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Middle Elementary News: December 2012

The 2-3s have had two great field trips. Our first trip took us all the way to Lake Erie and focused on the lives of Native Americans in Michigan. We learned that seeds were an innovation that completely changed the lives of the woodland Indians, allowing them to remain in one spot and grow their food. The arrival of Europeans with metal items and wool blankets created another huge shift in how the native people lived in the Americas.

Our 2nd trip took us to the Michigan Historical Museum where we toured the museum and experienced an excellent program on the French voyageurs. The students were involved in a great reenactment of paddling a 40-foot canoe and got to see and touch furs and many other artifacts that were traded between the French-Canadian and the Native Americans in Michigan.

All classes will be finishing The Birchbark House and moving on, in January, to two novels by Janie Lynn Panagopoulos. Both are set in Michigan and help children learn more about the fur trade, French and English explorers (Traders in Time) and then the Erie Canal (Erie Trail West).

Please take some time to check your child’s bathing suit, inside shoe and PE shoe status. Children can grow quickly and the pool eats through suits at an alarming rate. This is about when some children start complaining that PE shoes are too small (or have traveled home) or when bathing suits get too tight or too thin.

We wish you a happy and restful winter break but please sneak in some reading each day!

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