First-graders at Glenwood Landing Elementary School recently completed an integrated social studies unit “School Long Ago” as an extension of the first-grade Social Studies Curriculum. Time appeared to stand still as Glenwood Landing (GWL) teachers and students came to school fully dressed as “School Masters and Students” from “School Long Ago” with lunches in baskets, wood for the “fire” and old scraps of cloth to serve as slate erasers.
This meaningful day was organized by the Glenwood Landing Collaboration Team in conjunction with GWL first-grade teachers including Mrs. Cano, Mrs. Curiale, Mrs. Ebert, Mrs. Neilly, Mrs. Robertson, Mrs. Stevens, and Ms. Wolin. The GWL Collaboration Team included Kevin Carpenter, LiJu Cheung, Audra Marcantonio, Lauren Moran, Stephanie Smith, Stephanie DeBonis and Kevin Carpenter. In addition, the Culmination Day was based on understandings put forth by Jeffrey Golubchick, Elementary Humanities Director, which spiral systemically K-5.
These hands-on, educational experiences enabled the first graders to duplicate lessons from many years ago utilizing similar tools and teaching methods.
In art class, students sewed books out of scraps demonstrating resourcefulness. In physical education, kids participated in games that focused on hand-eye coordination essential to the time.
Music class offered an in-depth look at the music of the time and its importance to community. The students also examined authentic GWL pictures/primary documents from the 1800s in library class including GWL’s own “One Room School House” and its founding students. To practice penmanship, students were given a slate and a slate pencil. They were also encouraged to make authentic diaries.
In addition, mathematical skills were practiced utilizing a math game called ‘Shut the Box,’ while students played with an old-fashioned ‘Cup and Ball’ held together by a string to practice hand-eye coordination. Each of the many other activities demonstrated the importance of how community members worked interdependently and focused on the purpose of each task discussed in great depth.
The unit concluded with children reflecting on their experiences and learning through a series of thought-provoking questions.
-Submitted by North Shore Schools