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The Philadelphia Wax Museum: Exploring the history of a city through different points of view

When faced with the every growing pressure of meeting common core standards in literacy, how can teachers make time to explore and expose their students to primary sources and real-life events, while also meeting the curriculum needs of teaching reading and writing?  The answer: integration.  This unit will look at history with a literary edge, teaching skills of sequence, cause-and-effect, making inferences, and informational writing while providing lessons and activities to encourage future historians to explore the city and people of Philadelphia, and incorporate aspects of theater education.

This curriculum was developed after taking a course about the relationships between history and biographies to learn about the key terms, skills, and concepts. Coupled with my own research about the history of Philadelphia and prominent voices of the times and knowledge of teaching 3rd grade, I pulled together resources and lessons to help engage 3rd graders in a lesson about history and biography while also meeting the needs of the literacy curriculum.  Teachers can transport their class and their students’ families through the history of Philadelphia with a wax museum project that will be sure to hit on many of the necessary skills that students need to learn.

Tia D. Larese
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