Shelter From The Cold

After studying the Pilgrims’ first winter in America, we learned that they were not able to build enough shelter to house all of their families by the time winter began.  Many Pilgrims did not survive the first winter here because of this. The First graders were then challenged to build shelter for the new settlers. Each structure had to keep out the cold winds, fit at least 4 family members, allow for a fire to be built inside, a way for the smoke from the fire to exit, and a way for the family to enter and exit to gather food and supplies. Many designs took shape but when tested with cold wind and figures to represent each family member, they began to see some flaws. This sent many of our students back to the drawing board in search of a better solution but they did not give up. Even with as many as four failed attempts, students continued to improve their design and by the end of our challenge all students found success.We then walked all around the classroom to see each and every great design. This was one of my proudest moments as a teacher, when I overheard them encouraging and complimenting their peers on their unique ideas and collaborating on what ideas worked best. The first graders learned that the Pilgrims must have worked very hard to meet all of the challenges in real life. They also learned that in their lives failure is only a small stop on their road to success!


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