Childhood on the Prairies




January-February 2006

Graduate Credit Workshop for Teachers


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Childhood on the Prairies is a teachers’ workshop piggybacked on a book discussion course, Great Books of the Great PlainsTM, offered by FM Communiversity. Participants in the workshop read three books about growing up on the prairies; discuss them at forums convened in the Zandbroz Variety Store, Fargo, on 22 January, 5 February, and 19 February 2006; and also participate in online discussions via a weblog called the Buffalo Commons. The workshop confers 1 hour of graduate credit offered by Distance and Continuing Education, North Dakota State University.




The coordinator and instructor of the workshop is Suzzanne Kelley. Kelley is a veteran classroom teacher in the public schools and a PhD student in History at the University of North Dakota.


Suzzanne Kelley





Enrollment is through NDSU Distance & Continuing Education; enroll online here. Tuition for  the 1-credit hour workshop is $125.  When you have completed enrollment, please send an e-mail to Ms. Kelley introducing yourself.  Then she will have your e-mail address and will be able to respond with announcements and instructions about the workshop.



Reading of Texts

Complete reading of each text (Schwieder, Riney-Kehrberg, and Stegner) in timely fashion so as to be prepared for discussions at the Zandbroz and via the weblog

Attendance and Participation at Discussion Forums

Attend all three forums and contribute to (in fact, take initiative in) discussions of the texts

Online Participation via the weblog (the Buffalo Commons)

         Activate subscription to the weblog (guidance and instructions will be provided)

         Post comments about at least two of the texts prior to discussion as the Zandbroz

         Post comments about at least two of the Zandbroz discussions following the forum


Posting Comments to the Weblog


As soon as you send an e-mail introducing yourself to Ms. Kelley, she will make you a member of the book discussion weblog, the Buffalo Commons.  She also will send you instructions about how to activate your subscription and post comments to the blog.


Here are guidelines for posting comments about a text to the blog prior to its discussion at the Zandbroz.


         Be concise—perhaps 200 words (likely in two paragraphs, as suggested below)

         A paragraph of your responses to the book—what most intrigued or peeved you about it, what was new to you, what parts resonated with you

         A paragraph describing what you would like to talk about in relation to the book—questions for discussion, issues for exploration


Here are guidelines for posting comments following a discussion at the Zandbroz.


         Be concise—perhaps 200 words (likely in two paragraphs, as suggested below)

         A paragraph stating the facts and high points of the discussion—what book, main points brought up in discussion, audience response to the book

         A paragraph assessing what you learned from the discussion—value added to your understanding


Book Scholarships


Copies of Stegner’s Wolf Willow are available for loan (no charge) to all discussion participants.  Copies of the texts by Schwieder and by Riney-Kehrberg can be purchased from Zandbroz Variety or a vendor of your choice.  Participants completing the workshop for graduate credit have the option of returning these two texts (in good shape, please!) at the end of the workshop and receiving reimbursement for the full purchase price.


Great Books of the Great Plains / F/M Communiversity / Plains Folk