Title: A River Runs Through Our Town#106

National Standard: 6 How culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions.

State Standard: 11

Teaching Level: E

Objectives/Purpose: Students will interview local town residents asking them to describe the history, the use, and their memories of a river, brook, pond, lake, etc, common to the community. Students will interpret the information in the form of a drawing and a few descriptive sentences.

Materials: Large paper (30" x 24" easel paper or larger), paper (9" x 6") at least 18 pieces, coloring utensils, tape

Procedure:

1)Determine a local body of water that will be used as the focal point of the lesson. A river will be used as the example for this lesson.

2)Draw an aerial sketch of the river as it runs through the community. Include important physical and human landmarks, as determined by the students. A base sketch may be presented to the students or ideas could be generated and a student or groups of students could create the sketch.

3)Assign students, individually or as small groups, to interview long-time local residents. They are to form interview questions, which will allow the students to understand the individual's perception of the river. Sample questions might include: What activities did you see other people doing at the river? What activities did you engage in at the river? What are some memories you have of the river? Have farmers or businesses used the river?

4)Students are to create a drawing of the river using the information and description gained by the interview with the local resident. They are to include sentences describing their scene. Example: "Mrs. Morin said that when her children were younger they would go to the river to swim and wade. Her oldest son caught a huge perch there one summer."

5)When the drawings are complete arrange them as a border around the edge of the large sketch of the river. Use tape to attach the pictures to the sketch.

6) Invite the interviewees to view the finished display.

Evaluation/Assessment: Student interview questions and answers. Feedback from the interviewees.

Reflection: How successful was this lesson? Did all students benefit? Were there any surprises? What might you do differently another time? Please note any changes that will make this lesson more effective and useful in the future and pass them along to the NHGA. We appreciate your comments.
Thank you.
The authors.


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