Monday, August 9, 2010

Pioneers and First Nations

This summer I was very fortunate to teach a group of almost 60 ESL students a hands-on discovery unit that included elements of Social Studies, Math, Visual Art, Drama and Language. The unit was structured so as to follow a historic route of white settlers to Oregon territory; while traveling, they discovered new lands, plants, Native American tribes and their culture. We used as many real documents and photos as we could find; we read a fiction book "Off to Oregon" (grade 2 difficulty). Students experienced situations and wrote about them. We went on field trips to study local flora. We went to Daybreak Star, Native American Cultural Center. Students researched the art of the native tribes and created blankets based on the symbolic elements used in the North West. The culmination of the project was a presentation on stage for as many as 200 people... we did well... kids loved it!

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