Updated: Jun 15
Kinsey (Elise's dog) steals the show in Social Studies
The sixth grade historians have been studying how ideas, inventions, and individuals migrate from one location to another over time, and the evolution that occurs as part of this process. First, students dove into their study of Europe by researching items which we often think of as American that actually have European origins. Students discovered that the builder of the first operational submarine was Dutch, that hamburgers originated in Germany, and that baseball has roots in an early British version of the game. Tracing the history of living things, however, gets more complicated.
Connecting Content to Students
Elise, one of the sixth grade teachers, piqued the student’s interests with a story of her own. “It is important to connect the content with students' interests, the relationships we have built, and the topics that matter to each of us.” To demonstrate this, Elise shared with students how her favorite dog, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, made its way to America from Europe. Many of the students have met Kinsey, a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, and know that she is the apple of Elise’s eye.
This particular group of students are animal lovers, with many pets of their own. Students chose their favorite dog or cat breed to track, and through studying the history of a breed, they traced its connections to language, geography, and culture. Many students decided to research their own pet's origins. Meet Nola, one student's inspiration.
Specifically, each student selected a dog or cat breed to research. During the research phase students identified the original purpose of the breed and explored the breed's ancestry and immigration to the United States. Each student created an infographic including a timeline of development along with photos and images.
Taking the next step in their understanding, students will watch an episode of the show Finding Your Roots, where celebrity guests discover more about their European immigrant ancestors. Who knows what connections students will find as they continue this unit of study?