TRACING INDIANA “ROOTS”
BY: Doris Kamphuis
Purpose: To enable students to realize that a relationship exists between peoples of Indiana (the United States ) and peoples of the world.
Teaching Level: This multi-class period activity is designed for fourth grade students.
#1 - How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective.
#6 - How culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions.
#9 - The characteristics, distribution and migration of human populations on Earth's surface.
#12 - The processes, patterns and functions of human settlement.
#14 - How human actions modify the physical environment.
#16 - The changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources.
#17 - How to apply geography to interpret the past.
#18 - How to apply geography to interpret the present and plan for the future.
- student world atlases
- blackline copies on an Indiana map which shows latitude and longitude
- blackline copies of a world map with the different countries indicated
- copies of the book Indiana, Yesterday and Today published by Silver Burdett, 1985
- a list of Indiana cities with a “foreign” relationship / origin (ie., Dublin, Russiaville,...) - classroom set of Indiana state road maps
1. Discuss the fact that most of our ancestors came to the United States, and to Indiana, from another country or from another part of our country. These immigrants brought many special items / ideas to their new homeland, including names for the places in which they settled. Often, the immigrants gave their new communities the same name as the one they left behind. Finding such place names in Indiana, and the original location of the name, can help in learning more about our state history and heritage.
2. Assign students into small groups; each student is to be given an atlas, an outline map of Indiana and an outline map of the world, a state road map and a sample list of Indiana cities with “foreign” names.
3. On the overhead projector, review with the students the maps of Indiana and of the world. Demonstrate “how” to locate Dublin, Indiana on the Indiana road map; then, on the overhead mark the approximate location of Dublin, Indiana with a number 1. Next, demonstrate “how” to locate Dublin, Ireland in the world atlas; mark Dublin, Ireland with a numer 1 on the world map. (The sample city listing should have Dublin as number 1). Next to the city listing, the students are to write the originating country, Ireland. As a second example, demonstrate the location of the city of Russiaville. Perform the same procedure as in the Dublin example.
4. Now, the students should have a general idea of the procedures and the goals of this exercise. The students may locate different city names that they have discovered has a “foreign” relationship.
5. After the exercise is complete (approximately 2 class periods), have the students prepare to research their family heritage / history. In an essay to be completed at home, the students should interview family members for information about their family heritage and should write the information that they obtain in a historically oriented format; if possible, a world map may be utilized to show the family’s path of migration. In a classroom essay, the students will write about their different travels -- the people that they meet, the things that they may have noticed around the state, ...
6. As a follow-up exercise, the students should read books about migrating from one place to another.
Evaluation: Classroom work in the small groups will be grades as will the essays.
Extensions /Adaptations: This activity could be used as a springboard into a variety of research topics: “why” people migrate; slavery; architecture; religion; trade; urbanization; and population explosion.
Sample City Names with a “Foreign” Origin: Lafayette, Peru, LaPorte, Otterbein, Oxford, Covington, Montezuma, Frankfort, Roanoke, Ossian, Warsaw, La Paz, Wakarusa, Oldenburg, Milan, Versailles, Hanover, Madison, Mount Vernon, Ferdinand, Orleans, Paoli, Brooklyn, Trafalgar, Edinburgh, and Oolitic.