Carson Family Foundation Grant: Connecticut River Simulation/Exploration

  • School Year: 2016-2017
  • Applicants: Rebecca Behlman, Lead Teacher
  • School: Charter Oak
  • Subjects: Science, Social Studies, Other ~ First hand experience on a schooner

To align with our studies of Colonial America; Connecticut individuals and history; Connecticut government; and ecosystems, 4th grade students at Charter Oak International Academy Elementary School will participate in the three-part River Dwellers program at the Connecticut River Museum. Through reading and analyzing primary resource materials, role-play, and hands-on activities, students will discover how the River Valley was explored and developed; how communities and governments were established; and how these relationships have evolved over time. Through simulation activities, students will gain insight into the reasons for exploration and settling of new lands. They will understand how community members are dependent on each other for survival, how resources must be shared, and how governments are formed. Our social studies curriculum will be enhanced by this rich, authentic experience not available in the classroom. Upon return, students will be able to speak and write about the experiences, and share their knowledge with the school community in a “poem for two voices” between the settlers and the native peoples. Gaining firsthand knowledge of the river habitat and its need for protection will guide students in our learning about “what one little person can do” to change the world.

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