Village to City

If The Shoe Fits

2012-2013, First Grade

In this expedition, first graders learned about the interdependence among the many occupations that were prominent during the 1800’s as Rochester expanded from a village to a city. Through the occupation of the cobbler, the class learned about laws and rules, job specialization, and individual roles in society. They paid special attention to the booming manufacturing industry and how it changed the life of the tradesperson. Students read letters, wrote letters, and created a postal system within the classroom. They learned new songs that gave insight to the cobbler’s life and provided a special connection to the time period.


2016-2017, Third Grade

Rochester is America’s first boomtown. It practically happened overnight, but what were the contributing factors, and how did this sudden influx of people and ideas work together to create historic change? During this expedition, the third grade class investigated the unique climate and landscape that influenced farming in the region and the high-yield wheat that drove the wheat markets. In addition, they travelled the Erie Canal to learn about simple machines and engineering feats that made the Erie Canal possible. Finally, the class made connections between the many different people that depended on each other as they built and traveled the canal. Using historic songs, rich literary sources, hands-on scientific investigations, and focused field studies they learned about Rochester’s boomtown days.

With Liberty and Justice for…

2014-2015, Fourth Grade

While our country is now known for the guarantee of freedom, in the early days of Rochester that freedom was denied to many of its citizens. Fourth grade focused on people who worked tirelessly to abolish slavery and expand rights for African Americans and women in the 19th Century. Central to this expedition was the strategies and character traits of key figures with connections to Rochester such as Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriett Tubman, Isaac and Amy Post, and Austin Steward. Fourth graders used the GCCS Character Traits as a lens to examine how people brought change and to reflect on what they have within themselves. Fieldwork took the class to historically significant locations in and around Rochester. Students worked with enactors, historians, and musicians to deepen their learning about the reformers and their actions. As a final product, students produced a character reflection journal to document their perception of reformers and themselves.

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