I wish that this was my idea but it is not. I rarely have original ideas but back in October we was brainstorming with an awesome group of 3-5 teachers, my Teaching American History Cohort group and this idea came up. In many K-5 science classrooms across the state, kits organized around different themes that come to the classroom with lesson plans and all the hands-on resources to teach that theme and standard. What if we put together a history trunk centered around a standard. Wow! These teachers ideas started exploding with possibilities. When I met with the K-2 teacher TAH cohort and shared the idea, they were sold. Each grade level has picked a standard and is in the process of planning a trunk. What I like the most, it was their idea….
The box/trunk will be a teaching box. It will house primary source documents, activities, lesson plans, etc. That is still being planned. I shared with them a rubric for the project to guide their thinking. The rubric contained categories like essential questions, content wall buildables, bibliography of books, lesson plan ideas, primary sources, and assessment.
In this TAH K-5 institute, we have built a strong partnership with the district’s ELA coordinator. We are trying diligently to show the natural integration of ELA and Social Studies. The coordinator decided to build a trunk on World War II. That encouraged me to build one on the Great Depression. Below are pictures of our trunks. I just started mine and I am looking for ideas. Your suggestions will be most helpful.
I want to extend this further by having a reading list of historical fiction centered around the trunk theme. Furthermore, I want the trunks to be both physical and digital. No way we can mass produce the trunk for each teacher or school, but we can have digital download of the primary sources, documents, etc and pictures of the box for the teacher to create their own.