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'Iolani School Archives: 'Iolani History, Culture & Place-based Learning

The ‘Iolani School Archives collects, organizes, preserves and provides access to historical records of ‘Iolani School.


Above steps by the National Archives

Teaching with Primary Sources

*Also see the Teaching and Primary Sources box in the Links tab of this guide.

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'Iolani History, Culture & Place-based Learning

2nd Grade Faculty!

As 'Iolani second graders develop into historians they have the opportunity to visit the Archives to learn about the rich history and traditions of our school. This is a wonderful way to begin the year which will see them delving into family histories and sparking conversations about related major events. The Archives experience will introduce the students to new vocabulary, primary sources, improve visual literacy, and encourage inquiry with the added benefit of personal connection to history through shared place.
The following is primarily intended to complement your existing teaching units.


Grade: 2


Location: 'Iolani School Archives. Adaptable for Distance Learning.


Time allotment: 25 - 30 minute increments; for about 15 students at a time.


Background and Tie-in
2nd graders study the heritage of their families throughout the year and culminates in a multidisciplinary performance program, Families Are Forever. At the beginning of the SY they learn how to be 2nd Grade Historians by learning about the history and culture of ‘Iolani School. Both are accomplished through the frames of:

  • Stories (Archives ex: King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma; Col. Curtis Iaukea, Roberta Caldwell)
  • Culture (Archives ex: One Team)
  • Traditions (Archives ex: Fair; Keables & academic excellence)



Introduction to the Space:

  • VOCAB : Archives; Archivist - Students repeat the words aloud.
    • What is an archive? Space, house for history.
    • What is an archivist? Takes care of things from history.
      For example, pictures...


"Meeting" Photographs:
The Archives features a wall display of oversize photograph reproductions from throughout the history of the school.
The Archivist will lead a discussion based on observations of select photographs.

  • Did 'Iolani School always live on this campus?
    No. These are pictures from different campuses
  • Analysis of Gr. 2 SY 1939/40 Nu‘uanu Campus image:
    • VOCAB : Similarities - What does "similarities" mean?
      Alike, not exactly the same.
    • Say "hello photograph."
    • This is 2nd grade 80 years ago!
    • Let's make some observations about the photo:
      • What are some similarities to your classroom?
      • What are some differences from your classroom?
  • Baseball team SY 1916/17 St. Andrew's Cathedral Grounds image:
    • Past school colors were blue and white.
    • Beginning in 1917, school colors were blue and white.
    • 1936 Interscholastic League = red, black, white.
  • Why is it hard for us to tell the colors in this photo?
    • Black and white photography
  • Good job meeting the photos and making observations of details!


Stories - Stories from School History
['Iolani History exhibition]

  • King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma
    • VOCAB : Community - What does "community" mean?
      A place or area where you spend the most of your time; work, play, exercise, school
    • Service to their community
    • Wanted to make schools to teach the children of Hawai'i to become its future leaders
  • Col. Curtis Pi'ehu Iaukea
    • An example of the King and Queen's vision
    • One of the earliest students, attended ages 7-15, started at your age!
    • Grew up to work for kings and queens, and the government
    • VOCAB : Government - What does "government" mean?
      Makes rules to keep people safe and help people work together.
  • Roberta Caldwell, only female HOS (1921)
    • In all of its over 150 years as a school, there has been only 1 female HOS, only temporarily, for a few months
    • There have been changes for women over time; for example: there was a time women didn't work outside the home, then when they couldn't be leaders, only men.
    • Do you think that is fair?
    • Do you think girls can be leaders in school?
    • Do you think women can be leaders in the work place?
  • Coeducation
    • News coverage video of first day of Fall 1979; grades 7 & 9 coeducation (00:02:05)
    • Coed Kindergarten later (Fall 1985)
      [RG028 Lower School Photograph Collection, Box 3 -- AWC LS SY 1985/86, Class of 1998 Kindergarten]
  • School closures
    • COVID-19
      • Who remembers when the school closed; when we had to learn and talk over the computer?
    • [RG021 Publications -- Institutional Serial Publications -- 'Iolani School Bulletin, LXI, No. 1, 2020, p. 4-5, ref copy]
      [As yet undetermined MS # COVID-19 Collection -- Distance Learning Plan 2020/21, cover]
    • WWII - 1942 yearbook
      • The school closed once before: Pearl Harbor bombing. You will be learning about your family heritage and some of you may hear stories about that time.
    • [RG021 Publications -- Student Serial Publications -- Ka Mo'olelo O 'Iolani, 1942 ref copy]


Culture - School Culture

  • Rev. Kenneth A Bray / Edward "Eddie" K. Hamada / One Team
    • VOCAB : Culture - What does "culture" mean?
      The way of life of a group, the way they do things.
    • The school culture is One Team
      Every person is an important part of working together, helping each other.
    [MS003 Fr. Bray Collection -- Artifacts, Box 7 Seabiscuit Horseshoe]
    [MS003 Fr. Bray Collection -- Clean Sweep artwork, oversize reproduction]
    [MS003 Fr. Bray Collection -- Seabiscuit at Del Mar, CA 1938, image reproduction]
    ["The Bray Legacy" display board]
    [RG024 Artifacts Collection, Box 19 -- Athletics -- Football -- AF_athletics_8 helmet]
    [As yet undetermined # -- 1959 game football]
    [Coach Hamada '46 with Elroy Chong '69 in 1967, oversize reproduction]


Traditions - School Traditions

  • Fair
    • VOCAB : Tradition - What does "tradition" mean?
      Can be from culture, a belief; special event or activity, something done again and again over time.
    • started in 1948, 73 years ago, as Fun Festival
    • [RG028 Photographs & Prints -- Subject Photograph Collection, Box 6 -- AWC -- Carnival : Night Ferris Wheel, 1962/63; LS boys in a boat ride; LS girl with cotton candy on Carousel horse; Centennial Carnival jacket image, 1962/63]
    • Student newspaper article of first Fair, Imua May 04, 1948
    • [RG021 Publications -- Student Serial Publications -- Imua 'Iolani, Box 1 -- SY 1947/48, May 04, 1948]
  • Academic Excellence / Harold Keables
    • Reading and Writing teacher (1964 - 1980)
    • he always wanted to make sure the students tried their very best on schoolwork
    • [RG028 Photographs & Prints -- Subject Photograph Collection, Box 7 -- AWC -- Fac/Staff/Adm, Keables, Howard]


Future Stories

  • K-1 Community
  • [RG021 Publications -- Institutional Serial Publications -- 'Iolani School Bulletin, LX, No. 3, 2020, p. 32-33, ref copy]
  • That is not the first time buildings were made.
  • [RG028 Photographs & Prints -- Subject Photograph Collection, Box 5 -- Buildings & Grounds -- Lower School : Lower School 1954-1964 with hoops, warehouse bays, Quonset hut, and kids; Lower School bldg with tar/gravel roof demolished; ca. 1965 construction of brick bldg]
  • The Archives will also save things from your time here!


Viewing of closed stacks / Q & A

  • special folders and boxes
  • special temperature
  • to house one-of-a kind things and help them last as long as possible




Archives :
a space, house for the things left of history

Archivist :
a person who works in the archive and takes care of the things from history

Community :
a place or area where you spend the most of your time; work, play, exercise, go to school

Culture :
they way of life of a group, the way they do things

Government :
makes rules to keep people safe and help people work together

Similarities :
alike, not exactly the same

Tradition :
can be from a culture, a belief; special event or activity, something done again and again over time


Related Videos:
*Some videos require 'Iolani School faculty/staff/student login.

Digital Versions for Distance Learning

Important Questions in the Study of Primary Sources infographic

(Click to enlarge.)

Thanks for reviewing a draft of
"Important Questions" go to
Dr. Melissa Perkins,
'Iolani School History Faculty
2021 Hawai'i History Teacher of the Year

(Click to enlarge.)