• If I Were You: Role Plays About Issues/Needs in the Community

    • Assign one person in your group to represent each of the characters listed below.
    • Use the props to help you get into character and to set the scene.
    • Read your story out loud. Have each character read their sections. Headings are bolded to tell you who reads each part of the story.
    • After reading the story, first begin your discussion by having each person in your group tell their side of the story. We will do a mock up of this to show you what we mean.
    • Use the questions listed below as a guide for your discussion. Feel free to expand upon these questions. 
    • When discussing the issues and solutions, each person in the group should speak as if they are their character. In other words, “be your character” and talk about the issue with the other characters, speaking from your point of view as you imagine it.
    • Your group’s goal is to come up with potential ideas/suggestions for how to “solve” or address this issue.

    1 student who moves into a house on Phalen Lake
    1 student – friend to the one who lives on Phalen
    Other classmate
    Neighbor of Phalen Lake (from old days)

    A box of photographs of Phalen Lake and activities
    A map of Phalen Lake
    An old swimming suit

    Questions to discuss
    During your discussion try to answer these questions:

    1. What are the questions we have about these pictures?
    2. Who could help us learn more?
    3. Are the pictures we have of any value?
    4. What are some possible positive outcomes if we do the detective work and learn more about our photographs?

    Story:  A History Mystery

    Student who lives in house along Phalen Lake:  All around Phalen Lake there are homes of many sizes and shapes.  Some look quite old and some look newer.  I moved into one of the older houses near the lake.  I am not sure when it was built but my mother thinks probably in the 1920’s.  That’s over 90 years ago!  Many people have probably lived in my house over the years.  My friend came over to visit and we made a discovery up in the attic space of our house!

    Student Friend:  I went over to see my friend’s new house, but it turns out it is not NEW at all.  It’s practically a hundred years old!  We went exploring and found a trap door on the ceiling inside a  bedroom closet.  We got a ladder, climbed up and pushed on the door and we got it open!  We grabbed flashlights and climbed up!  It was kind of creepy, but really interesting!  There was stuff up there!!  We saw boxes, old clothes and a couple old chairs.

    Student who lives in the house:  We started looking through some of the boxes and one of them had a bunch of photographs that looked really old. They weren’t even in color; just black and white.  We brought the box downstairs and looked through the pictures.  We thought the photos were of Phalen Lake but it looked really different from how it looks now.

    There was a beach with huges slides.  There was one with people floating around in boats and they had some weird boxes in the boats.  My mom said they were phonographs that played music.  There was a picture of a bunch of tents all lined up by each other.  There was a building by the lake that isn’t there now and we don’t know what that was for.

    Student Friend: There was this one photo of some big guy in a swimming suit and someone had written “famous Johnny Weismueller” on it.  My friend’s mom said we should bring the box of pictures to school and see what our teacher and classmates think of the photos.

    Teacher: My sixth grade class is studying Minnesota history.  We have learned about the  Dakota Indians that lived near and traveled around on the Phalen Chain of Lakes.  But that was back in the 1800’s.  A couple of my students brought in some pictures that were taken in the 1900’s, but I am not sure what exact years!  We need to find someone who can answer our questions!

    Other classmate: We saw the pictures that our friends brought in.  We are not even positive they are pictures of Phalen Lake.  Phalen Beach does not have slides.  There’s some building in one of the photographs that we have never seen around Phalen.  We have a lot of questions.  We think the pictures are cool, but how can we get more information?

    Neighbor (senior citizen) who has lived near Phalen Lake for her whole life:  I just got a call from a 6th grade student who found out that I have lived around Phalen Lake my whole life.  Well, I am in my 80’s now, and this young person thinks I might be able to help his/her class learn about the “old days.”  I sure hope I can help!  I wonder what their questions might be?  She said, “It’s a History Mystery!!”