Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Students Explore Trunks From New Bush Presidential Library

Carroll ISD is often looking for fun, hands-on ways to engage students in higher-level thinking and learner-led inquiry. The district discovered an outreach program from the new George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum that did just that. Built on the concept of engaging students in primary sources, the education program’s traveling trunks are designed to supplement textbooks in new and exciting ways that interest students.

While each trunk focuses on using primary sources in the classroom, they can be used outside of the social studies classroom and in cross-curricular instruction. Carroll ISD has had the fortunate experience in piloting two of the trunks with 2nd graders across our district.

In the Raiding the Attic: Exploring History with Nana’s Trunk students imitate museum detectives exploring the treasured collections of six different American families. Through interaction with the artifacts and curriculum in Nana’s Trunk, students will learn the importance of museums and archives, how to differentiate between a primary and secondary source, how to analyze objects for their historical significance, and what collected objects meant to families. The trunk includes a full curriculum with ready-to-use activities and lesson plans.

The Saving Our Seas! The President and Mrs. Bush Marine Conservation Resource Trunk  was developed for science instruction to demonstrate the marine conservation initiatives of President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush. The trunk provides primary and secondary resources, scientific tools, and hands-on manipulatives that allow teachers to acquaint students with a variety of marine concepts including: diversity of life in the oceans, the role of coral reefs, the water-cycle, human impact on the ocean ecosystem, and the archival records documenting the work of President and Mrs. Bush to conserve our oceans. The goal of the trunk is to provide the tools and activities to ensure students understand the significance of the oceans and to help them develop active conservation plans to ensure their part in saving our seas.

After using the trunk with their students, the teachers will provide the Presidential Library with feedback for others who use the traveling trunks around the DFW metroplex. Last year an activity developed by the Walnut Grove Elementary 2nd grade team was added to the Raiding the Attic Trunk. This year science lab teachers from RES and OUES met with Heather Nice, the Education Specialist at the Library, to provide feedback on the marine conservation trunk.

The photo gallery includes images of second graders from Old Union Elementary and Walnut Grove Elementary.