Very excited about today. I am substitute teaching in a third grade class at an International Baccalaureate School. I happened to come in right at the beginning of their Unit of Inquiry on Ancestors. Here are the key points of this Unit, under the umbrella theme, Who We Are:
Central Idea: By studying their family heritage, people can learn about their history, traditions, and customs.
Lines of Inquiry:
I've got a 1914 cookbook, a marriage license application notice, a diary from 1914-15, a photograph of an individual, an old map of Washington DC, a receipt for purchase of a Ford pickup (1928), and a report card from 1910 to share with 3rd grade students today.
These artifacts serve as illustrations of how family story can change the narrative of an individual's life, and a glimpse into the past as we dig into work about Ancestors. Now I'd better make a good lunch! We've got lots to explore today.
**Update with learning outcomes:
Here are some of the items we worked with when I visited 3rd grade. Diaries hold an endless fascination with all these guys, and I heard many stories about reading siblings' private thoughts. Yikes!
Mostly, though, we talked about family stories, our responsibility to look for the truth if we can, and places to find primary source materials to confirm that truth. Their examples of where to find primary sources: archaeology, museums, libraries, and families.
Responsibility and perspective are tough concepts for 3rd graders to wrap their heads around in this context, and we did great work exploring these ideas. It was also fun to find out that University of Washington beat Washington State 40-0 in 1936 by reading Kate Stein's diary.