Grades 1–2 — My Oregon Experience: Becoming Historians

In this curriculum, students explore the meaning of community and how people in Oregon have helped their communities. As a culminating activity, students will learn more about the people in their school community and the roles they play to make the school successful.

Essential Questions

  • What is the difference between a neighborhood and a community?
  • What makes a neighborhood?
  • Who makes up a community?
  • How do people and places help to make the community healthy and successful?

Enduring Understandings

  1. Historians use artifacts and photographs to learn about people from the past.
  2. My artifacts can teach people about me and my family and I can learn about other people and their families from their artifacts.
  3. Museums are an important part of our community and can teach us about our local history.

Menu of Lessons  

Pre-Visit Lessons

Pre-Visit Lesson One: Defining Communities

Students explore various books about “communities” and collectively create a definition for: community.

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Pre-Visit Lesson Two: Exploring Oregon Communities

Utilizing photos from Experience Oregon and other online resources, students analyze what various members of the community are doing and the possible impact they/the event can have on the community.

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Pre-Visit Lesson Three: How Do I Help My Community?

Students collectively, and then individually, chart ways they positively support their communities: family, classroom, school.

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Museum Visit

Oregon Historical Society Museum Visit, Grades 1–2

Students identify different communities and community members who have lived in Oregon over time and their role in their communities.

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Post-Visit Lessons

Post-Visit Lesson One: Debrief the Visit to Experience Oregon

Students debrief their visit to Oregon Historical Society and reflect on the contributions Oregonians have made to their communities.

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Post-Visit Lesson Two: Becoming Oral Historians for Our School Community

Students brainstorm a list of people in their school or neighborhood who serve helpful roles in their community. Students prepare to interview different community members by practicing interviewing skills.

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Post-Visit Lesson Three: Creating School Community Oral History Book

Students create pages for their Community Member Guidebook (2–4 sessions) and compile the book.

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