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Keywords: reading, history, community helpers, town, signs
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Social Studies, Photography, Technology, Art, Journalism, History
Grades 1 through 3
School: Hayesville Elementary School, Hayesville, NC
Planned By: Missy Johnson
Original Author: Missy Johnson, Hayesville
The class will take several morning walks to our downtown area and tour businesses, the post office, the museum in the old jail, the old court house, and the newspaper office.

Students will explore why we read by noticing signs in the downtown area and the important information that we get from reading these signs. They will work in groups, photographing some the signs that they notice during our trip.

Students will learn some of the county's history as well by touring the museum that is located in the old jail. They will hear stories about local people and see many historical artifacts, such as tractors, distilleries, and agricultural artifacts. Again students will take photos to contribute to the culminating project.

Students will meet postal workers, police officers, firemen, and reporters. They will learn what these community helpers do for our town and have the opportunity to briefly ask questions. Students will again take photos to use in the culminating project.

Students will visit the newspaper office and see how reporters get the scoop, put together the story and photos, and how the newspaper comes together. They will also learn how valuable of a resource the town's newspaper is to the community.

Following the trip to the downtown area, students will embark on a week long project. They will create a digital scrapbook using clip art, animation, and paint software. They will insert their photos and short captions describing what they learned about each of the artifacts, places, or people. The digital scrapbook will be divided into these major components: Community Helpers, Signs, History of Our Town, and Putting It All Together (showcasing what they learned about putting a newspaper together and how they produced their final product).

In the end, students will have a lasting learning experience that they can share with family, friends, and other students. They will have learned about their community and how important reading can be in their daily lives.
Follow-Up
Students will write letters to members of the community who helped make their trip a successful learning opportunity.
Materials: Slideshow, Point and Shoot