Note About This Unit: Our other units are particularly geared toward middle and high school courses. This unit reminds us that younger grade levels can also discover, interpret, and represent new learning through primary sources. Starting with themselves, students will build a toolkit that includes listening, observation, compare/contrast, and representation. As they gain insights into their own cultural identities, they will be more ready to engage with difference and other perspectives. (See Linda Deafenbaugh’s article in Volume 10, Issue 1).
Recurring Primary Sources referenced in this unit:
- House Models and Images (representative of neighborhood, region, religion, etc.)
- Family Portraits
- Musical Instruments
- Toys and Dolls
Teaching Statement: Using everyday concepts such as food, holidays, toys, art, and clothing, students will learn about the diverse cultures and traditions in their community, compare the past with the present, and celebrate their cultural similarities and differences. This lesson brings together primary sources with daily experiences, providing countless opportunities for learning. A Discovery Journal will keep track of students’ findings along the way and create a keepsake for them to share with their classmates and/or family at the end of the unit.
All the lessons in this unit engage the following academic standard: US History-SS.K.A.21 Learn and compare children and family of today to those of the past.
Notes to the Teacher:
- This is a 10-week Standards-Based Lesson Study.
- It can be used during the All About Me unit at the beginning of the year (September-November) or for a Kindergarten 100th Day Project (December-February).
- It can be taught during a Social Studies, Writing, and/or ELA block.
- Each lesson is approximately 20-30 min. (longer if your school will allow it as it is cross-curricular)
Notes to adapt to share with the students and parents:
As a class, you will discover more about yourselves, your families, and your community. Each week you will learn about different artifacts, replicas, and documents that will help you as you discover the different types of cultures that make up your community and help you compare the past and the present and celebrate what makes your community special.
You will also create a Discovery Journal to keep your findings along the way. It will become your keepsake and/or you can use it in your showcase. At the end of the unit, you can showcase your findings and community traditions during an “All About Us!” Community Family Event.
On Fridays and/or at the event, you can bring items from home that relate to the topics or invite family members to come in and share their stories, their artifacts, their history. If they are not able to come in, it is now possible to create a Zoom Link and make it virtual! Or have them send in a recording and create a slideshow of family stories.
Defining Family: For most people today, family includes a range of loved ones—from children, parents, and grandparents to spouses, significant others, siblings, and close friends. A family is two or more people who are connected by strong emotional connections and sometimes they don’t live together. Families can look very different from each other, but all family members usually care for one another.