Lesson Plan

Main Street Through the Years

 

Background Information for Teachers

The maps used in this lesson are Sanborn-Paris fire insurance maps from 1884, 1900, and 1913. The “Overview Map” section will be used to show how Menasha has changed over time. It shows how the number of buildings and the materials that were used changes over time.

The “Interactive Map” section contains maps of the upper main street of Menasha. It is interactive because students are able to click on a camera icon and see the pictures of the outside of buildings. Furthermore, there are some key icons on the maps that show the inside of certain buildings. Newspaper icons allow students to read newspaper stories about Main Street buildings. We want students to be able to connect the map with the historic photos…making the maps come alive.

A community often evolved around its “ Main Street ” during early development.

Main Street, represented the hub of economic and social features of ones community and can be used as a prime indicator of prosperity and forward thinking within an area and the understanding of the impacts of state, national, and global events and trends within a region.

From the trails of early Natives Americans (a series of five trails linking the lakes and communities from Appleton to Oshkosh and beyond) to first settlers of the area (Plank Road) and advances of the 21 st century Main Street Menasha provides an insightful perspective to the theme of “change over time” in Menasha.

The years 1884, 1900, and 1913 offer a glimpse of our growing community as well as the world around it.

 

Activity 1--- Understanding the Map Key

Materials

Computer lab, a copy of Menasha Map Key Activity for each student, and colored pencils

Introduction

  1. Ask students: What do authors put in a story to help readers understand better? The answer is text features (titles, subtitles, glossary, etc.).
  2. Now ask: What special feature does a map maker put on a map to help someone understand the map better? The answer is a map key.
  3. Help students make the connection between text features and a map key.
  4. Tell students that in order to understand the Sanborn-Paris insurance maps of Menasha, it is important to closely study the map key.

Model the Process

Model for students how to get to the Menasha History: Change Over Time website on the computer that is able to project on the screen so that students can watch the teacher model the procedures. From the homepage, click on “Main Street Through the Years”. Next, click on the “Overview Map” section and then on the “1884 Map”.

Point out the map key. It is difficult to read unless it is enlarged. This can be done by moving the mouse off the map and then moving it back on the map. If you then leave the mouse on the map, an icon with a sunset on it will appear in the lower right hand corner which can be used to enlarge the map. Model this procedure a couple of times so that students understand how it is done. In the enlarged view, the map key can be easily read.

Guided Practice

Distribute the Menasha Map Key activity page. Read over the directions. Then have students open up to the website and navigate to the “1884 Overview Map” by clicking on “Main Street Through the Years”, “Overview Maps”, and then the “1884 Overview Map”. Guide them through how to color the first three boxes of the map key of 1884. Pay special attention to the third box. It needs to be colored pink on the outside and light blue on the inside in order to match the map key on the computer.

Independent Practice

Students complete the rest of the Menasha Map Key Activity page. The teacher will need to assist the students as needed, emphasizing the importance of trying to be accurate with their coloring. This page will be used in the next activity. When students have completed the 1884 map key, they will need to navigate back to the 1900 map. This can be done by clicking the back button and then selecting the 1900 map. Students will then need to enlarge the map in the same way they did before for the 1884 map.

Share Time

  1. Ask students if they figured out why some of the boxes have more than one color. (Answer: Some of the buildings are built with one type of material on the outside, and a different material on the inside).
  2. Ask them to compare the map key from 1884 to the map key from 1900 map. How are they different? (Answer: The color of the Stone/Concrete changed from light blue to light green). How are they alike? (Answer: The rest of the colors are the same).
  3. Ask them what the answer to the bonus question was… (Answer: The 1913 map key uses the same colors as the 1884 map key).

 

Activity 2 ---Using the Map Key to Discover Change Over Time

Materials

Computer lab, completed Menasha Map Key Activity page, copy of the Maps Over Time activity page.

Introduction

  1. Students should open up the Menasha History: Change Over Time website, click on “Main Street Through the Years”, “Overview Maps”, and then the “1884 Overview Map”.
  2. Have students enlarge the map by moving the mouse to the side and then back. Then click on the sunset icon in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tell them that you want them to find a block in the northeast corner that is numbered 44.
  4. Study the block. What are the buildings made of on that block mostly? Answer: Wood. What else do you notice?

Model the Process

Distribute a copy of the Maps Over Time activity page. Explain that the class will be filling in a chart to discover how the 44 block of Menasha has changed over the years. Go over the directions found on the student page.

Guided Practice

Help guide the students through the process of filling out the table for the year 1884. Please note that the numbers on the chart are approximate numbers in some cases. It is difficult to tell the exact numbers in some cases. The purpose of the table is to look at how the buildings have changed between the years 1884 and 1913.

The teacher should know that there was a major fire that took place in 1890 on this block. See image number 5 from the 1884 map for an article called “Went Up in Smoke” that tells about the fire. So the reason that there are so many more brick buildings in 1900 is because of the fire of 1890.

 

Number of:

1884

1900

1913

Brick buildings

1

8

9

Brick outside/wood inside

3

2

1

Stone/Concrete buildings

1

2

4

Wooden buildings

(about how many)

16

5

3

Stable/garages

3

1

0

 

Independent Practice

If students are catching on, have them complete the columns for 1900 and 1913. You may want to remind them that the map uses slightly different colors in 1900.

Share Time

When most students have completed the page, go over the 1900 and 1913 columns to make sure that the numbers are close on everyone's chart. Again, understand that the numbers may vary slightly depending on how you count some of the smaller buildings. In the next lesson, we will be using the chart to draw conclusions. You might want to encourage students to begin thinking about what they noticed on their charts.

 

Activity 3--- Drawing Conclusions from the Comparison Chart

Note: This lesson can be completed in the classroo

Materials

Pencils, completed Maps Over Time activity page, and a copy of the Drawing Conclusions activity page

Drawing Conclusions Answer Key

Introduction

Explain to students that they will be doing something that real historians do. Historians spend a lot of time studying primary sources of history. Primary sources are the actual artifacts from a particular time period such as pictures, newspaper articles, etc. The maps that they have been studying are primary sources of history.

Once historians have studied the primary sources, they have to study the information carefully so that they can draw accurate conclusions. This is what students will be doing in this activity.

Model the Process

Guide students through how to use their charts to answer questions 1 and 2. Then have students complete questions 3 and 4.

Have the class discuss question number 5. Help them come up with reasonable answers if they are unable to.

Guided Practice

This may be a difficult task for some students. Assist students as needed.

Independent Practice

Have students complete questions 6 and 7 on their own.

Share Time

Discuss the students answers to number 6 and 7. Help them to understand that they did something that real historians do. They studied primary sources of history and drew some conclusions based on their findings. How exciting!

 

Activity 4--- Eye Spy with Interactive Maps of 1884, 1900, and 1913

Materials

Computer Lab, Eye Spy book (optional)

Introduction

Have students raise their hands if they enjoy looking at Eye Spy books. You may want to have an Eye Spy book on hand and practice finding items with students before going to the computer lab. You want to train them to look for the small details.

Just like details in writing make it interesting, the details found in pictures make the picture come alive. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Model the Process

Demonstrate for the students how to navigate through the interactive maps. You can click on the camera icon to see a picture of the outside of buildings. When you click on the key, you can see the inside of the buildings. The newspaper icon brings up a related article.

Give students some time to explore the maps and the pictures.

Guided Practice

Have everyone open up the interactive map of 1884. Have students click on the first picture starting on the left. Introduce the Eye Spy game. You might say…

Independent Practice

Now go to the next picture. Have students suggest ideas for what the rest of the class could spy. Try to make it a fun activity for students. After you have studied the 1884 interactive map, continue on to the 1900 and 1913 interactive maps.

Share Time

What changes over time did the students notice?

 

Author: Joel Johnson, Jefferson Elementary

May, 2007