The Classroom in the Community

  • Have students survey old homes in the community. Groups of students studying one or more houses can learn about the history of a particular home and then write a real estate advertisement that incorporates some of the historical information they discovered.
  • Find out about the concerts, festivals, and other entertainment events that will be occurring in your area. Have students create a calendar of events, complete with descriptions of each activity.
  • Have students write about the history of your school. They can also research and write about the first schools in the area.
  • Are there artists or scientists in your community whose work centers on the local area? If so, have students interview them. They can also interview antique dealers to find out what kinds of old objects the dealers get from the community. Have students publish their interviews in the school newspaper.
  • Have students write and illustrate for younger students books that describe notable people in your community.
  • Have students create a community scrapbook. Divide them into groups and have each group study a different aspect of, or area within, the community. Each group can contribute photos and other items to the scrapbook. Have the groups write captions for their contributions.
  • If there are controversies in your neighborhood over historic preservation, encourage the students to research and write editorials about these issues.
  • Have students start a column in the school newspaper featuring "day-in-the-life" pieces that describe life in the past. They can also write short blurbs for a column whose theme is "on this day in history."
  • Have students collect information about popular fashions in the school. They can use their findings to write news features about different styles of clothing.
  • Have students write about collections they have at home. Encourage them to try unconventional ways of presenting the information, e.g., through poetry, plays, and dialogues.
  • Have students write and illustrate comic strips or comic books about past life in your community.

Last Modified September 19, 1997>