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Second Grade Teaches Visitors About New York

Our second grade boys took the lead as teachers yesterday.

In a special culminating Exhibit, the boys presented projects they had completed and learning activities they had engaged in related to the evolution of New York City from Lenape lands to Dutch settlement to thriving metropolis.

This 'performance of understanding' was the conclusion to months of joint in-depth study with their teachers and archivists from the N-Y Historical Society.

Parents and faculty were invited to learn from our boys as they displayed their Lenape totem poles, wigwams, colonial still life paintings, replicas of Fort Amsterdam, and their portfolio of work.

All year, the second grade has been exploring the evolution of New York City over time while it maintained a constant connection to its historical heritage.

This Signature unit of study, (defined as such because of our joint work with an outside cultural institution), is one of several that now feature prominently in the Saint David's School curriculum.

During the course of their study, the boys built wigwams and longhouses alongside the Lenape tribe and compared them to homes of their own. They visited Inwood Park where they examined a real wigwam. The boys traveled with Henry Hudson on his ship the 'Half Moon' as he explored the Hudson Valley and they envisioned Manhattan in the year 1609.  They’ve planned and plotted as they reconstructed the Dutch settlement at New Amsterdam using old maps, and they learned such facts as how Wall Street got its name.

Yesterday, it all came together and the boys were brimming with confidence and excitement, eager to share their insights while gaining valuable practice in public speaking and presentation skills.

In answering thoughtful questions posed by visitors, the boys also had to dig deeper and explore "the why" question that is at the center of our critical analysis theme of the year.


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