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Oregon History Museum

Oregon History Museum

Yesterday, our fourth-grade students showcased their reimagined Oregon history museum. The students were energized and excited to present their learning in unique and creative ways. After months of learning about Lewis & Clark and The Oregon Trail, they turned their investigation of currently available curricula and resources into a list of equity-curious research questions and then picked one topic to do deep research on. The topics were as varied as could be! They spent weeks researching and producing non-fiction teaching texts and then chose a method to present information to an audience of family and friends. There were skits, interactive games, model structures, videos, and more.  

The class reflected frequently on voice and perspective throughout the unit and noticed how some of the pieces of history are challenging and sad (the role of slavery in the early United States, the intentional removal and destruction of Native American tribes, the treatment of women as second-class citizens, the prevalence of disease, etc.). They considered how we can take this information and work to do the repair that we want to see in the world, bringing the Jewish values of teshuva and tikkun olam into our understanding of history. The class looked at examples of Land Acknowledgments from around the state and then considered how they could draft a statement for our school. After rounds of drafting, feedback, and revision, they finally printed a plaque and added it to the PJA Native Species Garden as our first act as stewards of this space as rising 5th graders. 

Picture: Students showing off the new Land Acknowledgement Plaque that they created.

Guest writer: 4th Grade General Studies Teacher, Stephanie Faddis