Fourth grade students complete longhouse project
Jan. 7, 2022
Students in fourth grade recently completed an integrated unit about Native Americans. In this unit, students learned where the Native Americans lived in New York and the importance of the abundant natural resources of the area for their survival. They came to understand how the Iroquois Confederacy was formed and the importance that they place, then and now, on settling differences peacefully. They also learned Native Americans continue to be members of communities across the country today and that many things we enjoy stem from Native American heritage and traditions.
Additionally, students read and listened to Native American tales and then wrote one themselves enhanced with a Native American storybag. Students then presented their story to classmates using the items in their storybag.
As a culminating activity, the students created physical models of a scene from a Haudenosaunee village. Before constructing their model, they were required to draw a labeled model of their design. Once that was completed, they could start on their physical model. In the physical model they needed to include a longhouse and items that represent their government, trade and change, and their use of natural resources to survive. The models could only be made with materials they found in nature, with the exception of glue.
Once the models were completed and brought to school, the students presented them to their classmates and explained the scene they had created. Then, in ELA, they wrote a description of the scene so others could understand. Many students remarked about enjoying working with their grandparents, parents, stepparents, caregivers and siblings and the problem solving strategies they used. The final products look incredible! Special thanks to fourth grade teacher Mrs. Schraver for coordinating this project!