Hands-On History Lesson

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Babylon Memorial Grade School sixth-grade students in Rick Punzone’s class had the chance to expand their understanding of WWI and WWII through a multi-disciplinary learning project. Combining their art, technology, library and social studies curriculum, the students participated in an enriching, cross-curricular project under the guidance of each of these area teachers.

Building upon what they learned about the wars in their social studies curriculum, the students worked with library media specialist Lisa Lindeman to research the time period and understand the important role letter writing had in the soldiers’ lives as well as the censorship that took place with messages sent home.

After studying the history behind the medal of honor and other distinguished honors bestowed upon soldiers, the students had the chance to create their own medals. Using clay, they sculpted their pieces and inscribed the attributes each one would honor, as well as selected a corresponding ribbon to distinguish the original pieces. To provide an individual perspective on the material, art teacher Pat Stork shared her family’s story of service during these historical wars.

Finally, writing as soldiers, the class penned letters to their family members and took turns censoring the work of their classmates following the protocols that were in place during the time period they were studying.