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Modeling Research Skills to Uncover the Truth
8th Grade  and 11th Grade collaboration on slavery

Eleventh graders recently collaborated with eighth graders to enhance their understanding of a history unit about enslaved peoples. The 11th Grade US History students had researched and created informational posters about the lives of enslaved peoples prior to the Civil War, including life on a plantation, the underground railroad, the experience of free Black people, and the Middle Passage. The eighth graders, who were also studying slavery, visited the Upper School classroom to view the posters. 

In small groups, the eighth-grade students took notes from each poster, then shared what they learned with their classmates. “This was a creative and respectful way to engage students in both teaching and learning about the unpleasant topic of slavery,” remarked Eighth Grade History Teacher Sean Nowicki. “The 11th graders had deeply researched these topics, and we were able to benefit from that historical research, which we used to look for themes and patterns of the human experience during slavery.”

8th Grade  and 11th Grade collaboration on slavery

Eleventh Grade History Teacher Madison Williams welcomed the collaboration with the Middle School students. “Sean and I wanted to make sure to thoroughly cover this topic in a sensitive, well-researched manner. I love that at San Domenico, we have the opportunity to celebrate our older students as teachers to our younger students. My 11th graders devoted themselves to deeply researching various topics related to enslavement and then we shared their findings with our eighth graders. This not only deepened their understanding of these atrocities, but also modeled how the Upper School uses quality research skills to uncover the truth.”