Introduction to MyTown

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Welcome to MyTown, a social studies program for California third graders that addresses over half of the Grade Three History-Social Science Standards. MyTown can be used with a whole class of students or can be set up as a center in your classroom. On this site you will find resources that support the curriculum materials. To purchase the MyTown curriculum, click here.

An Orientation to MyTown

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MyTown Resources

More MyTown Resources

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We need you to share your ideas, links, and resources to make MyTown even better. Please e-mail them to us and we will display them here. 

MyTown Background
MyTown is an amalgamation of stories typical of some California towns of the 1800s set before the civil war and the coming of the railroad, but after the Gold Rush. There were a handful of Ranchos still family owned by the 1850’s, but they were selling land for settlements, agriculture, and later, to the railroad companies. In our story, the Torres family was able to hang on to at least some of their property.

In the 1850's, families continued to come west, often organizing wagon trains in St. Louis or St. Joseph, Missouri. MyTown does not specify a particular trial taken by the settlers so that students might imagine their trail close to their own community in Northern, Central, or Southern California.

California was home to more than 100 tribes of American Indians who lived in different regions and relied on different natural resources. MyTown does not specify a particular tribe living on its land so that students might imagine its location to be more northern or southern.

The diseno used in MyTown is loosely based on the Diseno del Ranchos San Lorenzo (Castro y Soto). To see this and other California disenos  visit Calisphere and search "rancho map."

MyTown artist, Martha C. Wilson, used historical photographs to create the characters and families. CRF is in the process of acquiring permissions to post the historic photos for your students.

MyTown Purchase

MyTown CD-Rom

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The MyTown CD contains:

Teacher Instructions: This guide provides focus activities to introduce and teach each lesson in either a whole class or centers setting. Assessment questions and activities directly linked to California History-Social Science standards are included. There are also suggestions for creating a MyTown bulletin board to display student work.

Center Cards: Specific instructions for students to complete each lesson are provided to display at a classroom center. One computer is required at the center.

MyTown Media Presentations: The CD-Rom contains six Flash presentations, one for each lesson. The presentations can be viewed via projector for the whole class, or can be viewed by small groups of students sharing one computer at a classroom center. Each presentation sets up a small group activity that requires students to work together to solve a problem or make a decision about the fictional town.

MyTown Activity Handouts: These handouts guide students through a small group activity in which they apply content from the media presentation. The activities put students in the roles of settlers from the storyline and engage them in problem-solving and decision-making skills.

MyTown Mystery Handouts: MyTown Mystery activities have students apply concepts and skills introduced in the fictional MyTown to the real world as they search for historical facts about their own community. Teachers are encouraged to define the “community” the students will study. (San Diego or La Mesa; Sacramento or Elk Grove, etc.) These assignments require students to use the Internet and mandate that they have an adult present.

MyTown CD-ROM (PC & MAC Compatible) Price: $25.95 Qty:
MyTown Getting Started

Getting Started with MyTown

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cd_cover.pngI already have a MyTown CD. 
First, decide if you are going to do MyTown as a center or with the whole class. (Of course, you could mix it up and do some lessons in centers and others with the whole class.) If you have access to a computer lab where all of your students periodically go, MyTown could be completed in six visits to the lab. The teacher instructions for each MyTown lesson provide tips to prepare (organize handouts, etc.) for both whole class and center settings.

Grouping Students. The Center Cards guide the students through the lesson so that they can work autonomously while you meet with other students. Students will need to read the slides in the Flash presentations, so we recommend that small groups of students have at least one proficient reader. If possible, have students stick with the same groups for all of the MyTown lessons.

The CD contains a teacher introduction which provides additional information and an outline of the lessons and MyTown Mystery assignments.

To purchase the MyTown CD click here.

MyTown Mystery Links

MyTown Mystery Links

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MyTown Mystery assignments require students to find out information about their own community, as called for in the California History-Social Science standards. The MyTown lessons are designed to build concepts that students then apply to their own community. For example, Lesson One has students think about why people might want to settle in California. The Mystery assignment then asks students to find out about the settlement of their community.

All of the Mystery handouts contain the warning to students that they must be with an adult to use the Internet. In support of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), CRF cannot direct young children to its web site since we have outside links. However, we have provided some valuable local history links for communities in California that students could use under adult supervision.

MyTown Communities

MyTown Classroom Display

MyTown Classroom Display 

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In MyTown Lesson 3 the students decide whether to build Main Street near the water or inland. This is a great opportunity for students to create a MyTown display for your classroom to show where they put their town and then to add to their display with products generated from the next lessons. Students will need to create the appropriate background (near the beach or inland) using butcher paper where they can place the cutout buildings, characters, and animals.

In addition to creating a display of the fictional community of MyTown, students can also display the results of their History Detective assignments.

As an alternative, have the students create a MyTown display using the information they collected through the History Detective assignments and the artwork supplied here.

Buildings and Signs Cutouts  | Animals Cutouts | Plants and Trees | People Cutouts

Teachers, please send us photos of your displays  and we’ll share them here!

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