Four years ago, the Grade 3 teaching team began to restructure their approach to teaching the history of the Jamestown settlement as part of their social studies unit. That change in focus was motivated by a desire to tell the story of the establishment of the colony from the perspectives of all of the groups that were involved.
With help from the Faculty and Staff Equity Committee, the Grade 3 team asked themselves some tough questions that led to a fresh approach to teaching a longstanding unit at that grade level. Those questions included: Whose story is being told? Whose story is being erased? And whose story is completely missing? Their work led to a more equitable—and accurate—approach to telling the story of the Powhatans, the English, and the Angolans. In the workshop, Erica, Shannon, and Rachel shared their journey, which included examining their use of language, finding new resources and activities, and applying new thinking routines. Their hope is that other educators will use their techniques to reexamine and make changes to curriculum elements that center only one perspective.