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Students have been introduced to the basic history of Ontario and the significance of the Frankish Building. The Frankish Building still stands as testimony to the ability of a town-founder whose efforts to boost his own community were highly successful. Through the following activities students will explore some of the historical, architectural, and commercial aspects of their own community, as well as Ontario.

Activity 1: Advertising the Colony of Ontario
Have students review Reading 1 and work in groups to make a list of ways they would have tried to attract people to the "Model Colony" of Ontario. Have them consider the vision of the Chaffey brothers and the reality of what Frankish called "The City That Charms." Then ask each group to design and make an advertising poster touting the positive attributes of Ontario to prospective settlers. Each poster should address these three questions:

1. What might be the commercial potential of Ontario? (Consider the market for crops that could be grown on irrigated land in a warm climate.)
2. How is Ontario designed and planned to attract prospective citizens?
3. Why should people move here?

Have the groups share their posters with the class. You may wish to post these on a bulletin board or use them for a hallway display.

Activity 2: Looking at a Building
The people of Ontario can look down the center parkway of the broad expanse of Euclid Avenue, view the design of the Frankish Building, or turn on the water in their sinks and be reminded of the enormous contributions the Chaffey brothers and Charles Frankish made to their community. Have students research of the founders of their own community and present their findings in a short report. Then have the students find out whether or not any buildings remain that were built by, or are related in some way, to a town founder. If so, have them compare the design components of one of these buildings with those found on the Frankish Building.

Next, take students on a walking field study of an area that is now, or once was, the center of town, or ask them to make such a trip on their own time. Ask students to choose a building and sketch as many sides a possible. Then have them label as many design components as they can. If possible, have architectural history books available so that when students return to the classroom, they can complete the labeling. Next, have students compare their sketches with one another, and review the architectural terms learned. Some students may wish to design and make a model of the building they sketched. The model could be a diorama, salt flour/clay design, or cardboard reproduction. If possible, invite another class in to view the models, and have each student describe his or her work for the visitors.

Activity 3: Determining Community Sites of Historic Significance
Explain that the Frankish Building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, a program administered by the National Park Service. The register is the official list of properties recognized as significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture, and worthy of preservation. The Frankish Building is considered significant because of its architecture and its association with Charles Frankish. Nearly every community has at least one building that carries equal significance. Have your class consider what sites in their region might meet the criteria for listing in the National Register of Historic Places outlined below.

As students discuss buildings in their community, help them to understand that places listed in the National Register of Historic Places must be carefully documented and must have significance in one of the following areas: (1) they are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; (2) they are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past; (3) they embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, represent the work of a master, possess high artistic values, or represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or (4) they have yielded, or may be expected to yield, information important in history or prehistory.

Explain that interested people in local communities generally prepare a Historic Resources Inventory for a large number of sites that meet one of the listed criteria. They then choose from those inventories the sites that require additional study and documentation before they can be considered for registration on the local, state, or national levels. Your students might help with the initial survey by preparing one or more inventories. Provide students with copies of the Historic Resources Inventory. Review the form carefully with the students, explaining what information must be included to complete the form. Then have students practice using a Historic Resources Inventory by preparing a form for their own home or for a commercial building in their community. Have the class compare what they have learned by completing the form. Then have the class choose one local property that they believe may be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Have them check with the State Historic Preservation Officer to determine whether it is already listed. If it is not, have students research the background of the property and write a report, do an oral presentation, and, possibly develop the documentation necessary for nominating this property for the National Register.

Preparing a National Register of Historic Places nomination is an ambitious project and you will want to talk with the State Historic Preservation Officer before you begin. You will probably find a number of local people from different agencies who would be happy to help the class. You will also want to refer to appropriate publications such as National Register Bulletin 15, "How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation." Visit the National Register Publications web page for information on other helpful Bulletins.

 

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National Park Service arrowhead with link to NPS website.