Grade 8 Gallery Walk “Who Shaped America?”

With the spring arriving, students and teachers are preparing for end of year activities such as concerts, awards, ceremonies and end of term assessments. But this year, students in 8th grade will be participating in a new event through their Social Studies class. The “Who Shaped America” Gallery Walk, the culminating activity for their multi-disciplinary projects.

On June 7th, parents and fellow students will be treated to a “museum-type” gallery walk through all the projects that were created by students in the 8th grade. Students will have their original research, display boards and presentations on display. The 8th graders will have recently completed presenting their work to both their classmates and also faculty evaluators who questioned them on their learning and their process. The gallery walk will be a celebration of their work, and the Greenport Elementary and Junior High students, parents and faculty will be attending.

Mr. Toussaint, the grade 8 social studies teacher at Greenport collaborated with his colleagues in the Junior High to design a long term multi-disciplinary project that asked students to develop a deep understanding of important figures in American History. Students learned about analyzing their figures through different lenses. Mr. Toussaint said, “At this age, I think it important to provide students with skills to support their ability to analyze complex issues. Using the concept of “lenses” students can narrow their focus on political, social, economic and other perspectives when working to understand how individuals have shaped events and developments in history. In the end, students worked as real historians do, which is why I think they had so much fun with this project.”

Earlier this semester, the 8th graders had individual meetings not only with their teacher Mr. Toussaint, but also members of the HS Faculty to discuss their sources of information and research as well as their essay drafts. Other teachers supported students on this project as well. Students learned about citations, non-fiction writing, and research skills with their English and Library/Media teachers.

“We are very pleased with the outcomes of this curricular initiative. Students have worked to develop a deep understanding of their subject matter as they studied across disciplines. They are developing skills that are foundational for the kind of academic work we will ask them to do at the HS level. We are all very excited about the gallery walk” said Gary Kalish, HS Principal.

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