Editor's note: "A sense of community is prevalent in several units being developed by teachers in our Northeast Minnesota region. In Cloquet, MN, first and second grade students are studying civic participation by collecting stories from residents at a local nursing home in order to create illustrations. In Bigfork, MN, high school students are gathering stories from community elders to create "graphic novel" like pages as a way to share their elders' stories. In this blog, a teacher from William Kelly High School in Silver Bay describes how all four units being planned explore ties to their Lake Superior community."
What does a puppet show, musical composition, scale models, and shipwrecks all have in common? All four are a part units we are constructing collaboratively in our interdisciplinary group of teachers. We are working together to pool our resources across subject contents in order to give students an opportunity to explore the adventures of those who went to school and lived here before us. Students will explore numerous stories of adventure that occurred within our community .
Individually, students will read about a specific shipwreck that occurred on Lake Superior. Students will elaborate on their newly acquired knowledge by constructing a book to retell the adventures and mishaps of their respective ship. With guidance from the art teacher students will bind their books themselves.
Next door in the mathematics classroom, students will generate a scale model of Lake Superior noting specifically where their ship wrecked.Tales from the sea will then will be highlighted and showcased in a puppet show which will be designed using math to engineer the set.
Downstairs, band students will work closely with a professional composer to write music to assimilate and reflect what Silver Bay as a community’s past, present, and future holds.
All parts of the unit will include modifications to directly meet the distinct needs of any student who is on an individual education plan.
We want all of our students to connect with our unit to arouse and broaden their sense of place .