Teaching State History: An Outline With Projects
- Friday, October 12, 2012
Activity: Find the names of the tribes who lived in your state. Make a booklet about one of the tribes. Label and draw pictures to illustrate a page for each of these topics: food, dress, home, and language.
Activity: Find out specifically where each tribe lived. Draw a simple map of your state. Color the map and label the locations.
1. European Immigrants
Activity: Find out what brought immigrants to your state. In a book about your state, check the index for names of specific nationalities. Make a chart with the nationalities and the reasons they left their homes to come to your state. An interesting site online is The New York Times Immigration Explorer. You can click on a nationality and move a slide to show its population in your state through the years.
2. Movement From Other States
Activity: Check to see if groups of people moved from another state to your state and find out why. Make another chart that illustrates this information.
3. Personal Family History
Activity: Draw a family tree and include the locations where your ancestors were born. Ask your grandparents and/or use one of the online genealogy sites.
1. Past Industries
Activity: Make a timeline to show which industries operated at different times in your state’s history. One way to divide the timeline is according to the beginning dates of wars. War usually changed a state’s industries, especially the Revolutionary War (1775–1783), the Civil War (1861–1865), World War I (1914–1918), and World War II (1939–1945).
2. Specific Industry
Activity: Pick one of the early industries of your state. Learn more about it. Read a description of one of the processes involved in that industry. For example, the iron industry needed charcoal. If the production of iron was an early industry in your state, read about how the charcoal was produced. Another industry was lumbering. How did the logs reach the cities? Draw a cartoon-type illustration to show one of the processes involved in the industry that you chose.
3. Great Inventors
Activity: Find out if any great inventors lived in your state. Look in your reference books or do an online search for “great inventors from (your state’s name).” Draw a picture of some of their inventions, or take photos of modern tools that have been developed as a result of their inventions. Label each with the inventor’s name.
1. Catastrophic Events
Activity: Read first-person accounts of catastrophic events in your state. Fill in a chart for each event to answer who, what, when, where, and how.
2. Other Events
Activity: Each state has a unique history. What unique events took place in your state? If possible, conduct an interview with someone who knows about it. First, make a list of questions to ask. Then, as you interview, take notes or video record. If you have no living resource person, read a firsthand written account from that period and make up a pretend interview with answers that use real facts.
1. State or National Parks
Activity: Investigate how the state and national parks in your state came to be and how they got their names. Use a website that gives information about the parks. Look for the historical information section. Design a game based on the information that you find. Write clues about each park and make a path with them on the game board. Prepare and keep nearby a master sheet that lists the answers. Invite a friend or family member to play. Use a die to move. Whoever can identify the park gets to move extra spaces. First one to the end wins!
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