Documenting the Everyday

Adapted from Out of Eden Learn’s Curriculum, Core Learning Journey 1: The Present and the Local

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For this activity, you will explore what you can learn by carefully observing a place you know or something that people in your community do as a part of their everyday lives. 

Listen to Paul Salopek talking about “The River of Culture.”

Explore the following examples of Paul’s work in which he captures details of everyday life: 

Read about how to record and use sound to tell stories.

Watch Out of Eden Learn’s Tips on Documenting Using Multimedia

(Video/Audio Instructions from OOEL's online learning journey, The Present and the Local)

There are aspects of our everyday lives that might be very interesting to other people but which might seem very ordinary to us. There may also be parts of our everyday lives that we usually don’t find time to notice. This is your chance to notice some new things and to share your observations with other people. Focus on one of the following: 

  • PLACE: Document everyday life in a place that you know. 

  • PROCESS: Document how people in your community do something as part of their everyday lives. For example, you could focus on how a type of food or drink is prepared, how an object is made or repaired, or how someone carries out another daily task or activity. 

Choose one of the following formats to collect and share your observations: 

  • Video: a short video that uses the camera to draw attention to small details. You can either write a brief description explaining the video or record a voiceover talking about what you observed.

  • A slideshow that includes photos of what you observed. You may add text to annotate your slides. 

  • A step-by-step guide to a process you observed, using drawings, photos, and/or text.

  • A story or memory of something meaningful to you—for example, something that you remember playing or making when you were younger, or a place you know well. Write about the place or process in detail, including sounds, sights, smells, flavors and/or textures.

SHARE ONLINE (optional)

  • Follow OOEL on Twitter and Instagram: @OutofEdenLearn.
  • Share your short video, illustration, slideshow, and/or story on social media using #EdenLearn and #UncoveringtheEveryday!