Catalogues Today and Yesterday: Changing Goods, Changing
Social Studies, History, Language Arts, Art, Information
Change, Ways of life, Technology
- Historic catalogues from this site
- Current Sears catalogue (to bring in)
- Other contemporary mail-order catalogues (to bring in)
Ask each student to bring in one or more mail-order catalogues
home, including at least one current Sears catalogue.
Break the class into small groups and perform the following two
- Ask each group to select a historic catalogue from this site. The
must locate the catalogue on the site.
- Using the list of specific areas to compare (see below), ask each
compare the goods available in the historic and contemporary catalogues.
- Suggested areas to compare:
- Items for sale: Look at clothing, appliances, toys, sports equipment,
- What has stayed the same?
- What has changed?
- What has disappeared?
- For items that have disappeared, has anything replaced them?
- Some items to look at in both old and new catalogues are: gloves,
handkerchiefs, hats, electric irons, hot plates, radios, phonographs,
stoves, barn equipment, cream separators, harnesses, and washing machines.
- Then, lead a class discussion about the changes in goods available
now, reasons for these changes, and how the changes affect our health,
and daily lives.
- Extend this to an art activity by printing out or sketching similar
from both catalogues (or the old item with the item that has replaced it,
as a CD player and phonograph), and making a collage that compares the old