The Rhode Island COVID-19 Archive (RICA) is a joint partnership between the Rhode Island Historical Society (RIHS) and the Providence Public Library (PPL). RIHS and PPL are aiming to create a crowdsourced digital archive to document and share the COVID-19 experience in Rhode Island. RICA is a state-wide “people’s archive,” dedicated to getting as many voices and perspectives as possible to tell the story of the pandemic.
These materials guide students through a set of lesson activities that will allow them to explore current entries in the archive as well as providing them with prompts to create their own potential entries to contribute. Current units are for grades 3 to 5 and high school with an additional journal for young writers. We are developing two more units, one for Pre-K to second grade and one for middle school. The units have three lessons. The first lesson introduces students to archives and guides their exploration of online archives such as those at the Rhode Island Historical Society and the Providence Public Library. The second lesson introduces students to the Rhode Island COVID-19 Archive and guides their exploration there. The last lesson is a prompt for their own RI COVID-19 Archive submission. They do not need to actually make a submission, though they are encouraged to do so.
Teachers wishing to contribute the responses as a class (with the permission of students and parents/guardians), please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help set up a folder where you can upload all the content as a collection.
My 2020 Quarantine Journal
Great for young writers, this journal guides students through simple activities to document their and their family's lives at home due to COVID-19. They can keep it in their own personal archives and upload it to the Rhode Island COVID-19 Archive (optional) to share with others.
Elementary School Level Unit Plan
Students learn about what an archive is and explore the digital archives at the Library of Congress, the Rhode Island Historical Society, and the Providence Public Library. Students then explore the Rhode Island COVID-19 Archive through a scavenger hunt. Lastly, they are encouraged to create artwork documenting their own experiences during COVID-19 to keep for their personal archive and to optionally upload to the RI COVID-19 Archive.
High School Level Unit Plan
Students learn what an archive is and explore the digital archives of the Rhode Island Historical Society and the Providence Public Library. Students then explore the Rhode Island COVID-19 Archive by examining a submission by a fellow high schooler. Lastly, students are encouraged to write their own reflection for their personal archive and to optionally upload to the RI COVID-19 Archive.