Create an Abstract Dreamscape
In this activity, you will create an art piece inspired by the work of Bernice Bing.
Objective: Students will explore primary documents, such as Chiura Obata's paintings, to understand the severity of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
Shortly after artist Chiura Obata immigrated to California from Japan, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire ravaged the city. This natural disaster upended life in the Bay Area. Obata created artworks showing the mayhem and destruction the earthquake caused.
The following lesson plan was written by Doug DuBrin, an English and history teacher as well as an editor and writer for PBS. It has been modified to include Chiura Obata’s artwork and biography in honor of APA Heritage Month. The original lesson plan is available on the PBS website.
“The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the resulting fires were one of the most devastating natural disasters in United States history. Recent estimates place the death toll from the quake at close to 3,000, far more than the original tally of around 300. The physical devastation to the city itself was immeasurable, in great part due to the lack of structural reinforcements that we take for granted today.”
Source: PBS News Hour Lesson Plans
HSS-3.3 Students draw from historical and community resources to organize the sequence of local historical events and describe how each period of settlement left its mark on the land.
W.4.7 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
W.4.8 Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes, paraphrase, and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.
W.4.9.a,b Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
RI.5.8 Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).
RI.5.9 Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
LIB.6.4.3 Appreciate and respond to creative expressions of information: a. Demonstrate a variety of methods to engage the audience when presenting information b. Appreciate a range of creative forms of expression c. Evaluate one’s own research process and that of others in a respectful, cooperative, and productive way.
ESS1.C The History of Planet Earth – Local, regional, and global patterns of rock formations reveal changes over time due to earth forces, such as earthquakes. The presence and location of certain fossil types indicate the order in which rock layers were formed.
Primary source documents from http://www.sfmuseum.org/1906/ew.html
Alternative primary source documents from
Extension Activity: Analyzing Other Primary Documents
For a follow-up activity, the procedures above can be applied to the study of firsthand accounts of other seminal events in American history. Included below are useful links to various other primary-document resources: