Fourth-graders at Long Beach’s Lindell Elementary School brought Colonial times into the 21st century with an exhibit of projects that incorporated literacy, technology, research and visual components. The building’s first Colonial Day event served as an opportunity for students to share the knowledge they have learned and engage with guests and each other.
Dressed in hats, bonnets, long dresses, vests and slacks, the students enthusiastically provided detailed descriptions of the Colonial period. They presented projects that centered on topics of their choice, some of which included Colonial daily life, transportation, games and toys, education, medicine, clothing, food and trade. Parents and guests from the district toured the informative, museum-like classroom settings.
The entire initiative aligned with a curricular unit on the Colonial period. The students spent approximately six weeks developing their work from start to finish, which involved extensive research in addition to classroom lessons. They utilized the building’s computer lab to create PowerPoints, formulated questions to generate conversations with the event’s attendees, and prepared display boards that contained written pieces, illustrations and images, and even props.
All of the projects were produced through inquiry-based learning. Students were required to conduct their studies with specific questions in mind, such as whether the Boston Tea Party was just, whether they would be a Patriot or a Loyalist, and many others.
"This is a great example of how we have integrated content area curriculum into our Nonfiction Units of Study,” said literacy coach Lauren Kaufman. “Literacy is infused into all academic areas. We have been working toward a more student-centered approach to learning."