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Vermilion Parish Schools

Activity 2: Look How I’ve Changed (GLEs: 10, 46, 49)

Materials List:  The Little House, pictures of the local community from the past, large piece of chart paper

Read to the students the book The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton.  Discuss with the students the changes that have occurred during the house’s lifetime, and the reasons why these changes happened.  Help students understand that things change over time. 

Tell students they will be shown pictures of the local community long ago.  Have students think about what the local community was like long ago.  Before showing the pictures, have students generate questions they have about the topic based on the following SQPL (Student Questions for Purposeful Learning) (view literacy strategy descriptions) statement: Our community has changed over time.

SQPL is a strategy in which a statement is generated related to the materials that would cause students to wonder, challenge, and question.  The statement should provoke interest and curiosity in the topic. 

Write the SQPL statement on the board or a piece of chart paper as it is said.  Next, ask students to turn to a partner and think of one good question they have about the pictures based on the statement “Our community has changed over time”.  As students respond, write their questions on the chart paper or board.  A question that is asked more than once should be marked with a smiley face to signify that it is an important question.  When students finish asking questions, the teacher should contribute his/her own questions to the list.

Next show students pictures of the local community over time. Tell students to listen carefully for the answers to their questions as the class discusses the similarities and differences in the pictures.  Have students compare the pictures and list changes that have occurred. Discuss with students reasons why they think things have changed. Help students recognize that if a community is to grow and thrive, it must be able to provide for the needs of its people. Go back to the list of questions to check which ones may still need to be answered.  Use the pictures and teacher knowledge to supply answers. 

Have students compare and contrast their daily life to that of their parents and grandparents. Ask students what they think it would have been like to grow up when their parents did. What do they think their parents did for fun both at school and at home?  What about their grandparents and other relatives—what was life like when they were growing up? Write their ideas on the board. 

Have students interview their parents or grandparents to gain their perspectives on how the community has changed over time and how it is different growing up today compared to when they grew up.

Help students develop questions to ask their parents, grandparents, or other adult relatives about what it was like when they grew up. Some sample questions might include the following:

  • Where and when did you grow up?
  • What did the place where you grew up look like?
  • How has that place changed since you grew up there?
  • What were your favorite activities when you were growing up?
  • What were the best and worst things about the place where you grew up?

Have students bring their interviews to share with the class.  Discuss with the students things that have changed and reasons why they think these things have changed. Discuss with students how these things have changed over time. Focus on both the physical and human characteristics. Have students compare things like transportation, roads, buildings, etc. Have students draw pictures comparing what it was like when their grandparents were young to what it is like today.

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