Mason eight-year olds will never forget their town's historic 200th birthday, and their own role in shaping history.
With the help of the Mason Schools Foundation, third grade teacher Emily Matthews turned the City of Mason's bicentennial into an opportunity for Western Row Elementary students to study their non-fiction unit differently from previous years.To celebrate Mason’s Bicentennial, all third grade classrooms at Western Row Elementary participated in the study of the book, Mason, Ohio - A Photographic History. The books were created by the Mason Historical Society, and donated to Western Row for this lesson that was funded by the Mason Schools Foundation.
The book was used as a resource for students to reflect upon what makes a community, and the people, places and landmarks that have shaped Mason’s history. The third graders then connected the past to the present by comparing Mason’s history to Mason today by creating a photo book of Mason in 2015.
The students presented their book, Mason Through Our Eyes, to the community at a reception at the Great Wolf Lodge on Monday, December 14. Excitingly, these third graders' work will be preserved for future generations. A copy of the book will be placed in the Mason time capsule that will be opened at the City of Mason's Sestercentennial celebrating 250 years on January 26, 2065.
From August to November, students were involved in social studies units that focused on their community. They were then asked to photograph their favorite places in Mason and write about them as the author did in the book, Mason, Ohio - A Photographic History. Students also drew pictures of their favorite things to do in Mason, while each class compiled a page for the book. Social studies was learned through the completion of the project, but reading, writing, and tech skills were also integrated to create a finished book.
Matthews’ class was in charge of the cover, showcasing their varied interests and favorite places around Mason in pictures. “We wanted everyone to be involved and we let each class pick a letter and then the students from that class gathered pictures to represent that letter and the theme for that letter,” Matthews explained. “The students then worked on creating a nonfiction writing selection that went along with the letters.”
Matthews and Western Row third graders were interviewed about the book in this video produced by MHS Integrated Media. In the video, the students were asked, What do third graders like about present-day Mason? Here are a few of their answers:
“Some of the greatest things about Mason are the schools we go to and the parks and places we can go to have fun,” said third grader Megan Lee.
“I think Mason is so great because we have lots of different schools where children can learn,” said Nicholas Pathak.
“I did my church, because I really like church and Jesus,” said Trent Maxam.
“I did a picture of a park, because I really like all the parks in Mason,” added Myah Natorp.