|WHAT'S IN A BOX?|
This past week I asked my students to embark on a journey in time to find some artifacts of their grandparents, parents and themselves. I am not implying parents and grandparents are so old they are artifacts! Instead I hoped this would be an opportunity for students to make a connection to our studies on Egypt and how the ways of that civilization were preserved and discovered by archeaologists. The items were carefully placed in an Artifact Box, and gently layered, and packed in paper and tissue. We secretly distributed the boxes, turned our room into a "Dig Site," and began analyzing and recording the data. It was great fun to see students using their higher level thinking skills to figure out what box belonged to which classmate.
teddybears. toys. movies. jewelry. photos. dolls. articles. silverware. watches. dishes. china. tea cups. clothing. art work. music. books. MEMORIES.
|Just a few of the treasures we found!|
|One of many artifacts uncovered in 7B!|
All these things shared and shown give us each a peek into the past. They give us a small glimpse of those who experienced things we will only get to read about in books and on websites. My grandmother lived to be 92 years old. She was born in 1915. I can only imagine how awesome her life was to go from antique cars to man landing on the moon, to the end of segregation, to the end of the cold war, to the internet to..... you get the picture. I once asked my grandmother why she kept so many empty bread sacks in her kitchen. She answered, "I went through the depression. We kept everything, just in case." I have no idea what that event was like. I can only imagine. That is how it is for many of my students..... they can ONLY imagine.
Surviving that experience obviously shaped her character and her future choices in life. I hope this happens for both my children and your children. I hope my students will discover that the key to truly learning from our past generations cannot JUST be found in a box, or a book, or on a website. The key to truly finding a connection and understanding to our past generations and the communities they lived in, may be in the relationships we cultivate with the people of those time and places. I'm so glad I had the conversation about the bread sacks with my grandmother, as well as many other conversations. Had I found a drawer full of bread sacks in her home and never had the chance to ask.... I might not have ever realized the gravity of the depression, and I might have just thought my grandmother to be a pack-rat! This is Social Studies at its best.... making SOCIAL connections, and using that information to impact lives.
I would like to thank Payless Shoes for donating shoe boxes; the Linn-Mar Volunteers for wrapping the shoe boxes; and the parents, grandparents, and extended family members for helping the students of 7B with this project. Look what an impact we have already made on our community!