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Beginning to think like historians

Beginning to think like historians

Shortly before Winter Break, Opal 3 began to dive into the questions of studying history: What was life like in the past? What was here before the things we know today? What changes has our landscape undergone over the years?

Since our return to school, we've taken these questions further into a study of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-1806. As the children interact with texts, photos, maps, and source documents, our schema is building. And yet, all of this rich information means nothing without our imaginations to fit it all together into a story we feel connected to. What ideas and questions have emerged over the past weeks that might provide a meaningful entrance into the stories of Oregon history?

Considering what was here in Portland years ago at Tanner Springs Park:


Is the water the same as the water years ago? (AA)


A mountain is tall. A green space behind. Suddenly, a black or maybe green dot is coming closer. It’s green. A truck comes and dumps a lot of rocks, railroad, and cement. More trucks come to the space and other spaces. Buildings rise and the mountain becomes Tanner Springs Park. (AI)



What did the city look like 1000 years ago? (AB)


Imagining an expedition of our own in the Arboretum:

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I've found a new specimen! What is it? (MM)


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It's like the sidewalk is the riverbank. I'm a bear. I'm going to jump in the river to catch a fish! (AI)


Lewis and Clark's boat and crew

How will they get the boats over the mountain? (ER)


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I'm trying to draw a map from back then to get sense of how far it is. I think their journey was longer than from Canada to Mexico! (WK)

Has the river moved at all since then? (AI)  Yeah, is there a river route to the Pacific now? (ER)


This is just a sampling from so very many moments of thought and wonder. It has given me the chance to appreciate truly the daunting task of studying history – times, places, and people that feel so distant, and yet, are so very present in our lives today. Join us on our continuing journey to uncover those connections and discoveries … more soon!