Last September, Brad Coupe and the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse invited Principal of Young School in Saco, Dr. Peter Harrison and staff, to visit the island off Vine’s Landing in Biddeford, and tour the lighthouse.
From that visit, a whole-school, Lighthouse Themed study was planned to correspond with Maine’s Bicentennial and it’s Maritime history. A May field trip to Portland Head Light by all students was to set the stage for this integrated project. In Art classes, students were going to design and build a lighthouse.
Classroom teachers planned lighthouse themed activities in all subject areas and technology would be used to virtually visit and learn about lighthouses. Guest
speakers would share their experiences working and living at lighthouses in Maine.
Teachers planned to connect Young School’s OBOYS (One Book, One Young School) project to the lighthouse theme by having all students receive and read a copy of
the book Keep the Lights Burning Abbie, by Peter and Connie Roop.
Then in March, a Global Pandemic changed all those plans!
Teachers’ focus turned to “Distance Learning.” Just connecting with students and families became the immediate necessity. Slowly with time, teachers began to be more comfortable with this new way of school and their thoughts drifted back to the abandoned Lighthouse project.
In an effort to help students stay engaged over April vacation, Young School teachers shared a few resources for students to explore if they chose to. Over vacation, Students were challenged to build or create a lighthouse.
Distance Learning Lighthouse Week
Ms. Julia Gordon, K-2 Art teacher, compiled photos staff took while visiting Wood Island into a video for students!
After April Vacation, the original committee members decided to bring the Lighthouse Unit back to life digitally!
Three Lighthouse Experts Right Here in Saco!
Distance Learning Choice Board Menus
In order to extend learning, teachers created Lighthouse themed Choice Board/Learning Menus that included all subjects and unified arts.
Teachers also used Seesaw to create learning activities for students to complete in conjunction with the choice boards/menus.
See Student Questions and Responses from our Lighthouse Experts
Links that go along with the student responses in the image below:
This story was submitted by Wendy Cannon, Technology Coach, Saco PreK-2 Schools as mart of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or an idea email Rachel at email@example.com.