2020 Historian Project Instructions

Teen Historian Project Banner

This current moment in time will be in future history books. Your unique daily observations will serve as primary sources to the people in the future. We hope that this project will encourage you to contemplate and think critically about the state of world and give you an outlet to process information, ideas, and feelings. Be authentic. Be honest. Be reflective. Pay attention to the details.

Your job is to chronicle the changes you observe as your community, the country, and the world respond to COVID-19. Each day, take note of what you are seeing and hearing on the news, among your friends, within your family, and in your community. Feel free to use video, written language, poetry, sketches, or other means of expression as you document your experience during this global pandemic.

People of all ages are invited to participate in this project!

Guided Questions

The questions below are meant to be a starting point for your thoughts. You do not need to respond to all of them. In fact, you are encouraged to ask your own.

  1. How have the actions of the government (city, state, county, or federal) impacted your life? Consider charting a timeline of events or announcements, along with the ways in which your personal life has been affected by them.
  2. What is open in your neighborhood? What is closed?
  3. How has your neighborhood changed? What are people doing differently?
  4. How is today different from yesterday for you? Your family, our nation, the world?
  5. Do you see any examples of racism, privilege, and income inequality in any of the events that happened today? (Locally, at the state level, nationally, or globally?)
  6. How has your idea of "wants" versus "needs" changed as a result of the pandemic?
  7. What do you and your family have that others may need?
  8. Did you see anything today that gave you hope? Anxiety? Fear? (In-person, in the news, or on social media?)
  9. If a friend was feeling anxious or scared about something that they saw or heard, what might you say to them?
  10. What does social distancing mean to you? What does it look like for you? What does it feel like for you?

If you are comfortable, you may share your journal of daily observations with Edwardsville Public Library, Hayner Public Library, and Madison County Historical Museum.

  • With your permission, submissions may be compiled and shared with the community in a meaningful way, such as future exhibits or displays, to be determined based on number of submissions and media types.
  • Submissions may be kept anonymous if you choose.
  • You may also choose to send in your project but not have us share it with the community.
  • The Edwardsville Public Library, the Hayner Public Library, & the Madison County Historical Museum reserve the right to not share submitted projects publicly.
  • Physical submissions are allowed and will be accepted when the libraries and museum reopen.
  • Click the button below to send your project to us!

This project is based on an assignment shared by the UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project.

Submit Your Project

Questions? Feel free to email us!

Edwardsville Public Library: info@edwpl.org

Madison County Historical Museum: jlparkin@co.madison.il.us

Hayner Public Library: genealogy@haynerlibrary.org