Thursday, October 24, 2013

Native Americans and Explorers

Our culminating activity for our Native American unit was Trading Day. Each of the tribes brought various items of various worth and we gathered around my not-so-buffalo robe with Native American flutes playing in the background thanks to this Grand Canyon CD I remembered at the last minute. Oh, and I made them remove their shoes before entering my "lodge." Some students really got into it with models of longhouses and sticks and stones and slingshots. Others swiped stuff out of the family junk drawer hoping to make a deal. I myself ended up with a highly regarded glow-in-the-dark squishy ball!

Our Explorer unit has been a whirlwind due to the fact that we need to make it to Jamestown and Plimoth SOON. I told my darlings to choose an explorer and to cough up a five paragraph report about him. I wasn't expecting any title pages, bibliographies, or anything else--just basic information which we researched in the lab. Well, one young lad asked if he could log into his gmail account on my laptop in order to share his presentation with the class. It was phenomenal. He did not read the text--he narrated and summarized each page and skillfully used some of his graphics. It was riveting. Our computer teacher recently emailed letting teachers know some of the skills our students have now and it was so fun to see them put to good use. It is a joy to see students pushing themselves and setting the bar a bit higher for their classmates in terms of having fun while learning and integrating technology, literacy, and history. My coworkers are all ten and eleven years old, but they are some of the finest people I know!

I am blessed.

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