In their current UOI “Events and Experiences Shape Our Personal History”, the grade 2 students have been looking at what has shaped their personal histories, looking at people in their family who have impacted them the most, or events and experiences that have changed their lives. After looking at different timelines which they worked to put in chronological order, they started creating their own timelines.
Then they started to look further afield: "What is history?" "How have world events made our lives possible?” "How do our lives connect to a bigger historical narrative?" For example, after reading a story about the Wright Brothers, and how they invented flight, some students made the connection that if the airplane hadn’t been invented, they wouldn’t have been able to come to places like Japan and be at NIS. Some even made the connection that they might not have been born, because airplanes made it possible for their parents to travel to different countries to meet and have their children.
They recorded their own 'Big History Connections' onto an extra-large timeline, then took it to the Grade 12 History class. The grade 2 students explained the connections they had to world events and why they were important to them. They also asked the Grade 12s to think of any world events that have shaped their lives, and then worked together to add more to all of their timelines.
As they shared their timelines and stories about their personal history with peers and also with older students, students were beginning to understand…that in spite of the differences they have, they actually have a lot in common as we all think about our Big History connections, sailing along, together on our human journey.