This year, our 4th grade team unveiled a new social studies curriculum for US History with a focus on developing cultural competence by teaching students about changemakers. Students studied historical changemakers such as Eliza Lucas, Sojourner Truth, and Tecumseh, and modern-day changemakers from the Galloway community such as Atlanta City Councilman Amir Farokhi ‘96, principal harpist for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and founder of The Merian Ensemble Elizabeth Johnson, and creator of the Allergy assist app Justin Milrad.
Our 4th graders also had the opportunity to learn from Galloway seniors Darren Chase, Dolph Orthwein, and Rohan Datta, who spoke on leadership in school government, working with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and starting a local nonprofit aimed to promote socializing for seniors.
For their end-of-year project, each student was asked to develop a historical fiction short story with a partner that incorporated the changemaker theme for the year. They came up with very creative short stories around topics such as The Civil War and famous historical figures like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. Our junior historians worked hard to draft, edit, publish and illustrate their books.
Once students completed and bound their books, they shared them with the 3rd-grade classes. When asked about what they enjoyed about the book talk, third-grader Jack C. said, "It was so cool listening to their books. They reminded me of the I Survived series."
The 4th graders loved reading their masterpieces to the younger students all while teaching them a bit about history!