George Washington Carver - NPS

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Picture courtesy of Ottawa County, Ks. Historical MuseumGeorge WashingtonCarverHis Story Through Letters and PhotographsWho was he?Dr.?Teacher?Scientist?Inventor of peanut butter?Student?Farmer?Wizard?

Introduction – Task – Process – Evaluation - ConclusionIntroductionMany people believe that George Washington Carverwas the inventor of peanut butter. While he did discoverover 300 uses for the peanut, he did not invent peanutbutter. George Washington Carver is well known for hiswork with peanuts, but we also need to remember that hedid important work with other plants as well. GeorgeWashington Carver shared what he learned from hisexperiments and that information was used to help improvethe lives of many people.People who lived in George Washington Carver’s timehad entire conversations back and forth in typed or handwritten letters. These letters were written with great careand included many details. The letters that GeorgeWashington Carver wrote, and the letters that were writtento him tell us much of his life story.George Washington Carver lived a life of service to hisfellow man. In many ways he set a good example forpeople to try to follow. Now when we look at photographstaken of him and excerpts from letters that he wrote, we canget a glimpse of the way that he lived his life and somethings that were important to him.Photo courtesy of Tuskegee University

TaskLetters written by George Washington Carver andphotographs taken of him have been chosen for this WebQuest to show several areas of George WashingtonCarver’s life that were priorities to him. The students’ jobis to examine the letters and photographs and to choose oneexample that George Washington Carver set that they feellike they could follow.Then they will write a friendly letter to their parents orteacher describing the example they would like to followand explaining how they could follow that example.Photo courtesy of Tuskegee University

ProcessStep 1Click on the links to review the letters and photographs foreach of these areas which were priorities to GeorgeWashington Carver.*George Washington Carver had a love of and respect fornature.Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3Letter 1 Letter 2 Letter 3*George Washington Carver valued education.Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4Letter 1 Letter 2 Letter 3 Letter 4*George Washington Carver had a passion for art.Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3Letter 1 Letter 2 Letter 3*George Washington Carver had a strong faith in God.Photo 1 Photo 2Letter 1 Letter 2 Letter 3 Letter 4*George Washington Carver was resourceful and did notwaste.Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3Letter 1 Letter 2 Letter 3*George Washington Carver was a Humanitarian.Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4

Letter 1Letter 2*George Washington Carver worked for interracialcooperation.Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4Letter 1 Letter 2Step 2Choose one of the examples that George WashingtonCarver set that you would like to try to follow.Step 3Write a friendly letter to your parents or your teacher. Inyour letter you should describe one example that GeorgeWashington Carver set. You should also explain whatthings you can do to follow his example. Be sure to includeall of the parts of a friendly letter. If you are not sure howto write a friendly letter you can follow this link for somehelp.

EvaluationUse the following checklist to ensure that you completed allof the parts of this assignment.YE NS O1. I looked at some pictures and letters foreach area.2. I chose one area in which GeorgeWashington Carver set agood example that I would like to try tofollow.3. I thought of some ways that I couldfollow his example.4. I wrote a friendly letter to my parents orteacher and explained what I think I cando.5. I included all of the parts of a friendlyletter.ConclusionIn this Web Quest you learned a little about what wasimportant to George Washington Carver. He was a man

with many admirable qualities. Your job was to choose oneexample that George Washington Carver set that you wouldlike to follow.Discussion QuestionsWere you able to choose just one example that you wouldlike to follow?Do you know of any other people who share similaritieswith George Washington Carver?Field Trip ExtensionIf you are going to visit George Washington CarverNational Monument you can see more of GeorgeWashington Carver’s letters. In the interactive exhibit areayou will find an exhibit with several letters written byGeorge Washington Carver.Try to find a letter that shows:He was a humanitarianEducation was important to himHe had a strong faith in GodHe wanted to improve race relationsTeachersAttention Teachers!This Web Quest is meant to be used across K-12th gradeswith some adaptations. Students in 4th through 12th gradesshould be able to use the Web Quest independently or insmall groups.

You may want to preview the letters before reading themwith your class.Some of the letters that have been linked to are handwritten and may be difficult to read. If you look below theimage of the letter, in the description section, you will findthe text of the letter which has been word processed.Due to the sensitive nature of one or more of the categories,and in the interest of time, please feel free to adapt thisWeb Quest to your specific classroom situation. The WebQuest is designed so that students do not have to reviewevery letter and picture to complete the activity.*Teachers task note- younger students can draw a pictureof what they would like to do instead of writing a letter.Missouri GLE’sIn reading and analyzing the letters students will make connections:K-8 Communication Arts Reading 1IStudents will write a friendly letter:K-8 Writing 3A

Letter ExcerptsOn June 19, 1911 George Washington Carver wrote aletter to Booker T. Washington to provide details on atrip the he (George Washington Carver) had made outinto the country to do some work with Alabama Claythat was being made into paint. George WashingtonCarver went on to inform Booker T. Washington thathe was experimenting with creating new colors andhad already discovered a method to make black paintwhich is described in the following excerpt from theletter:“I have one kind out of which I have made a beautifulblack color by simply taking some of the clay andmixing a small amount of boiler black with it. Byboiler black I mean the soot that comes from ourboilers, which is equivalent to lamp black. Now, wepurchase a great deal of lamp black, which in manyinstances this boiler black is just as good Now,with the great amount of coal we burn here, and thelarge amount of fine soot that we could collect fromour boilers, it would pay us to save this instead ofthrowing it away as we are now doing.”

Original letter in Library of Congress, Booker T. Washington Collection, Copy,Tuskegee Institute Alabama, George Washington Carver Papers, reel 1, frames0759- 60.BackOn April 2, 1929 George Washington Carver wrote aletter to Howard A. Kester. Howard Kester was thehead of the Youth Section of the Fellowship ofReconciliation in New York. Howard Kester hadexpressed interest in creating an office in the Souththat would help to establish better race relations. Thefollowing excerpt is from the letter in which Carvervoiced his support of such an office.“I have read with much interest and satisfaction yourplea for an office in the South for the establishment ofbetter race relations .I believe that the Southernpeople will welcome such an office, and many willlend their cooperative support. It seems to me thatuntold good could be done if such an office as youpropose was located in the South .”

Tuskegee Institute Alabama, George Washington Carver Papers, reel 11, frames0798-99.BackGeorge Washington Carver was the director of theTuskegee Agriculture Experiment Station. There heconducted many experiments that were focused onSouthern agriculture and helping the poor farmers. Asa part of George Washington Carver’s jobrequirements at the experiment station he was requiredto publish bulletins explaining his work and offer themto the general public. George Washington Carverpublished his bulletins in a manner that they could beused by the “common” people. In the bulletins heexplained how to grow specific plants, how to prepareand preserve the food that was harvested from theplant, and some of the scientific information that hehad discovered about the plant. The following letterexcerpt is from a letter that George WashingtonCarver wrote to Mahatma Gandhi on July 27, 1935.The letter is regarding a package of bulletins thatCarver had sent to M.K. Gandhi. Mr. Gandhi had not

received the package, so Carver was sending himanother package.“I’m surprised to learn that you have not received thepackage of bulletins that I sent you. The package wasmailed at the same time that I mailed your letter. I amhowever, sending you another set of bulletins.”Letter excerpt courtesy of Tuskegee UniversityTo see examples of some of George WashingtonCarver’s bulletins please follow the links.Sweet PotatoesPeanutsBackIn April of 1896 George Washington Carver accepteda teaching job at Tuskegee Institute. In a letter to the

Finance Committee at Tuskegee George WashingtonCarver mentioned that he would be at Tuskegee foronly five years and then he would go on to study Artat the Chicago Art Institute. The following excerpt iswhat he said.“ I do not expect to teach many years, but will quitas soon as I trust my work to others, and engage in mybrush work, which will be of great honor to our peopleshowing to what we may attain, along science, history,literature, and art.”Letter to Tuskegee’s Finance Committee, November 27, 1896, Carver Papers,reel 01, frame 1650BackGeorge Washington Carver began painting when hewas a young boy on the Carver farm in Missouri. Hewould make his paints out of natural items such asberries. He talked about that time of his life in a letterto J.J. Lewis in 1939.

“I recall when just a boy just starting up to do artworkthat I longed to paint flowers so that they would speakto the beholder, and inspire and enthuse them to dogreat things ”Letter to J.J. Lewis, August 15, 1939, Carver Papers, reel 30, frame 0814BackPhotographsUpon his arrival at Tuskegee, George WashingtonCarver found that he did not have a proper laboratory.One of the first things that he did was to go to thetrash dump and salvage what he could to create labequipment.

Photo courtesy of Tuskegee UniversityBackGeorge Washington Carver worked to help victims ofchildhood paralysis and polio.

Photo courtesy of Tuskegee UniversityBack

Photo courtesy of Tuskegee UniversityBack

George Washington Carver and President FranklinDelano Roosevelt.Photo courtesy of Tuskegee UniversityBack

George Washington Carver was a guest speaker atYMCA summer camp for young white men. He spokeabout nature and creation. Many of the young menwere impressed by him and he became a mentor tothem. These young men became known as “Carver’sBoys.”Photo courtesy of George Washington Carver National Monument, NPS

BackGlossary*A humanitarian is someone who works very hard to helppeople who need help. A humanitarian cares a lot about theneeds of other people. A humanitarian does what they canto help make the lives of other people better.Back*When you say that someone values education it meansthat education is very important to them. This could meanthat learning about things is important or that teachingothers is important. Sometimes it could mean both.Back

*When someone is resourceful and does not waste theyuse all of the things that they have to make what they wantor need. This means that they might have to figure out newways to use things. It also means that they do not throw alot of items in the trash.Back*George Washington Carver had a strong faith in God.He showed this by giving God the credit for all of hisaccomplishments. He also taught a bible study class.Back*“Passion for art” means that George Washington Carverenjoyed creating art. He liked to paint and draw.Back*George Washington Carver had a love of and respect fornature. This means that nature was very important to him.He felt like people could many things that they wanted orneeded from nature.Back*George Washington Carver worked for interracialcooperation. This means that he tried to do things thatwould improve the relationship between the AfricanAmerican people and white people of that time.Back

*George Washington Carver had a strong faith in God. Photo 1 Photo 2 Letter 1 Letter 2 Letter 3 Letter 4 *George Washington Carver was resourceful and did not waste. Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Letter 1 Letter 2 Letter 3 *George Washington Carver was a Humanitarian. Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4

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