Exploring and Creating Visual Town Histories

I have a group of students just finishing up Kate Klise’s Regarding the Fountain, which is a small novel with a story told entirely through artifacts. My kids are always intrigued when we pull this out because it is so different from the kinds of books they are used to reading (straight narratives). Part of the story involves students in the fictional town of Dry Creek researching and writing about the history of their town. They then provide a pretty nifty visual history of what they discovered.

So …

I had my students do some research on their town (culled from some historical artifacts from the town archives) and I had them create their own visual history of Southampton, Massachusetts. I love this connection to the book because it allows for wonderful discussions about where they live and how their town came to be, and various events that took place (Ted Kennedy’s plane crashed in the town; the movie Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was filmed here; and the town’s water was designated the tastiest in the country in 2008). All these connections to history are important.

Here are a few of the projects:
Visual History of Southampton2

Visual History of Southampton4

Visual History of Southampton6

Visual History of Southampton

Visual History of Southampton3


Peace (in the history),


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