Geography Day Two: Our Town

Objectives:

  • Students will  identify contributions of patriots and good citizens who have shaped the community of Huntsville.
  • place events in chronological order

Supplies:

  • Portable Tablet loaded with photos from the lesson plan.
  • Index cards with the significant pictures on them, (printed or sketched).  Write the dates on the back.
  • A pre cut circle from the original lesson, labeled My City, or with the City’s name.

Prelude:  Alabama has insufferably hot summers, that make it very rare that anyone is really willing to venture outside the house, but on a day called Our Town, how can you not head downtown to really admire the beauty and greatness that is the heart and soul of your town?

I packed a picnic baskets full of healthy easy to eat snacks.  Crackers with cream cheese and chopped cucumbers, carrots, appl
e slices, blueberries, peanut butter sandwiches, and juice boxes.   With a picnic basket over my shoulder, Baby K strapped to my chest, B on my left hand and Lil A on my
right we made our way through the Big Spring Park in Downtown Huntsville AL.   We sought a spot with very little litter (very difficult to do at any park or playground in this town), but near enough to the canal to watch the goldfish swimming downstream.

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The Presentation: When we were all settled and their hands became busy gobbling up their delicious treats I pulled out my daughter’s iPad from the bottom of the basket.   On it i had downloaded a series of pictures that told the story of how Huntsville came to be.  I included pictures of the natives, and then of the founders, we looked at old road maps, and pointed out where we were standing.   And finally we progressed to the space age, and how Huntsville was selected by the german scientists and NASA.

I find myself surprised just how interested the kids were, the pictures definitely were a huge help.   B asked questions that only supported my observation of his intent engagement.   Lil A loved the rockets, and showed great excitement at the photos I had chosen.

Comprehensive Review:  On index cards I had pictures from the tale of our city.   I had the kids place the cards in order, explaining to me to the best of their ability what was significant in each picture.

Explore & Create: After we completed the lesson I had the kids draw downtown from their perspectives.  What came out was a single building and a scribble…my kids always in such a rush to get things done.   I had to request that they add more detail, and both did on the back of their circle.

As a reward, with Baby K once again strapped to my chest, the kids and I hiked to the nearest ice cream shop for a special dessert!  I put B in charge of keeping an eye on the time, considering he had been the one to pay the parking meter.

Math Bonus:  Place Value.   On the back of the index cards place the years of each event.  Have the student read aloud the dates as they should be read, and then have them place them in order, creating a time line.

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