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Local History Guided Tour Podcasts

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Keywords: podcast, history, local
Subject(s): Writing, Social Studies, History
Grades 5 through 12
School: Cape Cod Lighthouse Chtr Sch, Orleans, MA
Planned By: Daniella Garran
Original Author: Daniella Garran, Orleans
OBJECTIVE: Learn about local history and podcast technology.

MATERIALS NEEDED: Podcast software, microphone, headsets, digital voice recorders,

LESSON DESCRIPTION: Students will research the history and significance of chosen landmarks and historic sites. They will then write a brief description of the site for inclusion in a podcast which can also be used as a "driving tour" of the area.

1. Prior to class, the teacher should prepare a list of local landmarks and historic sites they wish to have students research and to include in the podcast.

2. Lead the class in a discussion of what makes a landmark or a historic site. Keep a record of these qualities on the board or on chart paper.

3. Have students make a list of as many local landmarks and historical sites as possible. Write the list on the board or on chart paper.

4. Have students choose one landmark or historic site of interest to them (or assign them if you prefer). Students should find out why the site is significant (in other words, what happened there to make it significant), when it was important in local history, if the site's use has changed over time, whether has any special designation (e.g.: National Historic Site), and what it is used for now. Teachers may choose to collaborate with local historical societies or chambers of commerce to facilitate and enhance students' research.

5. Once their research is complete, ask students to write a two paragraph summary of their research. Some teachers may choose to have students engage in peer editing. Once students' writing is clear and concise, they should practice reading the paragraphs aloud.

6. Students will record themselves reading the paragraphs they have written about their specific landmarks and historical sites using podcast software.

7. Edit the podcast to include an introduction welcoming visitors to the area and a conclusion summing up what they have learned.

8. Make the podcast available on your school's web site. Reach out to the local historical society and chamber of commerce to inquire as to whether they would be interest in making the podcast available as well. Suggest that visitors to the area could download the podcast and take a driving tour of the area.

9. If time allows, have students create a downloadable family fun booklet including fun facts and a scavenger hunt for information at each of the sites included in the podcast.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Work with English teachers to help students effectively peer edit their work.
Work with Art teachers to have students create sketches or models of the sites they research.
Continue to add landmarks to the podcast each school year.
Materials: Digital Voice Recorders, MP3 Players, Microphones, Headsets, Podcasting