Fieldwork Coordinator Update – May 2020


Fieldwork Coordinator Update – May 2020

Date of Activity / Lesson:

May 2020


Neighborhoods, forests, backyards, homes


Morgen’s 4th/5th Classroom


Over the course of this year, students have been learning about and exploring the lives of the indigenous people of this land throughout this nation’s history. Fourth and Fifth graders have learned about different indigenous tribal communities, how their lives have been forever changed by the arrival and expansion of European settlers, and how these communities have continued to be resilient despite everything they have endured. Over the last few weeks, students learned about the indigenous tribal communities currently present in Oregon by researching the nine federally recognized tribes called the Nine Confederated Tribes of Oregon. Each student was assigned one of the nine confederated tribes, and completed an independent study and project on their assigned tribal group.


During the spring trimester, students:


  • Watched the OPB documentary Broken Treaties, An Oregon Experience
  • Interpreted maps for information on language groups and locations of tribal reservations in Oregon
  • Researched and took notes on several subtopics related to the Confederated Tribes of Oregon, including historical and current events.
  • Created poster displays, Google Slide presentations, and models of artifacts, which they used to teach their classmates about their assigned tribe. These were shared through Google Classroom and videos generated on Flipgrid.


– Morgen



Lisa’s 6th Grade Classroom


6th grade has adapted quite a lot to at-home learning. Students have been exploring algebraic patterns and geometry with easy to find materials.


Students put their math skills to work in their utopia projects. After reading The Giver, a phenomenal Dystopian novel, the students began working on their ideal world, deciding on the government, economy, family structure, housing, and geography. They created floor plans of a Utopian House and found the area and perimeter of each space. Soon to come are the maps of the world, a persuasive presentation, and detailed descriptions of what makes it a utopia.


Sixth-graders also explored a topic of interest in an independent learning project. Many chose cooking but other projects ranged from Chemistry to Urban Planning, Japanese to Georgia O’Keefe.


– Lisa




Emily’s and Chris’s 7th and 8th Grade Classroom


The 7th and 8th graders have been looking outside for their place-based project this trimester. They learned about Victory Gardens–both WWII and 2020–as they investigated potential growing spaces inside and outside of their homes. They observed and mapped outdoor spaces, collected data on different spaces around their houses, and grew herbs from seed, tracking growth of seeds that they sprouted between paper towels. They constructed their own planters from recycled materials, and they’ll continue to cultivate these herbs throughout the summer! In addition to working on their own growing project, 7th and 8th graders investigated food-related topics relevant to our community, including Portland’s Blanchet House, an organization dedicated to providing resources for our city’s houseless and food insecure members. The director of the Blanchet House shared data with our students, including how many meals they served each day, each week, and for each meal; students turned this data into graphs and charts which were then shared back with the Blanchet House.


– Emily


Sarah K. Anderson, Fieldwork Coordinator, The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science

Stay tuned for more updates of Place-Based Education (PBE) adventures at The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science.

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