Teach PA History
"Everything's Coming Up Roses:" Creating Beautiful Areas in Your Neighborhood
What to Know
Teaching Time

2- 50 minute sessions

Grade Level
Middle School
  • Ecology and Environment
  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
  • History
  • Mathematics
Historical Period
  • The Emergence of Modern Pennsylvania - 1901-1928
  • Contemporary Pennsylvania - 1975 to Present
The City Beautiful movement of the 1900s helped to turn Harrisburg, Pennsylvania from a dingy, industrial town into a model capital with less pollution, beautiful parks, and recreation areas to unify all classes of people and to help them enjoy the beauty of nature. One of the people that spearheaded this movement was a woman by the name of Mira Lloyd Dock. She gave speeches to encourage support of the City Beautiful movement and used her influence to make great changes in the Harrisburg area. In this lesson, groups of students will be provided with the opportunity to add recreational and park-like spaces to an area close to them. After creating their beautification plan, students will try to convince their "council" of peers to fund their project over the other projects being presented. They will compare and contrast their plans and presentations for improving their neighborhood with Mira Lloyd Dock's campaigning efforts in her hometown of Harrisburg. Students will also be able to interpret images of Harrisburg before and after the City Beautiful movement to discover the resulting improvements to the city.


Students will be able to: 1. Identify the uses and importance of green spaces. 2. Make persuasive points to convince "council" to fund their project. 3. Compare and contrast their civic improvement experience today with the campaigning efforts of Mira Lloyd Dock during the City Beautiful movement in the early 1900s. 4. Know specific examples of how the City Beautiful movement changed the landscape, beauty, and health of an area.

Standards Alignment

  • Environment and Ecology

    4.3.7. B. Describe how human actions affect the health of the environment.
    4.8.7. D. Explain the importance of maintaining the natural resources at the local, state and national levels.

  • History

    8.2.9. A. Analyze the political and cultural contributions of individuals and groups to Pennsylvania history from 1787 to 1914.
    8.2.9. B. Identify and analyze primary documents, material artifacts and historic sites important in Pennsylvania history from 1787 to 1914.
    8.2.9. D. Identify and analyze conflict and cooperation among social groups and organizations in Pennsylvania history.

  • Mathematics

    2.3.8. F. Use scale measurements to interpret maps and drawings.
    2.3.8. G. Create and use scale models.

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

    1.4.8. C. Write persuasive pieces.
    1.6.8. A. Listen to others.
    1.6.8. C. Speak using skills appropriate to formal speech situations.
    1.6.8. D. Contribute to discussions.

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