Table Topic questions are meant to stimulate family and classroom discussion.
Use the questions below after reading,"Bringing Up the Family".
In the early 1900s, Seattle's new settlers were settling down,
and the youth population was exploding. Then as now, parents wanted the
best for their children. How does yesterday's 'best' compare with today's?
The city appeared eager to meet parental demands for up-to-date schools and parks.
Think of the civic and social services available to kids today. Do our local communities
seem just as willing to contribute to the well-being of children now?
- Turn-of-the-century Seattleites were proud of their school system. Can you tell
if there were any essential differences in teaching or learning styles by looking
at the 1906 classroom photo? Do you think the quality of education then was better,
worse, or simply different? Put another way, do you think a 1906 student transplanted
into 1996 would be able to function pretty well once acclimated? How about the 1996 student transported to 1906?
- In 1906, The Seattle Times published a weekly magazine just for children.
Look through the paper each day and pick out everything you can find that's aimed at kids or
focuses on education. How much is just for fun and how much deals with issues?
- Some children worked to help support their families, and many businesses,
particularly newspapers, relied on youth labor. Though most newsboys worked after
school or attended night schools provided for them, do you think they were exploited by today's
standards? These young wage earners were very savvy in some ways. Can you imagine today's youthful
fast food workers organizing a union like theirs, which negotiated contracts, collected dues
and sponsored social events? How would such a union be different now? What are other differences
between today's young workers and yesterday's?
- Much of the media message from newspapers and books aimed at children of
the day provided moral instruction and an adult point of view. Today's youth media
usually takes a different tack -- offering views that are primarily youth-centered.
What you do you think are the advantages and drawbacks of each of these approaches?
- When children dressed up, they dressed as mini-adults. Do you suppose Victorian
children even thought of deviating in hairstyle or dress from what was approved by adults?
Or do you think looking grown-up was simply the preferred youth style, as important in
its own way as hip-hop, alternative and prep styles are today?
- The lovable but mischievous Buster Buster was a pop icon of the day, and
the source of lots of spin-off marketing. How does marketing and promotion of
today's sports and entertainment figures differ, and how is it similar? Where do today's pop
heroes come from? Can you think of any recent comic strip characters that have become youth icons of mass appeal?
Copyright © 1996 The Seattle Times Company