Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Frank, Marian, and Peggy Sue

Posted on: October 2, 2011

My husband and I had a  one-day trip to Mason City and Clear Lake, Iowa. We should have made it a two-day trip and stayed at the newly  renovated  Park  Inn Hotel, the only Frank Lloyd Wright Wright designed hotel remaining in the world.

76 Trombones welcomed us to  Music Man Square  where we learned much about Meredith Willson’s diverse talents
in an artifact filled museum and enjoyed ice cream in the square’s ice cream parlor set in a  streetscape replicating
River City as depicted in The Music Man.

Posters, news articles,  sheet music,  and autographed photos of countless musicians adorn a bar/museum at the Surf Ballroom, where Buddy Holly played his last concert.  The Surf opened in 1933 and has retained its art deco decor while still hosting thousands of people at concerts and dances.  The next winter dance party is February 1-4, 2012!
There is so much to do and so much to see!  Primary sources are right around the corner ready for us to enjoy and perfect for teaching local history while also helping students develop pride in their communities.

What’s in your backyard?  What can your back yard treasures add to your classroom and student learning?   
Teaching with Primary Sources


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