Mapping Connecticut Landmarks Through Literature

CTHumanitiesI had the opportunity to speak with seven high school students yesterday who are participating in the History Youth Employment Program with CT Landmarks, an organization that manages several historical properties around Connecticut. The students are spending their summer learning about and sharing local history while exploring a variety of careers in the humanities.

Program leader Laura McCarthy asked if I would demo Placing Literature for the students and show them how they can use geo-based literary information to complete future school work. After a rough start–we initially didn’t have passwords for the public computers we were using at the Hartford Public Library–we were able to map a novel published by the Connecticut Humanities Council called The Great Connecticut Caper. Taking place in historic sites around the state, each of the novel’s 12 chapters are written by different local authors. You can find the novel here.

The students mapped the story as it evolved through various Connecticut landmarks including Gillette Castle, Harkness State Park and Sleeping Giant State Park among others. We then discussed the locations and how they related to the plot and characters’ development.

It was a great opportunity to promote local literature in Connecticut and show how Placing Literature can be used as a learning tool.

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