Why do people leave the people they love to set off into the unknown? -Catherine age 8
Last week, as we read about Sam Gribley being lonely and far from his family in My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, Catherine wondered, "Why do people leave behind the people they love?" This sparked a lot of conversation and wonderings amongst the children. They could not understand why anyone would want to leave home, especially not knowing what would happen or where they were going.
In 3rd Grade, that is precisely the idea we are wanting the children to grapple with. Our guiding questions as we explore Westward Expansion are:
How do you prepare to do something new?
How do you move long distances through unknown lands?
How do you survive in those unknown lands?
How do people learn from other people?
Leaving your home is the story of the Native People who were moving to escape diseases that spread even before the arrival of Explorers such as, Lewis and Clark. That is the story of the Fur Trapping bands that were exploring Oregon Territory in the early 1800's trying to carve out a living off the land, and it is the story for so many of the Pioneering families who set off over 2000 miles into the vast unknown to claim land.
This week the children started to imagine themselves into those perspectives. They tried on clothing and looked at artifacts that Explorers, Fur Trappers, Native Americans and Pioneers would have worn and used.
Soren- I want to experience feeling like what it would be like when Lewis and Clark came and built their fort on Chinook land without asking.
Leoni- I want to write in a journal and pretend like I am exploring this land.
The children will spend the next few weeks refining their ideas and learning more about these different cultures before they make their final character decisions.
It would be helpful to ask your child:
-Why did you choose that historical character?
-What is it that you want to learn about (Fur Trappers, Explorers, a certain tribe, or the Pioneers)?
-What do you think a child from that cultural perspective would have done to help his or her parents?
-What chores or responsibilities would they have had?
Also, during Grandparent and Special Friends day or while you are away visiting family over the upcoming holidays please help your child make time to interview you and their extended family to see what they might answer to such questions.
(See the attached interview sheet under Parent Resources at the top of the blog page.)
Have your child ask you, your family and friends:
-Why do people leave the people they love?
-Why did my family come to Oregon?
-When did they come here?
-Who did my family have to leave behind?
-When did your family move to where you live and why?
-What do you think it takes to set off on your own and leave loved ones behind?
Photos From the Week