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posted: Tue, Jan 19th, 2016
Fifth-graders Bryce Abramson and John Smith work together on a research project

Dreams of freedom

The fight for fairness and the rights of citizens has been behind some of the most important events in our country’s history. Sandshore fifth-graders recently completed a project that paired the recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day with the ongoing study of the Revolutionary War.

Students first selected partners from other fifth grade classes. Working collaboratively, they used laptops to access videos and articles about Dr. King and Colonial America around the time of the Boston Tea Party. A section of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was one of the sources.

The teams examined the conditions in America during the 1960s and the protests led by Dr. King in the civil rights movement and compared them with the conditions and protests in Colonial America just preceding the Revolution.

After writing their analyses of the specifics of the conflicts, students worked independently to complete the final piece of the project. Each student imagined being a colonist in Boston and wrote his or her own “I Have a Dream” speech to inspire other colonists to join the fight for fairness.

Here’s the speech written by Bryce Abramson, a student in Tricia Mitchell’s class, that uses many of the specifics that he learned about the time period and Massachusetts history.


“I Have a Dream”

by: Bryce Abramson


I have a dream, that one day our country

would be free from the British and not have to pay taxes.

            I have a dream that our tea act would bring us towards freedom.                    

I have a dream that our country would not listen to

the Intolerable Acts and do something about it!

I have a dream that every person in Boston Harbor

would stay Sons of Liberty instead of being punished

for being one, I have a dream.

I have a dream that all colonists would be able

to vote for their elected officials in Massachusetts’

own system of government!

I have a dream that the King of England

wouldn’t be allowed to make appointments as

he pleases, I have a dream!

I have a dream that we would not allow British

soldiers sleep in abandoned houses or on public land;

instead, they will make a sleeping home and sleep there even

if it is as uncomfortable as a layer of bones, I HAVE A DREAM!


Alyssa DeGroat works on her survey

And the survey says…

Laila Khalifa and Leah Jones share ideas on how to compose survey questions

While learning about creating bar graphs in math, Darcy McHale’s third-graders gained practical experience that allowed them to understand the process at a deep level.

Mrs. McHale had her students create their own surveys and have concrete goals why they wanted the information, collect responses on a tally chart, and create a bar graph to display their own data. Then, the students had to analyze the results and write comparative statements about their findings.

Isabella Morales surveyed the class about their favorite pizza toppings – helpful information to have if she had people over for a party. (Other students conducted surveys on favorite sports, colors, or animals.) Graphing the results with properly labeled axes and differing colors came next. Finally, Isabella worked with the data and make math-related summaries, for example, “twice as many people favored sausage than pepperoni” and “three more people preferred meatball over chicken.”

“The students weren’t just using random numbers from a book,” Mrs. McHale said. “The project allowed the kids to work with data that had meaning to them and that they themselves had collected. Being immersed in the project I think made it easier for them to understand how to make computational comparisons and to see how math is used in the real world.”

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Sandshore School
498 Sandshore Rd Budd Lake, NJ 07828
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