When substitute teaching the other day, I read a chapter in the book, The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs, to the fifth graders. (Their teacher is reading the entire book to them.) The young boy in the story wanted to see the Seven Wonders of the World. This wasn't possible, so his father suggested he look for seven wonders around his home town of Sassafras Springs.
Discover Your Own Wonders
I discussed with the youngsters the possibility of discovering seven wonders in their town. Several of the students began naming sites and events they considered wonders.
This got me thinking about listing seven wonders in the town where I live. As a writer, the idea of making a booklet of the wonders, with activities for youngsters, seemed a possibility.
Look around your own town for wonders to see and do. Bring your children into the activity. Perhaps read the book by Betty G. Birney to get them involved. They will be amazed at what they can find. As in the book, these wonders may involve people.
Make a List of Wonders
Start by making a list of the wonders. Research the stories behind them. Interview people. Then visit the wonders and take photos. Make a booklet of your own.
For instance, wonders in my town of Plymouth, NH might involve:
•The Boy Scout fountain in the town square
•The former Draper Maynard factory building where baseballs and gloves once were made...and Babe Ruth visited.
•The old Railroad Station
•A possible Underground Railroad site
•A World War II fighter pilot...interview him and look through his pictures. He even flew with Charles Lindbergh on training missions.
Then go further afield in the region. Discover wonders in nearby towns. While in these areas, take hikes, go geocaching, collect rocks and study geology, go swimming, and find that your adventures for 2011 can be inexpensive but great fun...by yourself, as a family, or in a group.
(c)2010 Mary Emma Allen
(Mary Emma Allen has been a travel editor for a hometown magazine, writes travel articles, as well as books for children and adults. E-mail her about the wonders you find in your hometown at firstname.lastname@example.org )