This was a final project in partial fulfillment for a Master of Education in Language and Literacy from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. I currently reside in Aberdeen, SD. Place-based curriculum is essential to educating children about their communities, local environment, and landscape. The purpose of this place-based curriculum project was to provide learners experiences with local people, places, and things that reside outside the classroom, while addressing South Dakota history and social studies curriculum standards. This project used the online digital Esri Story Maps platform along with written lesson plans to create a third-grade social studies curriculum that highlighted the local geography, history, and culture of the city of Aberdeen, SD, and surrounding area through a place-based educational lens. Through this project, I hope to facilitate students’ place attachment to a specific geographic location (Aberdeen) and support them in developing a sense of belonging and community.Naturally I was intrigued by Lacey's project and delighted that she chose to use one of my stories. As part of the different people and places in the Aberdeen area, she wanted to feature Hutterites. When I pointed out to her that I'm not in the area, not even in the same country, she responded, "I realize that you are not in my region, but I’m finding it difficult to find stories that describe the values and way of Hutterite life."
The story Lacey chose is, Weathered Wood Lessons, because she decided to focus on Hutterites and frugality. I found it interesting that she picked that story. Yes, we are frugal, to a point, but I feel we don't practice that enough. Seems to me, we were a lot more frugal years ago, than we are today. We've become lax in that area and thus "waste not, want not", is left wanting. Sadly, at times when the older generation points out that fact, it mostly falls on deaf ears. That being said, there are people among us who diligently practice frugality and are trying to pass it on to the next generation. And Hutterites are notorious for going to garage sales and second hand shops. Some may not see it as such, but this is reusing, recycling, and saving money -- in other words, being frugal. So, perhaps we do have a lesson or two we can share with others.
But back to Lacey's project. She was kind enough to share a link. I thought teachers especially would find this interesting and may be able to use it, or be inspired to create something similar. Click here to view the project. You can navigate the site by using the tabs. What a great idea, that each story comes with a lesson plan! Well Done, Lacey!
It's always rewarding to hear when teachers tell me how they use Hutterite Diaries in their classrooms. (So, feel free to share your ideas.) My sincere thanks to Lacey for introducing my book to schools via her grad project and for allowing me to feature her work on my blog!
I'd like to know what you think of Lacey's project. Can you see yourself doing something like this with your class?