Look into your Community's History through its names

One way to learn more about your community is to look into its past. How much do you know about your: town, borough, city or county's history? Become an expert by researching the facts.

Dex Nilsson has written a book called Names of Washington, DC - It gives the stories behind the names (275) of the streets, circles, squares, buildings, bridges, neighborhoods, galleries, Metro stations, theaters, and statues in the city.

Who are the streets, post offices, bridges, waterways, schools and parks named for in your town or county?

In Washington D.C., streets that are oriented north/south are designated by numbers. Examples: 1st St NW, 2nd St SW.
Streets that are oriented east/west use a single letter of the alphabet.

Can you detect a strategy or plan about how streets are named in your area?

Now that you have assembled all this information, share it.

  • Write a poem based on your town.
  • Create a mural that depicts famous residents or local landmarks.
  • Make a website full of facts about your town.
  • Make a web based children's book based on your research. Example of a simple web based book.
  • Or discuss your findings in a class wiki. See Wiki Wiki teaching.

Research Helpful Hints: Most counties have a local historical society. The members are very interested in your community's past.
They often have detailed records and love to share what they know about the area. You may also find some helpful resources in the
Links section of Pennsylvania Projects | National Register of Historic Places

Conundrum: What factors should be considered when naming a street, a school or a political subdivision? GIS info


What is the policy at your school district about naming buildings or facilities?

Write a proposal for the name of the next new street in your community or a new bridge or a school.


Pennsylvania Projects Citizen Rights Who Represents You? Pennsylvania Charters PA County Government
Ballot Access Running for Office Gov. by the numbers Pennsylvania Facts puzzle Cities of Pennsylvania
Make a PA facts hunt Map PA Waters Sunshine in Government Consumer Protection Project Reforming Gov. Persuasive Essay
Pa map & facts activity Sing PA Facts Dig into lobbying in Pa Exploring Population Density Government of Pennsylvania
Exceptional Women of PA Visual Artists of PA Music Artists of PA Life Expectancy Government's Demographics
Look into your Community's History Pennsylvania Geology A Note for Freedom  Pa Facts Puzzle

Internet Hunts / Nature / Plants & People / Project and Problem based Learning / Puzzles & Projects / Civics Studies / Computers / Site map / Home

posted 2/2007 by Cynthia J. O'Hora, released to public domain

tree iconSave a tree - use a digital answer format - Highlight the text above. Copy it. Paste it in a word processing document. Save the document in your folder. Answer on the word processing document in a contrasting color (not yellow) or font. Avoid fancy fonts like: Symbols, black, or broad font. Save your work frequently. You may be working on this project at home, the public library and at school. Consider using free Google Docs.

Proof the project. It is funny how speling errors and typeos sneak in to the bets work. smiling icon
Make Your Own Answer Sheet Form using Word Processing

Aligned with the following Pa Academic Standards - Reading, Writing Speaking, History, Civics and Government, Mathematics, History, Science and Technology
Aligned with the National Standards for Civics and Government