Teaching the Hudson Valley

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Building a Wicwam

Unit: Dancing with the Hudson

All Lessons In This Unit

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213

Destination

Storm King Art Center

County

Orange

Subject:

Social Studies,Environmental Education

Grade:

12th Grade,11th Grade,10th Grade,9th Grade,8th Grade,7th Grade,6th Grade

Summary


While hiking, students hike learn to identify local tree species and to select an appropriate location for a wicwam. They cut saplings, strip the bark, and lash them together to create a frame and then cover it to complete the structure. The class also may imagine and/or role-play a piece of the life of a Wappinger tribe member. This lesson can be done on school grounds if hiking trips are not possible.

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Composing Original Musical for a Hudson River Show Soundtrack

Unit: Dancing with the Hudson

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206

Destination

Copland House

County

Westchester

Subject:

Arts

Grade:

12th Grade,11th Grade,10th Grade,9th Grade,8th Grade,7th Grade,6th Grade

Summary


Interested students signed up to create the soundtrack for an original student script. They gathered with a visiting composer to read through the script and compiled a list of where sounds or music would be desirable. Then, each signed up to be responsible for one or two pieces. They gathered other students as they deemed necessary, and assigned them to play instruments or other sound-making objects.

They composed, collaborated, rehearsed, fine-tuned, and shared their creations with the teacher, the visiting artist, and others in the class for input. Finally, pieces were digitally recorded by a group of peers (recording is an optional part of this project). Students were excited by the opportunity to use old musical skills and explore new ones in this project that heavily tapped their imaginations.

Creativity, improvisation, and collaboration were given as much attention as conventional music notation, instrumentation, and technique. Pieces changed often as they were rehearsed and new ideas were suggested. The process was very rich for those unaccustomed to it. A team of students used digital recording skills learned earlier in the year to record the pieces, which added another layer of valuable exposure to a useful skill.

The end product was a truly unique recording full of pieces that fully captured students' musical interpretations of the accompanying theatrical action. Note that the process of composing original pieces to fit a scene, dance, mood, or action can stand on its own, and does not need an original writ, or major production, or recording component attached.

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Olana Trip

Unit: Catskill Heritage Project, Early Grades

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210

Destination

Olana State Historic Site

County

Columbia

Subject:

Technical Education,Social Studies,Science,Math,Environmental Education

Grade:

2nd Grade

Summary

Students learn about Hudson River School painter Frederic Church. Topics include his work and family as well as his home, Olana, and its natural setting.

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Pre-Test & Discussion

Unit: Colonial Albany: Everyday Evidence

All Lessons In This Unit

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76

Destination

Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site

County

Albany

Subject:

Social Studies

Grade:

7th Grade

Summary


Administer the pre-test and discuss the essential question for the unit, "What do you know about life in Albany 200 years ago?" Structure this initial discussion to help you learn about student's prior knowledge. Use the discussion and pre-test results to guide what you emphasize in future lessons. Subsequent lessons in this unit use primary source materials to help students develop their critical and visual thinking skills.

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Newspaper Analysis

Unit: Colonial Albany: Everyday Evidence

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198

Destination

Albany Institute of History & Art

County

Albany

Subject:

Social Studies

Grade:

7th Grade

Summary

Examining historic records, in this case a 1798 newspaper, offer students a different, sometimes clearer, understanding of specific periods of time. This lesson gives students a glimpse into what was important to the people of Albany 200 years ago. Two Albany newspapers from the collections of the Albany Institute of History & Art Library are analyzed for important events and advertisements.

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People of Colonial Albany Live Here, Web Search

Unit: Colonial Albany: Everyday Evidence

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Views:

201

Destination

Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site

County

Albany

Subject:

Social Studies

Grade:

7th Grade

Summary

This is the second pre-visit lesson before visiting the Albany Institute and Schuyler Mansion. Designed to help students get to know actual people who lived in Albany 200 years ago, this lesson will five students a better understanding of everyday life. The lesson uses a web site dedicated to colonial Albany. The study of specific Albany residents includes birth and death records, employment, family size, neighborhoods, and similar everyday household information.

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Albany Institute & Schuyler Mansion Trips

Unit: Colonial Albany: Everyday Evidence

All Lessons In This Unit

Views:

400

Destination

Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site

County

Albany

Subject:

Social Studies

Grade:

7th Grade

Summary

Visits to two different sites familiarize students with the life and culture of those who lived in Albany at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th. Activities specific to each site are completed during the visit.

Teachers and museum educators are increasingly challenged in their efforts to engage middle school students in the study of Albany's past. Strategies that worked for prior generations falter when students saturated with rapid image feeds and technology centered learning.

When we can answer the question, "Is that the real one?" with "Yes," the level of engagement rapidly rises and learning begins. Learning from authentic objects in a museum setting can easily compete with reproductions, re-enactments, and digital recreations. This program engages students, promotes learning, and increases awareness of and visits to historic sites.

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Schuyler Mansion, Post-visit lesson

Unit: Colonial Albany: Everyday Evidence

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Views:

192

Destination

Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site

County

Albany

Subject:

Social Studies

Grade:

7th Grade

Summary

Touring an 18th century Georgian Mansion decorated and furnished for the period offers a wealth of everyday "visual" evidence. This lesson tests student recall. Students will use informational floor plans they completed at the Mansion and copies of historical primary sources received during the visit.

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Descriptive Narrative, Post-visit Lesson

Unit: Colonial Albany: Everyday Evidence

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Views:

194

Destination

Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site

County

Albany

Subject:

Social Studies

Grade:

7th Grade

Summary

Students write a descriptive narrative essay on an important person, place, or object they learned about while visiting The Albany Institute of History & Art, the Schuyler Mansion Historical Site, or The People of Colonial Albany Live Here web site.

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Post Test & Discussion

Unit: Colonial Albany: Everyday Evidence

All Lessons In This Unit

Views:

205

Destination

Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site

County

Albany

Subject:

Social Studies

Grade:

7th Grade

Summary


This is the closing analysis for the unit, Everyday Evidence. Students retake the test they took at the beginning of the unit and compare prior and acquired knowledge of life in Albany some 200 years ago.

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Voyage to Albany: Unit Overview

Unit: Voyage to Albany: A Living History Program

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Views:

203

Destination

Albany Heritage Area Visitor's Center

County

Albany

Subject:

Social Studies

Grade:

7th Grade

Summary



This unit studies the history of Albany and the people who lived there -- past and present. It features three in-class lessons, a trip to the Albany Heritage Area Visitor's Center and a cruise on Albany's Aqua Ducks.

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Faces from the Places

Unit: Voyage to Albany: A Living History Program

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193

Destination

Albany Heritage Area Visitor's Center

County

Albany

Subject:

Social Studies

Grade:

7th Grade

Summary


Students will become familiar with the people of the past who occupied buildings throughout the City of Albany. Several of these buildings will be visited later in the unit, during a tour aboard the Albany Aqua Ducks.

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Voyage to Albany

Unit: Voyage to Albany: A Living History Program

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Views:

80

Destination

Albany Heritage Area Visitor's Center

County

Albany

Subject:

Social Studies

Grade:

7th Grade

Summary


Students read a brief history of the Upper Hudson Valley gaining background knowledge to prepare for and enhance site visits. Students learn more about the region's earliest inhabitants and early European settlement of the Hudson River Valley.

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Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center & Aqua Ducks

Unit: Voyage to Albany: A Living History Program

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77

Destination

Albany Heritage Area Visitor's Center

County

Albany

Subject:

Social Studies

Grade:

7th Grade

Summary

After learning about the early history and settlement of Albany in previous lessons, students leave the classroom to deepen their exploration. At the Visitors' Center, students learn about life in 17th and 18th century Albany through a three part interactive program. Aboard the Albany Aqua Duck, an amphibious vehicle, students tour the City of Albany and the Hudson River.

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