The fifth grade students at our school are constantly working toward being stewards of our watershed, empowered decision makers and conscious community members. We are located in south, central Montana just north of Yellowstone National Park. We are an active, outdoorsy and environmentally aware class.
Being engaged with our "backyard" keeps us connected to our watershed.
Our goal is to explore learning through personal experience. The fifth graders of Livingston, Montana value the knowledge of science in our environment. Students experience historical empathy through social studies simulations.
After reading the book, The Matchbox Diary, students will create their own matchbox diary with an emptied matchbox. They will bring a special item the fits inside the matchbox from home. Students will choose an item that has symbolic significance to their heritage and family. Students will safeguard their item during an Ellis Island simulation where they play a character immigrating to the United States. After, they will give an oral presentation to the class about their item, why they choose it and why it is important to them.
Following the immigration simulation students will learn about the growth of industry and unions in the 1900's.
They will study the laws put into place because of child labor, unsafe working conditions and the rise of unions. A key focus event is the Triangle Factory Fire of 1911. Students will read about working conditions and have a debate about joining a miner's union. Following up these activities with the PBS video about the Triangle Factory Fire will provide visual impact and understanding of the issues.
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