Learning Materials / Strategies

E3. Change Happens

This activity can be connected to a museum visit.

Students will use a comic-strip format to show change and development of various tools and systems in our society.

What to Do

    Write the following terms on the chalkboard:

        movement of goods
        health care

    Explain to students that society is held together by these activities that we normally take for granted. Each one of these, however, has changed over time, sometimes gradually, sometimes dramatically, as methods, machines, and technology have improved.

    Tell students that they are going to illustrate mini-histories of development and change in one of these areas. To do so, they will use a comic-strip format (that is, a series of illustrated panels). For example, a strip on transportation might begin with a panel showing a horse-drawn carriage and evolve into travel by jet plane. Accompanying text can provide additional information, such as a rough comparison of speed of travel, dates of inventions, etc.

    Display students' finished strips as a gallery of change. Allow time for students to browse and study each other's work. Invite other classes, families, and community members to view the strips.

Teaching Options

    Some students might concentrate on one specific product or service within a broader area. For example, a student might show how milk production has changed over time. In medicine, students might show the developments in anesthesia.
    You may be able to invite a practitioner in one of these areas to class to share the history of the profession, skill, or technology.
    The library may have, or be able to obtain, copies of early catalogues from mail-order houses, such as the 1909 Sears catalogue. Have students compare their contents to the contents of modern-day catalogues.