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ZIS Library

Spotlighting student learning in the School Library

Top Secret!!! Not really…

Last summer the ZIS PTA helped me achieve a librarian’s dream!  I went to Washington, DC and spent an entire week at the Library of Congress.  I was able to learn so much to share with my students, and I got to see some behind-the-scenes stuff about the library that only another library nerd would probably care about.  This blog is focused on the student learning and activities in the ZIS library.  Since I am incorporating some new methods this year, I wanted to share!

If you have found yourself here, and you are not a parent or stakeholder of Zarrow International School, you are welcome.  Just keep in mind that my audience is going to be my ZIS community.  I am going to share some of the amazing things my students have already done this year, and then going forward I hope to share as it is happening.  Each post will be tagged with the grade level of the students involved.  I hope you enjoy this glimpse of my time with these amazing Eagles!

 

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Portrait of an Algonquin Man

How much can we learn from a portrait of another person?  As the fifth graders were beginning to learn about Jamestown, I decided I wanted to make sure that they understood the perspective of both the colonists and the native people that lived in the Virginia area in the early 1600s.  I found this portrait in the Library of Congress online catalog: https://lccn.loc.gov/95513412.  If you take a look at this link, you will see an engraving of a portrait drawn of a twenty-three year old Algonquin man during the mid-1600s.  This was the closest to a primary source I could get for the people the English colonists encountered as they landed in Virginia for the first time.  (A primary source is a source that was created at the time, or by someone with first-hand knowledge.)

I gave this picture to the students and asked them to make some observations.  They noticed right away that he was wearing different kinds of jewelry, had a “mohawk” style haircut, and that he was not wearing a shirt.  We got into a discussion about what this young man’s life must have been like.  They concluded that he must have done physical work, as he is very muscular.

After we analyzed the picture of the Algonquin man, I gave them this picture of John Smith: https://www.loc.gov/item/2015651600/.  This picture was printed much later, in the 1800s, and we discussed that this is just an artists idea of what John Smith may have looked like.  This gave us a great opportunity to discuss primary vs. secondary sources!  I told them to imagine that someone dressed like John Smith met this Algonquin man for the first time.  I asked them to imagine what both men must have thought upon seeing the other.

As we study history, it is important to understand that cultural differences often played a major role in the conflicts and relationships between groups of people.  Being aware of multiple perspectives is important not only in the study of history, but in relating to those around us.

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