Doors to Diplomacy Project ID: 1876

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Battle of Tippecanoe Day
Category: 5. International Security
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Battle Ground Elementary
    Battle Ground, Indiana, United States

35 students, ages from 9 to 11 worked together to complete this Doors to Diplomacy project on March 29, 2002. They have participated in Doors to Diplomacy in the following year(s): 2000, 2001, 2002

Classes and Teachers: Mrs. Virginia Smith's fourth grade and a few of Mrs. Sturgeon's fourth grade

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

There are approximately 450 children who attend our elementary school. Battle Ground is a small community of about 1000 people. Many of the residents work in the nearby city of West Lafayette, where Purdue University is located, or across the river in Lafayette. We are a historical community since the name of our town is related to the Battle of Tippecanoe. Prophetstown was the town of many warriors amassed during Tecumseh/Prophet’s Confederation to rid the frontier of settlers. Prophetstown was located along the Wabash River where it intersects with the Tippecanoe River, both of which are near our town. William Henry Harrison, our 16th president defeated Tecumseh’s and the Prophet’s warriors here on November 11, 1811. While the community has that small town look our students are bussed from surrounding housing additions or country homes. Very few of our students' parents are involved in agriculture despite the agricultural look of much of the land around our community.

2. Summary of Our Project

Indiana History is the Social Studies curriculum in fourth grade. Since we have a significant event in our town relating to this history we always focus on it in some sort of significant way. It is "important" to be knowledgeable about one's own community heritage. This year the Tippecanoe Battlefield Museum and the Battle Ground Elementary School worked collaboratively in the recognition of the 190th anniversary of the Battle of Tippecanoe. We visited the Museum this year in September instead of November, the date of the battle, in order to begin the process of the students becoming "experts" on the Battle of Tippecanoe. We then picked an area and studied it in detail. We have some pictures of this day. With our topic we then did further research at school through October. We wrote the presentation with partners and practiced speaking orally to the class. A few days before the anniversary of the Battle we again went to the museum with parents and practiced several times. Three schools were invited to attend the day of the Battle for us to "share" our expertise. The presentation then was recreated this spring to "share" on the Internet for Cyberfair and Canaltrek. Keeping community heritage alive is the "care and share" value of the community. The Museum is a testimony of this value. Our recreating this event for the Internet community is focus of this project.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:21-50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:4-6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dial-up modem

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Our classroom's Internet access is through an Internet Provider. We have a 56K modem. The school lab is wired through a T-1 line and is connected to the school corporation. The school corporation now has its own server that maintains many of the school related sites. Our lab contains 30 machines with Netscape's Composer as a web editor that the students used.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Actually our technical problems were little. We used software I knew and our lab has an Internet connection. Each student was able to create their page in the lab. Time was our biggest obstacle. March comes very quickly!

5. Our Project Sound Bite

"It's about their history and participation in their community," emphasized manager Cindy Bedell when explaining the joint project between the museum and the Battle Ground fourth-grade. This a quote taken from our local newspaper and exemplifies that "Care and Unite" value.

6. How did your activities and research for this Doors to Diplomacy Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Our fourth grade curriculum covers state and local Indiana history. The CyberFair project is an authentic application of many of our curriculum standards. ( Standard 1 History: Students will describe how significant people, events, and developments have shaped their own community and region; compare their community to other communities and regions in other times and places; and use a variety of resources to gather information about the past.) The activity also supports the language arts standards. We read a biography of Tecumseh and Harrison and the writing, interviewing, researching, and oral speaking are all part of our standards. There is a link to these included standards on the Tippecanoe page. The created site then gives the students an authentic place to publish what they have studied.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your Doors to Diplomacy project?

* Lab - Networked Computers - 30 machines * Netscape's Composer to create web pages * Jasc's Paint Shop Pro 7 to create banners, buttons and images * Telephones to establish contacts * Microsoft Word to do word processing * Digital and still cameras to capture images of our community * Scanners to digitize pictures * Books about topics * Interviews with museum volunteers * Battlefield Museum The visits to the museum to "gather" material was awesome. These images give you an idea of the study that went on. Students usually go VERY quickly through a museum. Since they needed to become "experts" they had to read and look very closely at the exhibits. Having these images on the Internet helped the student "grab" the needed image for their web page. The students have learned to use the web editor, Netscape's Composer, to create web pages. The students learned to "grab" images from the Internet and save them to the hard drive. They learned to add background color or images. They added links and images. The editor makes publishing on the Internet as easy as using a word processor. The scanner, digital camera and the still camera images developed on disk easily gave the students images to add to their pages. The Cyberfair process acquainted the students with the usefulness of the above technologies.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your Doors to Diplomacy project both on-line and in person.

Two local newspapers and the local TV station came to the museum the day of the presentation. The students were glad to share that they thought that "learning this can actually learn things better." Another student was quoted as saying that, "teaching other students about history and artifacts helps improve learning". A parent helping out this day said she thought is was better than learning just in the classroom. Also she thought it was great that the children are learning about what happened right here in their own town. A teacher of one of the visiting classes said the experience at the museum helps students learn just reinforces (the battle) and brings it to life. The museum director was thrilled with our collaboration and a visiting teacher hopes we do the activity next year.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Students participating in the project have learned that their community is special and unique and makes efforts to sustain its history. They have learned that citizens volunteer to serve community projects. By publishing the student work on the Internet the event is recorded and can be replayed for the benefit of any visitor to the site. Our collaboration between the school and the community museum is a model that other communities can pattern in their efforts to demonstrate "caring and unity".

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

The parents went to the museum to help the students practice their presentations by their respective exhibits. Also along with the museum personel we had a lady from a nearby community come tell the students about the woodland Indians. There was a gentleman telling about artifacts from the time period. Another lady shared music of the dulcimer. Some junior high students, called the "Tecumseh Fiddlers" played at a closing ceremony at the monument. Another gentleman from the community shared his thoughts about how he and some citizens had worked together to preserve our community heritage. The "Care and Unite" value is exemplified with all these helpers and volunteers.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

One wonderful discovery was that student learning was greatly enhanced by doing the activity. The writing also was another review of the material. Learning to become an "expert" takes time, but the "rewards" are satisfication in a job well done.


View our Doors to Diplomacy Project (Project ID: 1876)

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