Photos courtesy of the North Bellmore School District
Fourth graders have been learning about the earliest residents of New York State at John G. Dinkelmeyer Elementary School in the North Bellmore School District. Working in teams, they constructed models of Native American villages.
Local history and geography is the focus of the fourth grade social studies curriculum. In Kathleen Kee’s and Kim Rackley’s classes, students are studying Algonquin and Iroquois customs and practices, including their use of natural resources and raw materials to build homes.
In their model villages, students could include either a longhouse, which was the typical style of housing built by the Iroquois, or a wigwam, which are associated with the Algonquin tribes. Their models also included woodlands, bodies of water and animals indigenous to the area.
Students followed the engineering design process. As a group, they brainstormed ideas, drew a sketch and decided what materials they would need. Supplies included cardboard, construction paper, clay, pipe cleaners and paint. Several students even incorporated natural materials like grass, leaves and twigs.