Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bringing Social Studies to Life

Sometimes the best way to learn is to leave school. That’s what Ashford’s 5th grade does when it needs to bring its social studies program to life.

In October the three 5th grades traveled to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center. There our students participated in hands-on activities using archaeological tools to uncover history and discover how wild plants and other materials were used to make twine, insect repellant, and a cure for poison ivy. In addition, the classes toured an authentic 16th century village and saw what life was like at that time. According to Amber Nurse, “this was the best field trip ever.” Other students echoed the same sentiment.

In the Spring our 5th graders will become more acquainted with our state government as we tour the state capitol and legislative office building in Hartford. We will learn about rights and responsibilities we have as citizens of Connecticut. At the Old State House our students will also explore our state’s executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government through role playing an election, a debate, and a mock trial.

Later in the Spring, we turn our sights to the Freedom Trail in Boston where two guides dressed in period costumes will take us on a tour of sites that were important to the American Revolution. These sites include the Boston Common, the Granary Burial Ground, the site of the Boston Massacre, and the Old North Church. At Faneuil Hall we will be greeted by Benjamin Franklin who will give our 5th graders his own insights and wisdom about his life and the Revolutionary War period.