Thursday, February 16, 2017

Boom Town Presentation


Boom Town Presentation

How do you even start a presentation on a Boom Town?  I have been doing these with
the first graders at a local school for over four years now.  I researched extensively in the presentation, but there really wasn't a lot of information out there.  So, what I did find, I had to put on an elementary level.  Below is the BASIC list of topics that I cover.

Before the teachers and I even plan the day, we must reserve a space big enough to hold at least two classes.  We usually use a classroom.  The evening before, we push all of the desks together in the middle of the room and cover them with large pieces of brown paper.  We use blue posterboard/paper  to make a big lake and rivers.  We scrunch up
more brown paper for hills or one major mountain.  We have decided ahead of time, what the natural resource is for this year.  We have had mining and brick making a few times.
The read brick building in the photo above is that year's brick factory.

Talking Points


If you notice the green posterboard spaces on the maps, we decide where our open spaces and parks go at the town meeting, before any buildings are added.

Town Planning

This Boom Town was built the entire length of the school's gym.

Because transportation into a town is so important, the teachers and I agreed that
our towns would always have a railroad.  They introduce the idea of Boom Town to the classes by reading "Boom Town."  It is a story about a little girl who starts a pie business in a mining town.  The town booms up around her business.  The railroad tracks are always
a VERY EXCITING addition to the beginning.  One group years ago had their tracks go right
over the lake.  We've subsequently discussed the pros and cons of this every year.
Using Cereal/Food containers is just the right scale for Matchbox cars.

Real Life Examples

Again, before building I use two major examples of real towns with major differences in layouts.  CHARLESTOWN, SC  has a lot of residential buildings along their waterfront.
I tell them about visiting it and the carriage rides.  They have made their milk carton houses and a very eager to place them.  But they must wait until the green space is added.  The other city is Wilmington, NC.  It has major businesses along the water.  We talk more about tourism and how important to a town it might be.

INDUSTRIAL:  the main source of income to the town, after train stations and airports have been established, is the industry that supports the town.  This usually becomes a heated debate (lol) but they usually decide it should be on the outside of town near the railroad.  Seriously, first graders can understand this.

The students make their businesses as a homework project.  This is a wonderful idea, mostly because the parents help make the buildings with them and the creativity is awesome.  The teachers discuss ahead of time what businesses are ESSENTIAL to a town, and which ones are for entertainment.  Last year we had a CIRCUS for the first time.

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