Our primary Social Studies Unit this year is called "Our Community." We have begun our study with several visits to interesting places on the island and have invited people in to tell us about themselves and the part that they play in island life. Because I am learning about the island as I go, Marty Trower has been a tremendous help, making lists and phone calls and thinking up more and more interesting places to visit and people to learn from. The visits and visitors we have had so far have been wonderful and we have many more planned for the second halfof the year! After reading this, if you think of other places or people we could learn from, please let us know.

Ruth White


 Report on Field Trip to the Second Wind Farm
written by the K-2 students

On Wednesday, May 30th, 2007 we walked to Second Wind Farm. There was a pile of dug up trash from long ago when part of the land was used for a dump. He told us not to throw trash on the land because it was not good for the soil.

We helped plant corn using an old fashioned corn planter. We saw a huge pile of wood chips. The temperature inside was over 100 degrees. We could put our hands in and it felt really warm.

We saw a sheep shelter on wheels that Chuck made. He can now move the shelter around so he can move the sheep to better pasture.

Chuck planted a lot of tall grass. The grass will be flipped under the ground so that it can feed the soil.

It was a great field trip. We want to go back next fall to help. Maybe some of us will go and work there this summer. 





Chris Rich helped us kick off our rock unit on April 26th with a presentation about the volcanoes in Iceland, a country he visited some years ago.  He brought samples of volcanic rock and told us about plate techtonics.  He drew maps of Chebeague island and Heymaey Island to scale so we could understand how close in size the two islands are.  We were really interested in the photographs and maps!

 In September, when the weather was warm we took an exciting walk to Sunset Point. We explored the vegetation on either side of the road down to the shore and found toads and insects galore. At the shore we saw a large and strange boulder. Some of the children were sure it was a meteor that had landed there! There was a large dead jellyfish in the seaweed.
The best part of the excursion was finding monarch caterpillars and bringing several back on a milkweed leaves. We put the caterpillars in jars with gauze over the tops and watched them form a 'J' shape and a chrysalis to rest and grow in. Imagine the thrill when, two weeks later, we saw stunning orange and black Monarch butterflies emerge and pump fluid into their wings, readying for their flight and freedom outdoors!

 We traveled to the Museum of Chebeague History in October. Donna Damon, the curator, took great pride in pointing out the many pieces of Chebeague history that related to the students' families and ancestors.
Aaron was most impressed with the old metal skates; Elias and Tiffany loved the wood model of a stone sloop; Trisha and Ethan thought the huge wooden bowl that Chuck Varney had carved was amazing. There was a photograph of Laura curled up inside it! Reuben commented on the pieces of granite that he saw and Stephen and Braeden said they liked the over-life-sized standing photograph of Henry Bowen, the first postmaster on the island. Everyone loved finding their names posted around the museum. Donna told how that part of the exhibit was connected to that particular student. Eight of our nine students are related to the first Hamilton!




   Martha Hamilton, a lifelong island artist came to visit the K-2 class in December. She showed us some of her detailed cut-paper artwork. They were so delicate and beautiful Then she showed us how to make paper dolls and snowflakes.
The 3-5 grade children who visited the room were so impressed that they asked Martha to come back and show them how to make cut paper decorations as well. Mrs. Hamilton readily agreed and returned the next week.


On December 5th, we walked down the road to Chuck Varney's sawmill and house. First he showed us his many, very large pieces of machinery for working on the land. There were tractors, balers, saws, immense hole diggers and many other new and antique implements. There was even very old push plow, almost rusted beyond repair that Chuck had found in the woods behind the Museum of Chebeague History.
But it was when we entered Chuck's house that we were most excited. It was Chuck's home and woodworking studio all in one. There were all sizes of carved wooden spoons, even a gigantic spoon out on the porch. There were huge piles of rough wood pieces ready for Chuck to transform into more spoons and bowls. Projects were everywhere; on the tables, under the tables and anywhere else where was a spot for them. His ducks sat on each of the open stairs to the loft above; turned bowls and large plates were everywhere. We were amazed at the cleverness of Chuck's handiwork and inventions. It was a really cool trip!


On Monday, January 8, 2007, we went to David Scrase's wood studio. He showed us how he made wooden bowls. We looked at many bowls, potato chip bowls, bowls with bumpy edges, big bowls and small bowls. He gave us each a small bowl. He put our names on each bowl. It was interesting, fun and the woodchips felt really cool!

On January 29th, 2007, we visited Gail Miller's studio. She showed us how to make beautiful ornaments. First we picked the one we wanted to make. Next, we stamped the shape out of the metal and drilled a whole in it. We pounded it with a hammer and stamped it with little designs. Then Gail cleaned them and took a picture of us. She gave us some string to hang the ornament with. It was a cool, fun, fieldtrip. She makes napkin rings and earrings too.
 On Monday, February 5th, we went to the Fire Station. Fire Fighter Joe Ballard and his sister Ginny showed us what they wear in a fire. We learned that you stop, drop and roll if your clothes are on fire. If there is smoke, stay low and GO!  
 Marlene showed us the ambulance and all the tools and toys that help people. We got to go through the new fire truck. It was fabulous!