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This is a unit that examines the history of public parks in urban areas using Portage Park in Chicago as the primary example. By making use of historical documents and getting to know their neighborhood park facilities in new ways, students will be able to contribute to the historical record of their communities. The end product of the unit is a podcast-- a form of visceral aural storytelling-- and easy for students to produce in this technological era. Teachers will achieve this goal by engaging students in close reading, visual thinking, and seminar-style discussions.
(Developed for English/Art Interdisciplinary Course, grade 9; recommended for English, Social Studies, and Art, grades 5-12)