The original 13 and hope in the future

Our fifth graders are in the midst of learning about the original thirteen colonies.

On Thursday, one teacher brought her class to the Media Center for about an hour during her afternoon block. They had begun talking about the settlement of the original colonies. Our task was to look at the original colonies and see if we could figure out how/why they were settled, when, etc. The big goal- to look at trends. See if there's a pattern. We divided the class into 3 groupings and provided them with materials~ both print and digital~ to set about their research.  What happened next was pretty incredible:

S: Were NC and SC the same state? They're both Carolinas?
S: Mrs. Ramsey- why does this map look like NC and TN are the same state?
S: How do you know when a colony was settled? There were already people there: Native Americans. I'm confused. 
S: How come I'm getting different dates for colonization? How do I know which one is right?
S: Weere the Pilgrims and the Puritans the same people? They came to the colonies for the same

And on they went- asking questions and looking for answers. Creating more questions as they went. The teacher and I were excited to hear the questions-and watch them dig in and ask deeper questions.
I'm not sure if I'm more excited to hear the results of their research or just about the types of questions they generated.

While I won't know their final conclusions until later this week, I am confident in a future that involves them. These students weren't content with the most basic answers- they were digging deeper to gain a greater understanding. 


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