Main Elementary School’s third grade students could hardly wait to show off what they have been learning about our Native American history. So, educators decided to help them by building a museum in the school library that highlights Native American culture, and the tour was led by little Wolves who also dressed the part.
Weaving through the shelves of the library were exhibits created by students using standards associated reading, writing, math and social studies. Angie Ray, Lisa Johnson and Bailey Perry, all third-grade teachers at Main, combined their lesson plans for this project. Students were tasked with building teepees using measurements and historical photos of Native American homes, write narratives explaining what visitors to their museum were seeing, and giving oral presentations to all who visited the library to learn more.
“This project is a culmination of their third-grade social studies standards on Native Americans,” explained Angie Ray, an educator at Main who teaches ELA. “We also covered informational writing and we read some non-fiction that aligns with social studies, as well. We also worked in groups, so the children were able to experience working together to accomplish their goals. We also took materials we had to create Native American clothing, examples of foods, structures they lived in and tools they used to thrive in their world.”
Ray asked one of her students what he had learned from building and presenting the Native American Museum. The young Wolf immediately rattled off all the fun facts he now knows about Native American History, and the process of putting together his exhibit.
“We were not only meeting the standards, as you can see,” Ray chuckled as she looked at her student with pride in what he was able to retain. “We also spent some time learning how to effectively communicate the things we were studying. Our students were also very resourceful. They were able to build all of the things we see today from things we have here at school.”
Work on the museum started before Thanksgiving. All Main classes had the opportunity to tour the museum and have their third-grade counterparts walk them through a day in the life of America’s earliest residents.
“This was a labor of love and the kids have been so excited about showing what they created,” Ray said. “We are all so proud of how well they have done and how they worked together on a project that benefits our entire school’s educational efforts.”