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January 26, 2016

Small Business in America: What’s the #StoryBeyondTheStore? – Lesson Plan

You don’t have to travel far for a history lesson. Every neighborhood is filled with history and small business shop owners who want to share their stories, especially with young people! Old storefront signs often have good stories behind them and new stores opening up do, too.

Subjects

English, social studies, photography

Estimated Time

One 45-minute class

Grade Level

Middle and High School

Introduction

Many kids love meeting up with their friends while others may need a good excuse to get outside–this is the perfect activity for them! We recently set up an Instagram account @NewsHourExtra and would love to hear your students’ take and see their store photos for our #StoryBeyondTheStore photo assignment.

Above is a photo of the famous now closed Heller’s Bakery in Washington D.C. Heller’s opened more than 80 years ago in a diverse, immigrant-friendly neighborhood by German immigrants. At one point the bakery employed 50 people and had stands around the city. Small businesses located in small towns to big cities in the U.S. are filled with stories of success and struggle. Several people who walked by as I was taking these photos had a story about the sweet potato pie or donuts they’d eaten there as a kid. Many shared their feelings about Heller’s closing its doors, and how high rents had forced other long-time businesses to shutter.

THE CHARGE: Have students take a picture of a storefront sign in their neighborhood and see if they can find out the story beyond the store. Send pics to our Instagram account at @newshourextra with a short description of what they were able to find out about their store and what made them most want to share its story. Or email newshourextra@gmail.com, if you or your students don’t have Instagram, and we’ll put it up for you! Teachers, we’d love for you to participate, too! Tag #StoryBeyondTheStore

Email Vicky Pasquantonio, education editor, at vpasquantonio-at-newshour-dot-org, if you have any questions!

Vicky Pasquantonio's photo.

NewsHourExtra

January 22 at 7:24pm · Instagram ·


by Victoria Pasquantonio, PBS NewsHour Education Editor, History Teacher – feedback on this lesson is welcome. Send to vpasquantonio-at-newshour-dot-org

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  • Standards

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    Relevant National Standards:
      CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.

      CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.

      CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

      CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

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