New technology leads children to take a unique look at their communities in the Mohawk Valley Library System’s I Spy project. The project is making children aware of history in their own backyard, while introducing them to architecture, digital technology, and creative writing!
I Spy is based on the traditional game of figuring out written rhyming clues with a symbol and locating the item. In this case, our symbols are part of the local community’s historical site. Clues and descriptions are written describing the historic site.
Besides being available on the Web, paper game cards have been made to distribute locally at the library, schools, historical societies, and local tour bureaus.
Students are very excited about taking part in the I Spy project, and comments heard while photographing historic sites include: “Oh wow, look, there are patterns on the roof” referring to slate roofs and “check out how much you can see when you zoom the camera in on the gargoyle's face!”.
This is the kind of history we want to preserve, and what better way to learn than by children discovering it for themselves, through projects such as I Spy.
How to create your own I Spy site
How to create the game:
Select an I Spy team using students in grades 4 through 8, library staff, local historians and teachers. 4th through 8th graders were selected because in NY, 4th grade curriculum includes NY history, and 8th grade includes local history. We found that four to eight students worked well as a team. Students and adults will work together to choose 12 sites to be the backbone of the game. Access to a digital camera (zoom capability preferred) with photo editing software is necessary to create a Web-based game, as is someone with Web site building skills.
For each of the sites, students will (under the supervision of library staff):
For each of the sites, adults will:
Meanwhile, behind the scenes:
Besides helping children to take a new look at their communities, the games are bringing history to life in local communities, and a boost to local tourism.
I SPY was made possible through the support of Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, granted by the New York State Library to the Mohawk Valley Library System.
This site is maintained by:
Mohawk Valley Library System
Project Coordinator, MVLS
More I SPY pages: Canajoharie | Cobleskill | Fonda/Fultonville | Fort Plain | Gloversville | Johnstown | Northville | Quaker Street | Schenectady | Schoharie | Scotia/Glenville | Sharon Springs | St. Johnsville
The I Spy games and Website was supported by Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Mohawk Valley Library System and participating member libraries.
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