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Fun & Games Build Your Own Maritime Story Teachers Learning Tools
American Shad

Build Your Own Maritime Story Instructions

I. Using a Photo from the Water Ways On-line Exhibition
II. Using a Family Maritime Photo
III. Using a Photo You Take

I. Using the "Water Ways" On-line Exhibition

Level One: One picture and caption from web site
Pick a photo from one of the slide shows on the "Water Ways" site. From the Home Page of the Water Ways on-line exhibition, choose a section such as one of the "Ports of Call" and click on "View a Photo Slide Show" to find pictures. Right click the picture, then left click on "copy" and copy into your own blank document. Sample:

 Image courtesy Smithsonian Institution.
Image courtesy Smithsonian Institution.

Write your own caption for the photo. Be sure to include the proper "credit line" ("Photo by...") as well. Use your imagination to create a caption, or research the picture further for a fact-based caption.

Here's an example of a caption for the picture above:
Imagine this sneakbox in the water with a duck hunter in the middle. All the decoys you see at the back end would be in the water, too, to fool the ducks. I don't like duck hunting, because I would not want to hurt any ducks. But, if you had a camera instead of a gun, just think of the pictures of ducks you could "shoot" if you were out there in the middle of them! Photo by Amy Skillman.

Level Two: Add A Story
Use a picture and caption from web site as above, but add a one to four paragraph story. Capture a picture and write a caption as in Level One, but use information from the web site, or be creative, in writing a short story to go with the photo. Make sure you put "quotation marks" around anything that you quote directly from the site.

Level Three: Add More Photos, and Anything Else
Use more than one photo, each with its own caption. If you know how to use Power Point, you can arrange your pictures and story into a presentation.

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II. Use Your Own Family Maritime Photo, Write Your Own Story

Level One: Photo and caption
Find a photo taken on or near the water in your family's collection. Ideas: a beach vacation, a boat ride, a fishing trip? Just about every family has lots of these. Or, if you are artistic, draw a picture of a water-related activity of your choice.

Scan in the photo, unless it is already a digital photo.

Write a caption for the photo. Be sure to credit the photographer!

Level Two: Photo and story
Use your own photo as an inspiration for a whole story instead of just a caption!

Level Three: More Photos, Longer Story
The sky is the limit!

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III. Take Your Own Photo, Write Your Own Story

Ready for a real challenge? Get out your camera and take your own maritime photo(s). Gather some information by interviewing people, or doing more research on line or in the library.

For a guide on how to do oral history/folklife interviews, see The Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage web site, under "Explore Culture/Cultural Education/Educator Resources" to download your own copy of The Smithsonian Folklore and Oral History Guide.

Put the photo or photos together with captions and a story, if you like.

Get some inspiration from the photos and stories by Harold Anderson in the "Sample Stories" of The Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse and Captain Herbert Groh.

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Build Your Own Story Instructions
Sample Story I: The Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse
Sample Story II: Captain Herbert Groh

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