Our country has so many wonderful places to visit, and postcards are a fun way to let others know about where you’ve been! In this activity, students will create a postcard from a landmark in the state of their or the teacher’s choosing. The written part must include at least one fact about the landmark, and the picture must accurately depict the location. Students can write the postcard to a friend, family member, or made up character.
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Objective: Create a postcard from a landmark in a researched state.
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
| Proficient |
| Emerging |
| Beginning |
Includes location name, name of famous site and 4-6 sentence letter with an accurate description of the site and why it is important.
Missing one element of text.
Missing two or more elements of text.
Design and Illustrations
Illustration depicts at least one major site of importance. Overall design includes attributes from the location with appropriate scenes, characters or items.
Illustration depicts important site. Design and attributes are present but are unclear or incomplete.
Illustration and design do not depict important sites or attributes of the location.
Start by discussing what landmarks are and why they are important to a state's geography and culture. Introduce the chosen state(s) and provide a brief overview of its key geographic features and landmarks. Explain how these landmarks are not only tourist attractions but also play a role in the state's identity and history.
Assign students or allow them to choose a landmark from the state. Guide them in researching the landmark, focusing on its geographical location, historical significance, and cultural impact. Encourage the use of various resources such as books, online articles, and educational videos for comprehensive research.
Provide materials for students to create their postcards. This could include paper, coloring materials, and access to computers for those who wish to create digital postcards. Instruct students to design the front of the postcard with a drawing or image of the landmark, and on the back, write a brief informative piece about the landmark, including interesting facts or historical data they found during their research.
Have students present their postcards to the class, sharing information about their chosen landmark. Facilitate a class discussion on how these landmarks contribute to the geographical diversity and cultural richness of the state. Encourage students to reflect on how geography and human activity have shaped these landmarks over time.
State landmarks hold significant value as they are tangible representations of a state's history, culture, and achievements. They serve as physical reminders of past events, architectural feats, or natural wonders, providing a direct link to our heritage. Preserving these landmarks is crucial for maintaining this connection for future generations, offering educational opportunities, and fostering a sense of community and identity. They are not just relics of the past; they are living symbols that tell the stories of the people and events that have shaped the state. Preservation efforts ensure that these stories remain part of the collective memory and continue to educate and inspire.
The list of state landmarks is dynamic and can evolve over time. New landmarks are often added as places gain historical or cultural significance, reflecting the ongoing narrative of the state's development. This process typically involves a thorough evaluation by historical societies or preservation boards to determine a site's eligibility based on its historical, cultural, or architectural importance. Conversely, some landmarks may be delisted due to various reasons, such as destruction, deterioration, or loss of historical significance. This evolving nature of the list ensures that it remains relevant and representative of the state's current and historical identity.
Teachers can effectively incorporate state landmarks into their curriculum by using them as tangible teaching tools that bring history and culture to life. Organizing field trips to nearby landmarks can provide students with hands-on learning experiences that are more impactful than traditional classroom settings. In subjects like history, geography, and social studies, teachers can create projects or assignments that involve researching the history and significance of these landmarks. Digital resources, such as virtual tours or online databases, can be utilized for landmarks that are not easily accessible. By integrating these landmarks into lessons, teachers can foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the state's heritage, encourage critical thinking, and connect past events to contemporary issues.