We began this project in 2019 as a way to encourage seventh-grade students to think about the histories of migration and immigration in Santa Barbara and how their own personal experiences fit into those histories. Over the course of a half-day site visit to El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park, students participated in activities that asked them to consider the meanings of home and belonging.
The “Where We Are From” Program was a collaboration between the History & Relevancy Project, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, and Santa Barbara Junior High School. We look forward to making this a yearly event!
As part of the event, students created and recorded their own versions of George Ella Lyon’s “Where I’m From” poem. We collected and edited these poems together to make a big collaborative version. Check it out:
Check out the Mental Maps students made here!
The Virtual “Where We Are From” Program
We adapted our highly successful project to reach remote learners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the generous allocation of their time and resources, the staff of El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park made “Where We Are From” accessible to a new generation of Santa Barbara seventh-graders in 2020.
Over the course of four days, we presented six interactive lessons that encouraged our students to think about the histories of migration and immigration in Santa Barbara and how their own personal experiences fit into those histories.
- Lesson 1: Virtual History Tour of Presidio Neighborhood Q&A
- Lesson 2: Intro to Oral History & Virtual History Tour of Jimmy’s Exhibit
- Lesson 3: “What Would You Bring” Case Studies
- Lesson 4: Virtual History Tour of Nihonmachi Exhibit Q&A
- Lesson 5: The Power of Maps
- Lesson 6: “Where We Are From” OurMap! Project