The Cooper School Daily

The First Thanksgiving

Middle schoolers put themselves into the moccasins of a Wampanoag Native American this week to celebrate one of our favorite American holidays. As we discussed the real story of Thanksgiving, we looked at the story through the lens of a Wampanoag and wrote letters in their voice.

To jumpstart what empathy looks like, we read a poem by Nikki Giovanni. Although Ms. Giovanni contemplates killing a spider, she conveys the importance of putting yourself into another’s shoes to feel and display compassion to all living beings. Contemplating and expressing empathy for the Native Americans who helped the settlers at Plymouth Rock is just one way to appreciate what we have to celebrate this Thanksgiving.

I killed a spider
Not a murderous brown recluse
Nor even a black widow
And if the truth were told this
Was only a small
Sort of papery spider
Who should have run
When I picked up the book
But she didn’t
And she scared me
And I smashed her
I don’t think
I’m allowed
To kill something
Because I am

What’s happening in Science and Social Studies:
Historians explored early human civilizations during the Paleolithic Age, Ice Age, and Neothlithic Age. They examined the skull shapes of primates to investigate evolution of primate features.

What’s up in Reading?
Readers dove back into the middle school library to find that “just right” book as we began our new fiction unit. We cozied up in our warm classroom and began our new Read Aloud, Echo Mountain. Readers discussed their books with their new book clubs and worked on flagging important information they would like to discuss with their fellow readers.

In Writing:
Writers have been working on a new research topic to finalize the end of our informational unit. Everyone did a wonderful job demonstrating their knowledge and everyone has grown so much since the beginning of this unit. We all enjoyed celebrating the hard work that was put forth to bring this project into fruition. Writers also spent some time thinking about what they are grateful for, and constructing a gratitude writing piece.

Important Dates:
November 23rd-27th- Thanksgiving Break
December 19th- 3rd- Winter Break