Rocks A California girl discovers life can be good above sea level
Story and photos by Shelly Cone
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Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD is a popular place for visitors and residents alike to spend the day. Opposite top: You can’t miss a stop at Wall Drug to grab a picture with the 80 ft. dinosaur that sits right outside Opposite bottom: Many small towns in South Dakota embrace its icons making it fun for tourists. Buy some Black Hills gold, browse handmade Native American goods, or take a picture with a buffalo.
“There may be no ocean sunsets but South Dakota has a majestic beauty that is just breathtaking” Ask anyone from South Dakota what you should see before you leave and you’ll undoubtedly hear about Wall Drug. It’s a quick stop right off of the highway so before you say no, consider that it’s also a chance to top off your car’s tank, grab some snacks and take a stretch. Of course, you can’t miss grabbing a picture with the 80 ft. dinosaur right outside. They enter your classroom in the fall with the scent of dozens of summer days still in their hair and the memories of countless trees climbed, skate parks ridden and ice cream bars eaten. You take these relaxed minds and begin the process of sharpening them into little learning machines. Need a little help? Here are a few ideas that will allow you to capture summer in the classroom. With the increasing popularity of soccer chances
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are some of your students played the game over the summer. What’s more, this summer just so happened to be the soccer World Cup. You don’t have to be a sports fan to turn the discussion into an exciting geography lesson. Break out the map and talk sports. Ask your students to identify the country where soccer started. See who can identify some of the smallest countries that participated in the World Cup and find them on the map. Bring remnants of summer into the class It’s hard to simply forget the little things that make summer so fun: walking barefoot through the grass, feeling the warm sand at the beach. So hold onto summer just a bit longer in the classroom. Create summer corners in the classroom and let students wander over when they feel the need for a quick summer fix. Fill a small inflatable pool with some sand and beach decorations and coconut scented air freshener or set up a patch of artificial
Things you must do in South Dakota 1. See Mount Rushmore 2. Buy some Black Hills gold 3. See Falls Park 4. Visit Sturgis 5. Ride a motorcycle through the Badlands 6. Watch the alligator show at Reptile Gardens 7. Visit the Corn Palace 8. See the Ingalls (Laura) Homestead 9. View the cattle head at Porter Sculpture Park 10. Visit Custer State Park turf as a makeshift grass area for quiet reading. Just having those subtle tactile experiences can help ease them into learning. South of the equator
keep summer going. Map out those locations and when they’d have to travel to keep summer going. What activities would they do during their endless summer? Would they eventually long for the other seasons?
Though U.S. students may feel bittersweet about trading their summer days for fall, elsewhere students may be getting excited for the coming of summer. Let students talk about what they did during their warm summer days and then point out the areas in the world that experience a reverse season. Australian students don’t get a break until their summer—December through February. Discuss other areas in the world that may just now be getting their summer.
History with a bang
The endless summer
The dream vacation
It’s always summer somewhere. With that in mind, have students map out their endless summer. Let them find which locations they could travel to to
Instead of having students talk about their summer vacation have them tell you what they did on their “dream” summer vacation. Ask them what would
Perhaps one of the biggest highlights of summer is celebrating the Fourth of July. Why not turn a discussion about how students celebrated the holiday into a refresher on why we celebrate July 4th? Discuss the events that led up to it and where they took place. Then pull out a globe and discuss the origins of fireworks and how they came to be a part of the celebration.
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Crazy Horse The Crazy Horse monument sits unfinished near Custer, SD. Though it’s still a work in proress it’s a magnificent piece of work nonetheless. Photo: ArthursMello/Wikimedia Commons
“It sounds cliche but there is so much history in this area of the country. It’s hard not to be awe-struck.” they do if they woke up and had the power to do whatever they wanted for summer vacation what would they have done? Where would they have gone? Would they have a gelato in Italy? Would they spy on birds in the rainforest? Switching the transition switch from summer environment to classroom environment can be a tough feat but by helping to keep summer a live just a bit longer you can make that transition a smooth one. Frozen in Time—Five fascinating places that miss the future train
Mount Rushmore There are plenty of natural wonders in South Dakota but seeing Mount Rushmore is pretty awe-inspiring.
Some travelers pursue the latest innovations, the ultimate in comfort or most talked about attractions, others seek out destinations that provide a glimpse into the past. These travelers like to indulge the nostalgic. They admire the brick and stone architecture, get lost in the historic tales told by the remnants of another period in time. Most of all they marvel at how laid back a place can be in the midst of a busy, busy world. For travelers wanting to see the way things were, here are some interesting places that have been lost in time. Galena, Illinois It was once a popular mining town, even larger than Chicago, now the city of Galena, Illinois boasts a population of 3,500 and the moniker “The Town that Time Forgot.” During its boom time in the mid-1800s the town was a significant hub for trading and transportation. Now much of the city’s architecture reflects that bygone era. Galena has only four stoplights in the city and a floodgate that was initially put in place in 1951 to protect the city’s downtown from flooding. Its brick and stone buildings were built after a series of fires in the 1800s forced a prohibition on wood buildings. Since then the city has tried to preserve its history, resulting in a fantastically preserved look at history and a delight
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Scenic view Though South Dakota has a lot of plains, it ha it’s towering landscapes too. Whether it’s the top of Mount Rushmore or the Black Hills you can capture a number of stunning views. An abundance of forest life adds to the beauty of South Dakota.
for travelers who like a bit of nostalgia. Truckee California Located in the Sierra Mountains, Truckee, California sits between the rugged, remoteness of mountainous terrain, and the excitement of Reno and the beauty of Lake Tahoe. Listed on the national register of historic places, Truckee is made up of eclectic shops and authentic historic buildings beneath a backdrop of mountains and bright skies. But it was once known for logging, ice manufacturing and the Emigrant Trail. Its quiet charm didn’t escape the notice of Hollywood either. During the early 1900s the Hollywood film industry was intrigued by this mountain city and filmed 82 movies there before 1941. In the 1970s subdivisions were built but the city takes pride in its retro look and its proximity to world-class skiing, biking and hiking areas. Florence, Arizona It’s one of the oldest cities in Arizona and many of its buildings represent the look and feel of its founding days, but you can’t dismiss Florence, Arizona as a relic. It’s the sixth oldest European
settlement in Arizona and its downtown is designated as a National Historic District. The city features 140 historic buildings, many made of adobe brick, in architectural style that ranges from Territorial times to the post War War II building boom. The Gila River is another historic landmark of Florence. It served as the northern border in the Gadsen Purchase of 1854. Tourists can still get a sense of the past with its 19th and 20th century buildings. Because of that Florence has made great efforts to preserve the past while looking to the future. Buffalo, New York Buffalo, New York was once a thriving industrial and transportation center that allowed the city to prosper and also prompted its architectural and cultural growth. Many of those buildings are standing today and the city has tried to preserve its past through efforts to revitalize its architecture. After a series of historic buildings were taken down in the 1950s and 1960s a spirit of community activism began and the city began to save its historic buildings, like the New York Central Terminal art deco skyscraper built in 1929 or the 1849 St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral.
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