Local History in the Classroom

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Local History in the Classroom

  1. 1. Backyard History - Teaching History With a Local Flavor Jeremy Potter Ida Middle School
  2. 2. What do our kids think of history? <ul><li>It's boring because there are too many dates and events to remember. </li></ul><ul><li>Adam S. </li></ul><ul><li>I don't like to sit around and just talk. We need to get more involved. </li></ul><ul><li>Alex C. </li></ul><ul><li>I don't like learning about old people that have died. </li></ul><ul><li>Tabatha L. </li></ul><ul><li>I don't like learning about places far away from me that don't involve me. </li></ul><ul><li>Mara H. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why is local history so important to teach/learn? <ul><li>&quot;Students can benefit in several ways from researching their school history. . . This is history that is near at hand and that has a direct connection to their lives.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>--Larry J. Hackman, New York State Archivist, 1985 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Forget the generals and the queens and the kings. Small-town studies can add up to something that has important implications.” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-- Dr Alfred N. Hunt, Dean of College of Arts/Letters SUNY </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Why is local history so important to teach/learn? <ul><li>“ Local history may be of greater ethical value than national or world history, for by it the work of obscure men and women of whom the world at large can never hear, may be noticed and remembered.” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>James E. Le Rossignol, Nebraska State Hist. Soc. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>“ This is way better than study hall.” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stephanie Kipp, IMS 7th Grade </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Ida, MI (pop. 550)
  6. 6. Where do you go to find history? <ul><li>Gettysburg? </li></ul><ul><li>Greenfield Village? </li></ul><ul><li>Michigan Historical Museum? </li></ul>
  7. 7. You can find history in your own backyard
  8. 8. <ul><li>Local history needs to be preserved </li></ul>
  9. 10. Original Purpose <ul><li>To catalogue and archive Ida Public School information and artifacts </li></ul><ul><li>31 students initially signed up </li></ul>
  10. 11. By the numbers <ul><li>Spring 2005 - 78 out of 130 6th graders signed up to take the class the following fall. </li></ul><ul><li>2007-2008 - 47 7th and 8th graders in the class. </li></ul><ul><li>Over 90 signed up in the spring, 1/3 of students in grades 7 and 8 </li></ul>
  11. 12. Make Local History Fun Make Local History Meaningful
  12. 13. Tailgater / Buzzer Beater 6-8 P4.2.3 <ul><li>Football/basketball program handed out at all Varsity home games </li></ul><ul><li>Focuses on historical matchup vs. that opponent </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.michigan-football.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Great PR </li></ul>
  13. 14. Yearbook 6-8 P4.2.3 <ul><li>A yearbook is a slice of your school’s history </li></ul><ul><li>Kids take pride in the idea of producing something for their peers </li></ul>
  14. 15. Ida History Night 6-8 P4.2.3 6/7 H1.2.1 8 U6.2.1 <ul><li>Get with local library to put this on </li></ul><ul><li>Sharpens research, presentation skills </li></ul><ul><li>Great PR for your group or class </li></ul><ul><li>Sports, schools, railroad, businesses, famous people, general history, etc. </li></ul>
  15. 16. Websites 6-8 P4.2.3 6/7 H1.2.1 <ul><li>Unlimited space, zero $$ resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Kids love technology, if it’s done right . </li></ul><ul><li>More PR </li></ul><ul><li>Host with your school or city/township </li></ul>
  16. 17. Town Tours 6-8 P4.2.3 <ul><li>Walking tour of your town </li></ul><ul><li>Open to the public </li></ul><ul><li>Another great chance for students to sharpen research/presentation skills </li></ul>
  17. 18. Field Trips Through Town <ul><li>No cost </li></ul><ul><li>Kids love getting out of class </li></ul><ul><li>History in the least obvious places </li></ul>
  18. 19. Genealogy 6/7 H1.2.1 <ul><li>Family history is important to the students. </li></ul><ul><li>Do as little or as much as you want </li></ul>
  19. 20. Easy-to-use Websites for Genealogy Research http://genealogy.about.com/od/lesson_plans/ http://persi.heritagequestonline.com/hqoweb/library/do/persi http://ancestrylibrary.proquest.com/aleweb/ale/do/login
  20. 21. Documentaries 6-8 P4.2.3 8 U6.2.1 <ul><li>Tales of the River Raisin </li></ul><ul><li>Check with local P.A. studio, college, ISD for video capabilities </li></ul><ul><li>i-movie </li></ul>
  21. 22. Local Historical Re-enactments 6-8 P4.2.3 <ul><li>Lantern Tours </li></ul><ul><li>Battle at River Raisin </li></ul><ul><li>Niagra </li></ul>
  22. 23. Map Activities 6/7 H1.2.1 6/7 G4.3.2 <ul><li>Maps can usually be obtained from local museums </li></ul><ul><li>Memory mapping </li></ul><ul><li>Plat maps </li></ul><ul><li>Butcher paper mapping </li></ul>
  23. 24. School History 6/7 H1.2.1 <ul><li>Kids love to learn about their school - It’s important to them </li></ul><ul><li>Bring in former teachers/students </li></ul>
  24. 25. One-Room Schools 6/7 H1.2.1 8 U6.2.1 <ul><li>Locals can provide much of this info </li></ul><ul><li>The Bess Britton Michigan One-Room Schoolhouse Collection (Van Buren Library) </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.one-roomschool.org/ </li></ul>
  25. 26. Oral History 6-8 P4.2.3 6/7 H1.2.1 <ul><li>Interviews of local residents </li></ul><ul><li>CDs can be made for libraries, museums, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Library of Congress Project - http://www.loc.gov/vets </li></ul><ul><li>Great community service project </li></ul>
  26. 27. Sports Projects 6-8 P4.2.3 6/7 H1.2.1 <ul><li>Tailgater </li></ul><ul><li>Websites </li></ul><ul><li>Archiving sports articles </li></ul>
  27. 28. Murals 6-8 P4.2.3 <ul><li>History Murals </li></ul><ul><li>Work with art teachers to create these </li></ul><ul><li>Study halls, 4’x8’ boards </li></ul>
  28. 29. Calendars 6-8 P4.2.3 6/7 H1.2.1 <ul><li>Old photos make great calendar pages </li></ul><ul><li>Great for PR </li></ul><ul><li>Can work with school, township, local business and get it funded, as well </li></ul>
  29. 30. History Room 6-8 P4.2.3 6/7 H1.2.1 <ul><li>Work with local library to maintain/create history room </li></ul><ul><li>Access to local history widens greatly </li></ul>
  30. 31. Library Pictures 6-8 P4.2.3 <ul><li>Another great research tool </li></ul><ul><li>$6,000 fully funded project </li></ul><ul><li>More great PR - community and recruiting tool </li></ul>
  31. 32. Census Projects 6/7 H1.2.1 8 U5.2.5 8 U6.2.1 <ul><li>You can do entire units using local census info </li></ul><ul><li>We use census for homesteading project </li></ul><ul><li>Civil War project </li></ul>
  32. 33. Phone Book Articles 6-8 P4.2.3 6/7 H1.2.1 <ul><li>Working with local phone book company to publish Ida History </li></ul><ul><li>Another great ownership tool </li></ul><ul><li>PR </li></ul>
  33. 34. Ida History Week 6/7 H1.2.1 <ul><li>I spend a week with 6th grade students studying Ida History </li></ul><ul><li>Use as a recruiting tool </li></ul><ul><li>Bring along trustworthy BHC students to help recruit </li></ul>
  34. 35. Community Projects 6-8 P4.2.3 6/7 P3.1.1 <ul><li>Historical Plaques </li></ul><ul><li>Flowers, landscaping </li></ul><ul><li>Clean up days </li></ul>
  35. 36. Float Building 6-8 P4.2.3 <ul><li>More great PR for your group </li></ul><ul><li>Get involved with local museums, organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Fun! </li></ul>
  36. 37. Textbook Publishing 6-8 P4.2.3 6/7 H1.2.1 <ul><li>New 2nd grade GLCEs - local community/history emphasis </li></ul><ul><li>Why not publish a book for your district’s 2nd graders? </li></ul><ul><li>www.lulu.com </li></ul>
  37. 38. Homestead Project 8 U4.2.3 <ul><li>Replace simulations with real people from local history </li></ul><ul><li>Redraw maps </li></ul><ul><li>Compare their history to actual history </li></ul>
  38. 39. And the kids like it because … <ul><li>It's fun imagining that you're early settlers of 1837 in Ida. </li></ul><ul><li>Zach H. </li></ul><ul><li>It shows us what Ida was like in 1837. </li></ul><ul><li>Henry H. </li></ul><ul><li>We get to see how it was in our town and how it started. </li></ul><ul><li>Bailey P. </li></ul>
  39. 40. Newspaper Articles 6-8 P4.2.3 <ul><li>Get with local newspaper </li></ul><ul><li>Publish once a month </li></ul><ul><li>More great PR </li></ul><ul><li>Ownership/ Authentic </li></ul>
  40. 41. Wikipedia 6-8 P4.2.3 <ul><li>Instant Publishing </li></ul><ul><li>Ownership of the informaiton </li></ul><ul><li>Betty Whiting </li></ul>
  41. 42. School Showcases 6-8 P4.2.3 6/7 H1.2.1 <ul><li>Pick a theme (ex: 1940s in Ida) </li></ul><ul><li>Change display every 1-2 months </li></ul><ul><li>Instant recognition amongst peers </li></ul>
  42. 43. Demographics Lesson 6/7 P3.1.1 <ul><li>Can be done in 1-2 days </li></ul><ul><li>Gives instant demographics info to your students </li></ul><ul><li>Sperling’s Best Places </li></ul>
  43. 44. Archiving 6-8 P4.2.3 6/7 H1.2.1 <ul><li>Schools produce rich historical records </li></ul><ul><li>Two purposes: </li></ul><ul><li>repository </li></ul><ul><li>teaching research-related skills </li></ul>
  44. 45. Items to collect in your archives <ul><li>handbooks </li></ul><ul><li>newspapers </li></ul><ul><li>yearbooks </li></ul><ul><li>menus </li></ul><ul><li>textbooks </li></ul><ul><li>term papers </li></ul><ul><li>(school and community related) </li></ul><ul><li>artifacts </li></ul><ul><li>newspaper articles </li></ul><ul><li>programs </li></ul><ul><li>oral histories </li></ul><ul><li>scrapbooks </li></ul><ul><li>videos </li></ul>
  45. 46. Local Timelines 6-8 P4.2.3 6/7 H1.2.1 8 U6.2.1 <ul><li>History of your hometown </li></ul><ul><li>History of your School </li></ul><ul><li>Dual timelines </li></ul>
  46. 47. Working with Elementary Students 6-8 P4.2.3 6/7 H1.2.1 <ul><li>2nd grade - local history/community GLCE requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Districts love inter-building partnerships </li></ul>
  47. 48. How do you start your own BHC program? <ul><li>Find allies Superintendent, school board members, principal, business leaders, museum officials, library officials, town/township officials, curriculum director </li></ul>
  48. 49. How do you start your own BHC program? <ul><li>Accentuate the Positive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research; project-based </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enrichment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces number of study hall students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bringing in experts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Research librarians, Archivists, Museum officials </li></ul></ul></ul>
  49. 50. Tie Into your School Improvement Plan <ul><li>Literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Problem Solving </li></ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Character Education </li></ul>
  50. 51. Budget Small <ul><li>Keep your costs low - most districts tell us they are strapped for cash. </li></ul><ul><li>Our expenses are approximately $200 per year. </li></ul><ul><li>Any extra money we need, we fundraise or get community donations </li></ul>
  51. 52. What students do you involve? <ul><li>Self-motivated students </li></ul><ul><li>Students with strong interest in local town </li></ul><ul><li>These may not all be the honor students </li></ul><ul><li>Keep class size small, if possible. No more than 20. </li></ul>
  52. 53. How Do You Recruit? <ul><li>Let your class and the projects your students work on do the recruiting for you. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This helps you recruit all year </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Take a few minutes to talk to students in the grade below yours. Take students in the class with you to answer questions. </li></ul>
  53. 54. How do you recruit? <ul><li>Talk to social studies, English teachers in the grade below you. Find good writers, creative people, students w/ interest in social studies. </li></ul><ul><li>Single out locals to fill some of your slots. </li></ul><ul><li>Insist that you be given the power to make decisions on how to fill class. </li></ul><ul><li>As the class grows and becomes more popular, you may want to initiate an application process. </li></ul>
  54. 55. What do my kids say about the BHC? <ul><li>I think it’s so cool that that we had a well-known baseball player and a famous Little Golden Book author. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sarah O. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>It was interesting to learn things about town history that I didn’t know before. Most of the things I probably never would have learned if I wasn’t in BHC. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Kyle R. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  55. 56. <ul><li>I thought learning about the events in how Ida started was pretty neat. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Doug V. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>We worked on so many projects that will help the rest of Ida learn about the events and people that shaped our history. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Melanie H. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  56. 57. Sources worth noting http://genealogy.about.com/od/lesson_plans/ http://persi.heritagequestonline.com/hqoweb/library/do/persi http://ancestrylibrary.proquest.com/aleweb/ale/do/login http://www.lulu.com http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page http://www.archives.gov/about/history/building-an-archives/school-archives.html http://www.one-roomschool.org/ http://www.monroeccc.edu/monroehistory/civil_war_letters/letters.htm http://www.bestplaces.net/ http://www.houseofnames.com/ http://woodlands.lib.mi.us/van/britton.htm http://www.backyard-history.com/ http://www.aaslh.org/
  57. 58. Questions/Comments <ul><li>Jeremy Potter </li></ul><ul><li>Ida Middle School </li></ul><ul><li>(734) 790-0918 h/c </li></ul><ul><li>(734) 269-9003 x2318 w </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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