Visit to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center The fourth grade students and teachers were led through a guided tour of some of the exhibits at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on Nov. 14. The students met Sadie, an actor who sang songs the slaves used to sing that had hidden codes and meanings used in the underground railroad. They visited an authentic slave pen and learned where and how the slaves lived before they were sold by William Anderson, a slave trader. They also experienced the Escape Gallery, where they learned about the important role played by John Parker, John Rankin, and others from Ripley,
Ohio, who risked their lives in helping the slaves on their journey to freedom. A short film depicted the emotional struggle the slaves experienced in leaving families and loved ones behind. The students studied a patchwork exhibit created by Aminah Robinson, an artist who has been working on it for the last 35 years, telling the story of her ancestors who came from Timbuktu, Mali, by adding a piece every year!Â It was a very educational, inspiring, and moving experience that left us eager to learn more!
Fourth grade Friendship unit In their Friendship unit, fourth graders were divided into different ethnic groups where they learned about the culture and traditions of each group through different activities. Asian Americans made cherry blossom paintings using a blow ink technique, Native Americans made totem poles, Irish Americans made a colorful cross, Latin Americans worked on their pinatas, Jewish Americans worked on a diorama, and African Americans made masks. In a discrimination activity, they had to stay with their ethnic groups and were not allowed to interact with the other groups, even during lunch and recess. Everyone felt this to be the hardest thing to do! They compared and contrasted the ethnic groups and concluded that you can still be a friend and learn new things even if you come from a different cultural background! Another part of the friendship unit has been learning to fill each otherâ€™s buckets! Based on How Full Is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath, the students discussed what makes them feel happy or fills their buckets, how they can make others happy or fill others buckets, and how not to be a dipper where you make someone unhappy! page 10