A Fairy Tale

Day Five of "Desiree goes unplugged(ish)."

To wrap up my little hiatus I introduce Tayler over at Our Fairy Tale. Tayler has been interning as a teacher in Utah and I always love to see what she and her students are up to. Every now and again Tayler will post some things her students write down as answers on their homework, and I crack up every.single.time. Kids can be hilarious and I love when Tayler shares what comes from her students. 

I'll let Tayler take it from here!

I want to thank Desiree so much for letting me guest post today! I have just finished up my first year of history teaching. This year I taught the first half of U.S. History to 8th graders and Utah Studies to 7th graders (I teach in Utah).

The biggest, hardest challenge this year has been to teach Utah Studies. I absolutely loved doing it, but it was hard. My classes are about 90% Mormon, and I'm Mormon, but I didn't want to teach "Sunday school." I wanted to dive into the issues and allow my Hispanic immigrant and non-Mormon students feel connected to Utah history as well. 

So, I tried to focus on culture, cultural exchange, and cultural clash throughout the entire semester. Believe it or not, there are very many cultures in Utah. We talked about the uniqueness of each Indian tribe, what was given and taken between the Indians, Spanish explorers, and mountain men, the logical/rational reasons for misunderstandings between the Mormons and non-Mormons, and the many different groups of immigrants and their various reasons for coming to Utah.

To top it all off, I had my students do a week long Cultural Heritage project:

Day 1:
Create a collage of your own personal culture (your race, nationality, religion, language, music, food, hobbies, etc). The point of this was to show that each individual has a different culture.

Day 2:
Find out the story of who in your family came to Utah first. How, why, when, etc. Many of these "immigrants" were obviously Mormon pioneers, but a surprising many were parents or grandparents of the students.

Day 3: 
Research a country of your choice where your ancestors are from. This way, we could see a poll of the different nationalities we had and students could connect their personal culture to their past culture.

Day 4: 
Discuss Utah's economy today and discuss how our families help that. What different jobs do your relatives have? What industries are really popular/successful in Utah now?

Day 5:
Find 3 cultural "artifacts" around your house (objects that represent your personal culture). Explain why they are important to you.

Day 6: 
Make a poster to represent your culture, bring a cultural/traditional food your family eats, and bring your cultural artifacts.

Day 6, we sat up desks like a museum, walked around, discovered each other's cultures and ate great food! This is my favorite day of each semester with Utah Studies. The kids are very invested in their projects because it is all about them and how they fit into Utah. Parents, teachers, and other students were welcome to come in. Seeing these students' projects and getting to know them better is one of the best parts of being a teacher...not to mention the free food you get!

My two favorite treats were the tamale and the seaweed!

Sadly, this was just my internship, and I won't be returning to Springville Junior high. But, I'm already hired for next year, and I will be teaching a plethora of classes! 7th and 8th grade English and history! Yaay! Come follow me along at Our Fairy Tale to see more of my teaching adventures...and my now-upcoming summer adventures!

1 comment:

  1. Another thing to say about Tayler. I happen to have had the opportunity to work with her. She is an exceptional teacher who isn't afraid to change her lessons a bit for students with disabilities.