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School: Boynton Middle School
Class: Social Studies
Subjects: Social Studies, English Language Arts, Visual Art
Project: Students in seventh grade typically study Native American culture, the influence of geographic features on its development, and local history. This year, their research of the Haudenosaunee took on a deeper meaning. The seventh graders worked to become experts and serve as teachers to Fall Creek Elementary students, who were just beginning their own study of the Haudenosaunee. The project tapped local experts in Haudenosaunee culture and history, as well as museum artifact creation, to inform the middle school students’ research. Students used their knowledge to create an artifact to teach others about an aspect of daily life. Collaborating in teams - integrating reading, writing, and communication skills with digital tools - they created an oral presentation for their peers. At the culmination of this project, the middle school students hosted an afternoon of experiential teaching and learning about the Haudenosaunee for Fall Creek students. Seventh graders taught traditional games, shared recipes from the Haudenosaunee culture, and guided the fourth and fifth graders through their own museum walk. Several of the Boynton students also donated their work to the Fall Creek students to serve as inspiration and museum replicas. This experience deepened seventh graders’ understanding of their role in making their own new learning rigorous, relevant, and fun.
Standards: New York State Social Studies Standards
Service Learning: Boynton students created project launch for Fall Creek Elementary students’ study
Experts/Local Connections: Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell-Carol Hockett, Ithaca College Professor of Anthropology Michael Taylor, Fall Creek Elementary School Grades 4 and 5