Paving the Road to Revolutionary Understanding

To meet second graders at the developmental crossroads of their imaginative enthusiasm and their deepening awareness of events from long ago, “making history” in the classroom (and sometimes outside of the classroom) is crucial for students to grasp historical material. Children at this age and stage thrive when captivated by a social studies curriculum that comes alive, tells a story, relives a cause, and offers students, around every turn, a chance to make connections with the present by allowing them the opportunity to step into the past. Second grade social studies class at Tuxedo Park School has become a time dedicated to reenacting and recreating the American Revolution in ways that are fun, meaningful, and reverent of our nation’s heritage. One of the highlights from this year’s study includes the construction of a “corduroy road” diorama. To utilize the intrigue of local history and the wonderful opportunity for students to connect the history they are learning with their daily surroundings, some road construction was in order. Students foraged for building materials outside and gathered enough sticks, sand, and mud to complete dioramas of a nearby “corduroy road” that General George Washington had built by a team of engineers. Even though the actual route in now covered by a body of water, second graders got their hands dirty to get a glimpse of how Tuxedo’s “Continental Road” appeared in 1779.

Does your school do something similar?

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