TOURS R US ~ History Comes Alive
Overview How can students visualize the past? When they explore historic places. Tours R US promotes U.S. history in middle schoolers' own backyard. As they train to become junior tour guides for the Loring-Greenough House, they learn why this Jamaica Plain neighbor appears in the Registry of Historic Houses and on the Boston Women's Heritage Trail. Researching its eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century background and learning about other historic sites, these young researchers become comfortable with terms like Georgian and Victorian, Tory and Patriot, Union and Confederacy. Note taking and public speaking become second nature as they prepare to share the stories behind the doors of a colonial mansion. Come dress rehearsal and their first tour presentation, students impress visiting community members - including senior citizens, parents and school visitors - by making history come alive.
Assessment Teacher and students schedule conferences to evaluate journal progress and tour narratives. Results of quizzes and answers to literature study questions are discussed and recorded. Feedback results and observations assess junior tour guides' mastery of technique and information.
Software or Materials Used For narratives and computer slide presentations: Microsoft Office; for research software: Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe 2000; for background on U.S. history: Cobblestones magazines; Unknown Hands Everyday Life of Bostonians in 1800 published by Society for Preservation of New England Antiquities SPNEA; for books on Revolution, Civil War and period architecture: Book List for TOURS R US.
Web Sites Web Sites for TOURS R US
Keywords American Revolution, Architecture, Boston, Boston Women's Heritage Trail, BWHT, Civil War, American Colonial Period, Jamaica Plain, Loring-Greenough House, Society for Preservation of New England Antiquities, SPNEA, U. S. History, School to Career, Tory, Victorian Period
Final Words TOURS R US lets children take ownership of their communities and feel a sense of belonging and contributing. If you're looking for ways to relate history to students' lives, this is it. Long after our junior guides forget the dates of the battles, they'll remember how Tories and Patriots lived and thought during the Revolution.
Teacher Tip At last. A way to get kids doing things out in the neighborhood. Every neighborhood has some special place that is just dying for help. Don't get discouraged if you don't get it all done the first year. Build on the curriculum and the historic site partnership every year. What a great way for kids to show off their skills and service to the community!
Contact Marilyn Hyder
Teacher Bio Marilyn Hyder teaches history at the Mary E. Curley Middle School, a School to Career School. She has written curriculum for the Boston Ballet, PBS Dance Curriculum, BPS AIDS Curriculum, and the Harbor Connections Curriculum Model. Currently a Lead Teacher, she has also been an Instructional Support teacher, coordinator for AIDS, drug and violence prevention education programs, and recipient of several Massachusetts Cultural Council PASS Program grants. As a longtime Boston IMPACT II member, she has presented workshops for the Bostonian Society, We the People… and Boston Ballet. Marilyn's recent appointment to the Boston Women's Memorial Curriculum advisory board confirms her dedication to American history.
Subject Areas U.S, History, English Language Arts, Art, Technology
Grade Levels 7 & 8 adaptable to high school