Plymouth Plantation Comes to Life at Fox Hill

Although Fox Hill is a 1:1 iPad school, there are times when the best tool for the task involves zero technology and the third grade Plymouth Plantation project is a perfect example. As a follow-up to the third grade field trip to Plymouth Plantation, and as the summative assessment for the unit on the state of Massachusetts, third grade teachers Ms. Saia and Mrs. Lisano assign their Social Studies classes to create a 3D model of one of the structures they saw during their field trip; either a Pilgrim House, a Wetu, or a Long House.

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In addition to the creative thinking that is involved in the construction of their models, students also develop their writing skills by writing a paragraph explaining their model and why it was important to life in Plymouth in the 1600’s. This project also integrates speaking and listening skills. Students deliver an oral presentation to their classmates explaining how they built their model, the most challenging and rewarding aspect of building their model, and what they learned about life in Plymouth. When I saw students bringing their models into school a few weeks ago, I was amazed by the level of detail and effort that students obviously put into this project. In fact, I was so impressed with the students’ models, that I wanted to share their hard work with a larger, authentic audience.

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To achieve this goal, Mr. Murphy and I collaborated with Ms. Saia and Mrs. Lisano to create a movie of the students’ models that was shared with the world via YouTube. We also recorded each student’s classroom presentation and uploaded each video to the students’ Seesaw portfolios. Sharing via Seesaw will allow students and parents to view and comment on each other’s models. Thanks to YouTube, Seesaw, and the open mindedness of Ms. Saia and Mrs. Lisano, Fox Hill third graders can now look back at their hard work for years to come. The Plymouth Plantation project will surely be a learning experience Fox Hill third graders will never forget!

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Ms. Saia and Mrs. Lisano are dedicated to providing students with hands-on, project-based learning opportunities, but beyond that,  they understand the impact sharing student work with an authentic audience has on student motivation and the level of engagement in their learning. These types of classroom experiences contribute to a students’ social and emotional competence and foster a love of learning.

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Mr. Murphy and I enjoy our continued collaboration with Ms. Saia and Mrs. Lisano and with many other Fox Hill teachers who leverage student voice through YouTube and strengthen family connects with Seesaw, and we look forward to sharing more ways they are integrating technology into the curriculum in meaningful ways. Please enjoy the video below which highlights our Fox Hill third graders and all their hard work!

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