Folklife: Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Folklife: Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary  on March 21st; 8:00 am - 4:00 pm 
This full day workshop, open to all educators, explores the resources of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center and activities that will introduce Folklife materials into your classroom.  The workshop will feature guest facilitator Anne Hatch from the Wyoming Arts Council. This workshop will be especially good for Art, Music, English and Social Studies teachers, but all welcome!



Library of Congress Resources

Other Web Resources for Folklife


Workshop Activities


Activity: Lomax's Field Hollers

The following resources are all a part of the Southern Mosaic: The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip collection from the Library of Congress Folklife Center.



1939 Southern Recording Trip Fieldnotes:

thumb Cotton Needs Plowin' So Bad

Section 14: Cummins State Farm, near Varner, Arkansas; May 20-21

thumb2 Driving Levee

Section 16: State Farms, Parchman, Mississippi; May 23-25

thumb3 New Buryin' Ground Section 17: Livingston, Alabama and vicinity; May 26-30
thumb4 Ain't No Heaven on de County Road  
thumb5 Cornfield holler  
thumb6 I Feel My Time Ain't Long  
  • What can you learn from the fieldnotes and images about who sang work songs, how they were sung, when, and why?
  • What kinds of tasks are mentioned in these songs?
  • What do the voice parts, mood, rhythm, rhyme, speed, repetition, assonance, and alliteration indicate about what kind of work was done to these songs?
  • What attitudes toward work are reflected in these songs' lyrics and tones?
  • While many of these songs are about work, they are often about other things as well. What are some of the other subjects of work songs?
  • How are these subjects related to work? Why might laborers have sung about these subjects while working? What does this suggest about the work and workers' attitudes toward it?
  • What roles did work songs play in workers' lives? 

Activity: Seasonal Round

Explore the Coal River Seasonal Round:

Listen to commentatry by the community on the map in progress:

Template for the Seasonal Round:

Other ideas and resources:



Current News

New resource: Book Backdrops developed by our summer institue participants.

Calendar of Events:

Coming this Fall 2015

Transforming America: America in the Gilded Age (Date to be announced soon)

Other offerings this fall will be Essentials Exploration and a Special Topics workhop focused on WWII