Instruction. Teachers work with these cultural agencies and with their communities to conduct learning expeditions that explore large and enduring questions through the medium of local knowledge.

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ALERT Processes

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TeacherLore | Heritage Online (Student Writing) |

Without the right question

In a kingdom long ago there was a man who traveled from the farthest city to the nearest town. And as he went he traded things—a pair of shoes for a piece of gold, a parrot for a bolt of silver cloth—until he was more rich than he had ever dreamed possible. The people thought a man who had so many things must be wise, and no matter where he went they followed him, asking questions.

“Our baby cries,” said one. “What shall we do?”

“My father went to war. How will we live?” said another. But though the traveling man could fetch goods from his sack and add up sums, he could not answer their questions.

One day he met an old woman who carried a wooden box. “Inside this box,” she said, “are answers to all things.”

The traveling man whistled. “I have seen many things,” he said, “but I would give all I have to open that box.”

“Done,” said the old woman.

When the traveling man lifted the lid, he saw to his surprise that the box was filled with coins. Each one was stamped with a curious sentence. “Open the door,” said one. “Give him your love,” said another. “One hundred and five,” said a third.

The traveling man was overjoyed. “I am rich beyond measure,” he said. “I have answers to all things.”

The old woman smiled. “But what good is an answer,” she said, “without the right question?”

Through the Mickle Woods (Valiska Gregory)

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 10/15 at 12:26 AM

<<Home - ALERT Processes

State Heritage Projects

Support for Expeditions

Landmarks for Schools

The Digital Classroom (National Archives)

A Biography of America with Primary Documents (Annenberg)

A Chronology of U.S. Historical Documents (University of Oklahoma School of Law)

Words and Deeds in American History Chronological list of primary documents (Library of Congress)

Civics Timeline American history timeline with primary documents (National Endowment for the Humanities)

American Journeys Eyewitness accounts of historical expeditions by the Wisconsin Historical Society and National History Day

Expeditions (National Geographic)

Radio Documentaries American RadioWorks