Saturday, September 1, 2007

William Henry Harrison? Really?

For week 5 in grade 5 my students created top 5 lists in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. On the whole it was intriguing (sometimes disturbing, sometimes enlightening). For all five lists, see here.

The shocking list was the famous Virginians. The kids studied Virginia history in fourth grade so I figured it would be something they could all contribute to. They did.

I had to step in and delete Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Helen Keller from the list. Lincoln and Grant were at least studied in fourth grade, I have no idea where Helen Keller came from. Otherwise their list was fine (notice, I don't use a more glowing adjective). They included the obvious: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, James Madison, Robert E. Lee. They also had some interesting ones: Patrick Henry, Maggie Lena Walker, Harriet Tubman, John Smith. I added Pocahontas to the list (the only time I added to any list, I felt we needed more female representation).

Their final list:
  1. Pocahontas (a testament to the number of girls in my class - 13 out of 19)
  2. Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson (really? why? just for the stonewall nickname? could there be any other reason?)
  3. Thomas Jefferson (good thing he's here; between their fourth grade teacher and myself we have three degrees from UVA)
  4. Harriet Tubman (a stretch, not technically a Virginian, but see earlier comment about female representation)
  5. William Henry Harrison (HONESTLY? WTF? Would you even know he was a Virginian? How did he make the top 5?)

1 comment:

Tree said...

Best post ever. I cannot be angry at them even though they claimed I never gave them any treats. I am ok that WHH and TJ have a longer impact then root beer floats and popcorn.