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Jamestown Public Schools
Creativity and knowledge was abundant in Joe Miraglia’s seventh grade classroom at Washington Middle School on a recent afternoon. Students and their families designed, constructed, and decorated miniature colonial villages as part of the student’s social studies unit on the 13 English Colonies and the American Revolution. In addition to Colonial America, seventh grade students cover social studies topics ranging from Colonial America to the Civil War including: the Constitution, Louisiana Purchase and Westward Movement.
For the Colonial Village project, students selected three choices: New England Village, Middle Colonies Village, or Southern Plantation. Students worked either work with a partner or independently. Prior to building the villages, students learned more about colonial living including taking notes and watching a video. Mr. Miraglia decided to do the project as a creative break from regular classroom work but also, because students learn in different ways. A hands-on project like this allows students to showcase their artistic abilities.
“By doing this type of a project, students show me, through their knowledge of the colonies and their creativity, what they have learned about the thirteen colonies,” said Mr. Miraglia.
Mr. Miraglia invited parents and families to visit the classroom for the day and work with their children, or in some cases, grandchildren.
“Inviting families is important because it not only improves communication between myself and the parents, it also allows families to see firsthand what we are doing in class,” said Mr. Miraglia. “Families have an opportunity to work with their children on a class assignment, but also strengthen and develop bonds in their own relationships as well.”