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How to
Use the Activities


Inquiry Question

Historical Context




Table of

Putting It All Together

The following activities will help students discover the history of their own state capitol as well as how architecture can reflect civic pride.

Activity 1: Locating a Capital
Working in small groups, have students research the towns in their state that seemed to have had a good chance to become the capital. (In some states, a better research topic would be competitions for particular county seats.) Ask the groups to pretend that they are responsible for locating the capital of the state (or the county seat). Using their research, have them present the group's findings to the class. After all suggestions have been offered, have the full class arrive at a decision as to where the capital (or county seat) will be located. If the class's choice is a place other than the current capital (or county seat), have student volunteers try to change the minds of the rest of the class.

Activity 2: A Proud Symbol
Have students work in groups to conduct research on the history of their state capitol building. They should try to discover who designed the building and when; what other designs were considered at the time; how and why the site was chosen; what architectural style the building represents; how citizens reacted to the design; and what changes have taken place to the building since it was completed. Next, have each group choose a capitol building from another state and compare it to their state capitol.

Activity 3: Classical Architecture in the Local Community
Arrange for students to take a walking tour in the community to see if they can find examples of the different features of Greek Revival architecture such as columns, friezes, pediments, etc. They may need to refer to a dictionary, encyclopedia, or other reference source to help them visualize these terms. When they find one of the features, students should sketch it as it appears on the building, write down the address of the building and, if possible, identify the building, its original use, and the year of construction. Some public buildings will have cornerstones that give the date of construction. To find the dates for other buildings, have students check with the Building Departments of local and county governments or work with the reference department of the public library. Hold a classroom discussion on why they think the buildings they found were designed in the Greek Revival Style.



Comments or Questions

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