02 Mar February 2016 Field Work Update
As a part of their larger study of the second world war, the 7th and 8th graders are looking more closely at the internment of Japanese Americans in Portland. Students visited the Oregon Nekkei Legacy Center for an introduction to the topic, took a walking tour of the part of downtown Portland that used to be Japantown before the war, and traveled to the Expo Center, where Portland incarcerated local Japanese Americans until they were forcibly relocated to camps further inland. Students visited Mirabella retirement community, where they heard from four WWII veterans and had an opportunity to ask questions. Anneke Bloomfield, a holocaust survivor, also visited the classroom to share her story. Students have started to craft a scale model of Portland’s internment center for the Nekkei Center’s museum. Students will also read the novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet this spring and go on a tour of locations from the novel while on their end-of-the-year trip in Seattle. This unit perfectly illustrates how place-based education makes world history relevant by illuminating a local aspect of bigger story.
Meanwhile, the 3rd graders have been immersed in the inquiries: “What is archaeology and what does an archeologist do?” Students are using this lens of archeology to learn about the history of our country’s native peoples. Through this study, students are applying scientific concepts to their own lives, and practicing using terms such as observation, inference, evidence, classification, category and context. As a culminating project, the class will be creating an exhibit about dwellings for Portland State University’s Archaeology Roadshow later this spring. They will be presenting alongside scientists, professionals and other experts. To prepare for this task, students visited the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center to learn about local archeology, they hosted a curator from the University of Oregon’s Museum of Natural and Cultural History who gave them a great introduction to artifacts, and they went on a very special “behind the scenes” tour at OMSI to learn how to make engaging exhibits. We are super excited to see the 3rd graders’ exhibit at the PSU roadshow on Saturday, June 4th. Please join us! For more about the roadshow: https://www.pdx.edu/anthropology/archaeology-roadshow