Kids use observational skills when they explore the neighborhood around
their school. They document landmark buildings and community organizations
with instant cameras, and learn about neighborhood changes from parents,
teachers, and community figures. Neighborhood appreciation occurs
as students write about their excursions, use software to design a
local map, and donate the finished product to the school.
For more about this special from
Richness of Roxbury..., e-mail
Alma Wright, author and AT&T
Understand the concepts of physical geography.
Use technology to present information.
Conduct historical and social studies research.
Understand and use the writing process effectively.
Preparation for walking tours becomes the studentsí responsibility
as they read about community features. Locating local streets on a
web site helps them plan routes. Students practice word processing
skills to write and format permission slips, and invite parents and
knowledgeable community members to
walk with them. They learn about Polaroid cameras and
strategize sharing procedures for each student group. During the tour,
children take notes on their conversations with experts. Back in the
classroom they develop chart stories and a neighborhood map.
Developing neighborhood know-how prepares students to act as Guides
for a planned Neighborhood Tour. Displaying the map near the school
entrance gives several classes a chance to visualize their environment.
As students prepare to organize a Neighborhood Tour, they observe
the demeanor of their invited guests and discuss skills needed to
become a tour guide and a photographer.
Exploring Our World and Communities by Kathleen M. Hollenbeck,
1997: Scholastic Inc.; My Community by Jill Norris, 1996: Evan-Moor
Educational Publisher; How to Draw Maps and Charts by P. Beasant
& A. Smith, 1993: Scholastic, Inc.; materials for invitations and
stories, Polaroid cameras and film.
Students word process invitations and permission slips with ClarisWorks;
work with "Neighborhood Map Machine" and an overhead projector to
create a local map; discover their own street maps on the Internet.
Organizing and labeling photographs allow children and teacher to
check for landmark recognition. The finished map product serves to
evaluate developing map reading skills.
a powerful way for students to find their streets. Kids feel their
own sense of place with this tool.
More about Walking Tours can be found at the
Boston Women's Heritage Trail