Welcome to the Headmaster's Blog where you'll find updates, thoughts, and events regarding Saint David's School, the education of boys, and other items of interest. This is by no means meant to be a complete account of all that happens at Saint David's. Please refer to the school's website for more complete details -- it's more a Headmaster's musings.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Third Grade Citizens of the World

At Ellis Island
Throughout the fall, our third graders have been studying late 19th and early 20th century immigration to this country and its impact on their city, state, and nation.

This is an active unit involving extensive learning beyond the classroom, close examination of primary sources, and cultivation of creativity.

It began in October when, after studying immigration history, trends and reasons in class, the boys visited Ellis Island where they explored primary sources and artifacts.

Then just last week, the boys engaged in a Mock Ellis Island activity in which they assumed the identities of immigrants going through all the steps of immigration processing, from being interviewed by health, education, and character inspectors, to experiencing the thrill of being "admitted," to the disappointment of being "quarantined" or "deported."

Immigrant undergoing processing during Mock Ellis Island.
Next week, the boys will visit the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side and experience the way immigrants lived in New York after arrival.

Through all of these activities, our boys develop an appreciation for the immigrant experience and begin to examine the many aspects of how we define culture and the contribution of immigrants to it. The boys will then use this foundation during the winter term, as they study the cultures of Haiti and South Korea, and engage in a related research project.

Admitted immigrants take oath of loyalty.
This is a rich unit of study for boys of this age. The ideas and ideals that drove, and still drive, immigration to this country are important for all citizens to consider, explore, and reflect upon.

It is equally vital that our boys, as citizens of the world, begin to understand and appreciate the various, and at times complex, similarities and differences among cultures, countries and societies around the topic of immigration.

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