Fifth grade social studies curriculum is all about American history and how our country was created! Recently 5th grade students were given a STEM
(Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) challenge to create Durham boats.  The purpose of this activity was to reinforce what they’d learned about George Washington crossing the Delaware.  Students used various sized craft sticks, tape, poster board, and hot glue to recreate the wooden, flat-bottomed boats.  Then they were able to launch the boat in the icy “Delaware” and see how many soldiers (pennies) plus George Washington (a quarter) it could accommodate.  The challenge was met with excitement, creativity, and collaboration.  Catherine T. remarked, “It was a fun way of learning the designs of Durham boats and how they worked.”  Chloe G. agreed, ” Getting the boat across the Delaware was really hard, it must have been even harder for George Washington!”  Hands-on activities help reinforce concepts, allow students to work together, and build classroom community.

Anne-Marie Hudani
St. John Fisher School Principal

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