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SHSND Home > North Dakota History > Unit 4: Building a New State, 1878 - 1914 > Set 5: The Private Lives of Teenagers > Activity 1

Unit 4: Set 5: The Private Lives of Teenagers - Activity 1

Introduction | Dorry's Diary | Roberts' Diary | Activity 1 | Activity 2 | Additional Resources

  1. Research:  Use the internet to find out more about the movies and books that Dorry and his friends enjoyed.  Do you have Tarzan books in your library?  Read one to see if you can re-capture Dorry’s excitement over Edgar Rice Burrough’s series.
  1. Research:  Find out if there are historic diaries available in your town.  Does your library or historical society have any old diaries?  Did your parents or grandparents keep a diary?  What did they write about?  Was the diary important to them? 
  1. Keep a diary for a month.  Compare it to Mae Roberts’ or Dorry Shaw’s diary.  Do you have the same interests or do you see a big difference in the things that interest you and the things that interested them? 
  1. Discussion:  Historians consider diaries to be a significant source of information on social life, political events, and personal perspectives on past events.  Many of the diaries that are found in archives were donated by the author, but many others were donated many years after the author’s death by family members.  Do historians violate the privacy of these individuals, or does the value of the diaries as sources of information about the past outweigh consideration for the diarist? 

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