As we begin a new unit on immigration– where we will be exploring the Lower East Side, creating maps and 3D models of the neighborhood, and learning about the history of NYC immigration– I want you to remember we are doing this for a reason. Here’s the reason: dozens of new students have come to our school after taking exhausting journeys. They walked on foot for hundreds of miles, they were starving, their feet were blistered and burned, they climbed walls, crossed rivers, escaped wild animals and evil people. All to get here. To immigrate.

So, our job is to welcome these new students to The Island School. Really welcome them. That’s why we’re doing this whole project. We are going to welcome them by creating maps of the Lower East Side so they won’t get lost, so they can find markets, mailboxes, and even trash cans.

Today, I want you to imagine you are photographers. Your assignment as a photographer is to capture the long, and sometimes scary, journey that migrants took in coming to our school.

To take your photos you will need to re-create the experiences of migrants that you will see in the videos below. As we watch the videos, take a few seconds to draw the challenges many migrants must face.

So now it’s your turn.

1) Begin by choosing a challenge from the videos. This can include climbing a wall, going through a jungle, boarding a truck, crossing a river or bridge– or something you went through!

2) Next, choose Legos, popsicle sticks, paper and markers, to create the scene.

3) Now, place your mini-people in the scene.

4) Ask for a camera and take some photos of the people going through their dangerous challenge.

Today, we’ll be building model houses for people experiencing homelessness.

December 20 2022

Let’s start by playing a game. It’s called: WHAT’S THAT SMELL? I’m going to pass around a scent. Do not say what you think it is yet. Instead, draw or write it in your journal.

Smells don’t just identify things. They also act like spaceships. You smell them and they launch you on an adventure through memories.

Smell #1 again with your eyes closed and your mind clear. What memory did you travel to? Was it a happy memory, a sad memory, or some other feeling? Can someone tell me a memory it makes them think of? Write or draw it in your journal.

On your table, there are 4 more cups. Each has a number and a different smell. Just like cup #1 guess what each one is and draw or write what memory it brings up.

Of course, because we’re giving scents to people who are experiencing homelessness, we want the perfumes and colognes to give them positive memories and feelings.

On your table, you will see “scent strips”. Smell as many strips as you want. When you smell one you like, write the name of the scent in your journal You will be blending up to 3 scents to make a perfume or cologne.

Finally, today, we’ll be making our own perfumes and colognes. To do this, you’ll need to carefully follow these directions:

  1. Look at your journal. Find the bottle matching the first scent you liked.
  2. Add up to 5 drops to a cup. DO NOT SQUEEZE THE BOTTLE.
  3. Using your journal, next to the scent, write down how many drops you put– 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5.
  4. Repeat! Up to three different scents.
  5. When you’re done, raise your hand. We will pass out a spray bottle.
  6. Take a dropper and put your perfume/cologne from the cup into a spray bottle.
  7. Using the worksheet, write the name of your new scent.

there is only one rule:


December 13 2022