Fourth graders at C.V. Starr Intermediate School got together this week for a writer’s celebration. Their projects–Native American Research Essay Booklets–were the culmination of work on nonfiction research and writing and the study of Native American culture.
Around the room, students sat in groups and shared their projects with one another, the idea being that in sharing, they had to explain their research, reflect and articulate what they learned, and of course celebrate their impressive work.
“We visited the longhouse at the Native American museum, and then we picked a topic. I chose Native American foods. I did research by reading books and taking notes,” said Alexa Campanzano. “Did you know that Native Americans ate corn, beans, rabbit, wild turkey and fish?”
She held up her booklet, a manila envelope with a drawing she made herself of a Native American woman cooking meat over a red-hot fire.
Tristan Cable wrote about Native American games.
“I first wrote a draft–my sloppy copy,” he said, “and then we exchanged papers to get our classmates’ input. Then our teacher checked our work. I learned that Native Americans played a game called snow snake–whoever threw their hickory stick or snow snake the furthest over the ice was the winner.”
“I knew that Native Americans used everything, " said Bobby Stanton. He wrote about Native American housing–inside his project he had affixed his essay alongside a picture of the longhouse from the field trip and a box of fun facts, “But what I didn’t realize is that they used saplings as the frame for their longhouse or wigwam, and I didn’t know you could bend a sapling down like that.”