Dane County Cultural Tour
Finally, if you want to know how we did it, you can read about teachers, kids, parents, and consultants organizing the entire project; and check out some of the many assignments students did before, during, and after the field trips. Beyond this web site, we also represented our county’s culture in a book, photo display, potholder exhibit and sale, and articles in a student inquiry journal.
Everywhere we experienced remarkable kindness–churches opened their doors for overnight lodging; volunteer firefighters gave us rides on their truck; a butcher provided many kinds of meat for one of our dinners and we were served Norwegian pastries at least four times; a class of fourth graders learned to polka with us and joined us for an evening potluck; and everyone invited us in and patiently answered our questions.
Organizing the Tour
- 1. Building a Local Culture Project
This form will help you think through locations, genres, and themes, while planning a tour.
- 2. Memo to Parents: Description of the Tour
We sent this detailed memo to help parents understand the breadth of the project.
- 3. Memo to Parents: Expectations
This note to the parents informed them about our expectations for student behavior.
- 4. Memo to Parents: Permissions
We sent this memo to collect health forms and other necessary paperwork from parents.
- 5. Memo to Parents: Packing List and Cost
This memo accompanied a payment form and scheduling information, as the tour grew closer.
- 6. Packing List
This handy packing list helped students know what to bring and what not to bring to the tour.
- 7. Thank You to Presenters
We sent cards and a thank you to everyone we visited on the trip.
- 1. Student Questionnaire for Planning the Tour
Early in the planning process, we asked students what they wanted to do on the tour.
- 2. Observing at the Farmers’ Market
Students practiced their ethnographic skills at the local farmers' market.
- 3. Family Stories
Before the big trip, students began exploring culture by collecting stories from their families.
- 4. Elder Project Essay
Students interviewed an elder and wrote a 3-page essay.
- 5. Family Culture Essay
After several months of documenting family culture, students wrote a 5-page essay, based on those earlier assignments.
- 6. Dane County Delights Essay
Students wrote an essay describing their most vivid experiences on the tour.
- 7. How Big Is Dane County
Students reflected on how their idea of Dane county got bigger.