We read about Harriet Tubman's young life and how her family was split up by the plantation owner. We learned Harriet Tubman hoped to make a change in her life and finally did when she escaped to freedom in the North. Once she was in the North, however, she returned to the south many times as a conductor on the Underground Railroad.
Students learned that Enslaved Africans used the Underground Railroad to escape the harsh conditions in the South. We discovered the Underground Railroad was not an actual train, but a secret route that the slaves used to get away. The slaves were called passengers, but they did not sit and ride on a train. Underground Railroad passengers traveled on foot during the night and hid during the day to avoid being caught and returned to their life of slavery.
Students learned the passengers used the north star to guide them. We learned that the song "Follow the Drinking Gourd" was a secret code that the slaves used to find their way North and to Freedom. Ask your child how the slaves used the "Drinking Gourd" to find their way North.
In addition, we are studying the westward expansion of the United States in the early 1800s. We read about the journey of one family that traveled on the Oregon trail with a wagon and Oxen. We learned about Robert Fulton, an inventor who developed a steamboat that improved westward travel. Also, we found out how the Erie Canal helped people transport freight in a way that was faster and less expensive. Students created drawings on quilt squares for each topic to help them remember the main idea from the text.
Our math lessons focused on subtracting from three-digit whole numbers. We used place value charts and the algorithm to figure out the missing part. Then, we used addition to check our answer.
All the second grade students worked together to present a skit about honesty. This month Nordstrom students are focusing on the core value of honesty. The skit was based on a story we read earlier this year, "The Emperor's New Clothes." The narrator advised the students that if you tell the truth you won't have to remember what you said. Ask your child to tell you about the skit and the performers.