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Write About Neighborhood Change

Students will use the Ancient Earth tool to see how their neighborhood or town has changed over time and write a paragraph detailing those changes.

PROCESS:

  1. Prior to conducting this activity, access the Ancient Earth interactive map. Using your school's address, select various time periods and work with the app's other tools until you fully understand all it has to offer.
  2. As a class, in pairs, or small groups, give students access to the app. Have them enter the school's address and give them time to explore how the area around your school has changed over millions of years.
  3. Instruct students to read all of the content on the screen each time they change the settings so they get as much information as possible. Challenge them to identify the most significant changes that have taken place over time. Encourage them to take detailed notes recording what they learn.
  4. Using their notes as a guideline, instruct students to write a brief essay describing how the area where you live has changed over time. Challenge them to be as factual and descriptive as possible.

ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to share their essays with the class. Encourage them to identify the most interesting things they learned as they took a trip through the neighborhood way back in time.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3–4:
Display the app on a whiteboard and review it as a class. Invite students to select various time periods or other features to explore. Encourage students to take notes detailing what they see. Then have each student write a paragraph telling how the neighborhood where they live has changed over millions of years.
Grades 5–6:
Divide the class into small groups. Give groups time to explore the app. Instruct them to select at least five time periods to explore. Then have each group write a detailed essay telling how the neighborhood where they live has changed over millions of years.
Grades 7–8:
Divide the class into pairs. Give partners time to explore the app. Instruct them to select at least seven time periods and three of the offered options. Then have the partners work together to write a detailed essay telling how the neighborhood where they live has changed over millions of years.
Grades 9–10:
Divide the class into pairs. Give partners time to explore the app. Instruct them to review each time period and jump to each of the options offered to see how the area where they live has changed over time. Then have each partner write his or her own essay. Challenge them to be as detailed as possible.