During November, I had my third grade classes investigate and compare the lives of Pilgrims in 1621 and Wampanoag families. They investigated types of houses, food, chores, games and schooling of both cultural groups at an amazing website then they typed about them using the Venn Diagram app on the iPads. I had them read at the Scholastic website which describes both groups as portrayed at Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum in Massachusetts. The website also has video and images of the model of the Mayflower ship, the journey from England to the New World, examples of housing like the English cottage and the Wampanoag wetu and interesting historical letters. The link to it is here: http://www.scholastic.com/scholastic_thanksgiving/daily_life/
As they read or listened to the narrator read the text about houses, food, chores, games and schooling or the Pilgrims and Wampanoags, students took notes in the Venn Diagram app from Read Write Think. My next step is to have them take a virtual field trip to Plimoth Plantation and become a historian by reading and finding out more using the following link: https://www.plimoth.org/sites/default/files/media/olc/intro.html
Earlier in the year, I had students read and compare two books using the same Venn Diagram app. They were able to smoothly access the Venn Diagram app and create a new project because of their prior use of the app. You can explore the Venn Diagram app at the following website: http://www.readwritethink.org
Here was the lesson that students had done prior to using Venn Diagram app to compare Pilgrims and Wampanoags:
Listen to the videos of “Cook A Doodle Doo” and “The Little Red Hen Makes A Pizza” then create a Venn Diagram in the Venn Diagram app comparing and contrasting the books:
Cook A Doodle Doo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaJ2dEF5xVA
The Little Red Hen Makes A Pizza https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzQVs3hzjho
I think that having students compare and contrast the lives of Pilgrims and Wampanoag Native Americans is a great way to teach them about the history of the United States while providing grade level appropriate and interesting video and text.
Recently, I had a PD on “Academic Conversations” to encourage schoolwide discourse about texts. So prior to having them launch into their own research, I had students read about the mishoons, or canoes, that the Wapanoag would create out of logs using fire and tools at the following link on my big screen: http://capeandislands.org/post/wampanoag-indians-continue-burn-and-scrape-method-build-mishoon-canoes. They turned and talked then shared a “Golden Line” or a significant part of the text. Many of them thought it was interesting that 400 years ago, there were no horses in the New World until the 1630s-1640s. As a result, the rivers were like modern day highways and required canoes to maneuver. Students often grabbed these lines as their Golden Lines from the text allowing them to determine parts of text which spoke to them. I had them do this Golden Line activity at the beginning of the lesson to involve them in reading a portion of shared text and excite them about the reading that they would be doing independently at computers at the Scholastic website. Here is another link to using Golden Lines: http://www.hendersoncountypublicschoolsnc.org/elementary-education/files/2012/02/the_golden_line_20110329_115744_106.pdf
I liked how students could make choices about words that spoke to them through the Golden Lines Academic Conversations and how it was the perfect way to guide them to discovering their own Golden Lines as they researched at the Scholastic Website about the Pilgrims and Wampanoag.