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The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections

[Detail] Fishermen. Key West, Florida

Chronological Thinking: Continuity and Change

Continuity and change are both natural parts of the human story. Much study of history focuses on what, how, and why change occurred. Yet continuity—the absence of change—is also important in writing the historical story.

Select several folksongs or folktales from the collection and identify ideas, traditions, and values embedded in the songs or tales.

  • Do folktales and folksongs represent continuity, change, or both? Explain your answer.
  • How can stories passed by word of mouth from generation to generation help maintain cultural heritage?
  • What evidence can you find that folklore and folk music have influenced popular culture today? What insights about continuity and change can you garner by looking at these influences?