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Weave a Web

A history web is a way of connecting people and events. Is there an old ball field in your town you've always wondered about? Or did you ever wonder why there are so many war memorials in your town? Then you need to do a history web!

What you'll need:
Large piece of paper or poster board (at least 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 ft.)
Colored pencils or markers
History log

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What to do:

  1. Pick a place in your community that has always seemed mysterious to you--an old ball field, general or hardware store, house, or schoolhouse. Or ask yourself: "What are there lots of in my town?" Churches, fountains? Pick one of these historical "families."

  2. Go to one of these places. Jot down in your history log what you see and hear there. For example, look for marks on the buildings, such as dates and designs, or parts of the buildings, such as bleachers or bell towers.

  3. Find out other information about the place by asking a librarian for resources, or by searching the archives of your local newspaper. Look for major events that took place there, such as the setting of a world record or the visit of a famous person. Also look for other events that changed the place, such as modernization or dedications.

  4. Find people who have lived in your town a long time. Interview them using questions about these major and related events, and any others they remember.

  5. Draw a web, with the name of the place you studied in the middle (like the spider who weaves a "home").

  6. Draw several strands from the middle to show the major events in the life of the place.

  7. Connect the strands with cross lines to show other related events.

  8. When the web is complete consider the relationships among the strands.

  9. Ask the editor of your local newspaper to publish your web. Ask readers to contribute more information to add to it. This is exactly how history is written!

Questions to ask:
When was the place you picked built? If you picked a "family" of places, when was each place built? If they were built around the same time, what similarities and differences do you notice about their features, such as style and what they commemorate? How is the place you picked connected to other events in history?

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