Way Back When (Social Studies): Third graders travel back in time to Early America and immerse themselves in Wampanoag and colonial history and culture, including music and dance. The expedition encourages students to confront stereotypes and emphasizes the importance of understanding the past through multiple perspectives. After investigating the life ways of the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims in the 1600s, the expedition returns to the present to explore ways the Wampanoag keep their culture alive today. A Native American Music Trail introduces students to Native music from diverse tribes. Students participate in the Ancient Fishweir Project, which brings them together with local artists, archeologists, educators, and Native American leaders to recreate a replica of an ancient fishweir on the Boston Common to honor the original inhabitants of our state. Students plant a 3 sisters garden, learn and perform Wampanoag songs and dances, and collaborate on a photo-essay documenting the Ancient Fishweir Project.
Waterworks (The Charles River) (Science/Social Studies): Third graders learn about the water cycle as they investigate the Charles River watershed and research the history of the “people’s river.” They discover how the Charles became polluted and learn about current campaigns to keep the river clean, healthy, and swimmable. Fieldwork includes conducting water quality tests in conjunction with World Water Monitoring Day and taking a boat excursion on the river. For a final project, students write a children’s book about the Charles River, illustrated with watercolors. A final exhibition includes a performance of river songs to celebrate World Water Monitor Day and the beauty of our river.
Boston Rocks (Science): Third graders become geologists as they explore rocks and minerals in their environment, with a focus on granite. Students conduct fieldwork at a local beach made of granite as they consider the characteristics of this amazing rock and the stages of the rock cycle. They learn about the sound properties of rocks and experience the musical sounds created by the lithophone—an ancient stone percussion instrument similar to the xylophone. A walking tour of Boston features buildings and monuments built with granite rock. Drawing on their research and fieldwork, students create a field guide to Boston’s granite buildings, including Boston’s Symphony Hall.