From These Beginnings
Language Arts Activity
Students prepare a bulletin board that shows the changing identity of their
state before and after statehood.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Large bulletin board
- Reference materials with state history
WHAT TO DO
- Prepare a bulletin board by dividing it in half vertically and identifying
the dividing line with your year of statehood.
- Show students pictures of an earlier times, such as one of a familiar street
or building. Have them compare it to a recent photograph and discuss how it has
changed over time.
- Tell students that they are going to use the bulletin board to show how
their state changed over a period of about 100 years. On the left side of the
board they will use pictures and text to show what life was like at least 50
years before statehood; the right will show life about 50 years after statehood
- Assign, or have students choose, partners. Explain that together they will
research one area of their state's history then prepare material for both sides
of the dividing line. Ask for student ideas on what they might research. Use
the following suggestions to stimulate discussion.
Trace the changes in
- a city (especially one with "fort" as part of its name)
- law enforcement
- leisure activities
- rural versus urban living
- Establish guidelines for students' work, types of
illustrations, bibliography, and so forth. Be sure students understand the difference between things that
changed because of statehood and things that changed for other reasons, such as clothing fashions.
Some students might contrast the two eras by choosing a historical figure from
each one and comparing their deeds and accomplishments.
Students might also compare life for a particular group of people, such as
Native Americans, who lived in the area before European settlers arrived.
After completing the bulletin board and discussing, in broad terms, the
changes that took place, encourage students to find the similarities between
their lives and those of earlier inhabitants of the state. Guide them to the
recognition that though outward forms may change, the basic needs and wants of
people are not that different.
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