E.T. A LOCAL WAY OF LEARNING
Title: SCHOOLS HAVE ROOTS
Author: Jane Ducey
Eulalie R. Rivera Elementary School
Grade Level: 5-12
7. Land Use 1. Social Studies
8. Values and Attitudes 2. Language Arts
9. Change 3. Art
Students shall learn from older members of the school community about life in
the area 50 years ago or so. Students shall write reports, poetry or fiction
based on this information, and/or paint murals depicting life in the "old days".
Famous Virgin Islanders may have lived and worked in the community of the
school. Many factors are at work today to obliterate the unique qualities of
life which were once enjoyed by the people of the islands. The overpowering
exposure to T.V., most of which is not V.I. based, causes one imbalance in the
influences on young island children. Through the expression in Art and Language
Arts such as the painting of murals and research about island culture, students
may learn about their forebears and history.
If there are sugar plantation ruins in your school community you can start by
learning what estate occupied the area. You may find that records can be found
in the Caribbean Room of the library, that pertain to your estate.
Find a member or two of the community who have lived there since they were
children, or who once lived there.
Follow the questions on the activity sheet; make up additional questions that
the class decides to ask.
You will probably find that once an older person starts thinking back, a wealth
of random memories will pour forth. Your questions made up beforehand will help
you cover all that you want to learn. You might tape the conversation so that
you could refer to it again.
With the help of a teacher (art teacher, perhaps) you can block out a mural on a
suitable wall area, showing life as it once was in the islands, using books to
visualize the clothing and housing according to the pictures you find. Paint
the mural. Other students can write reports, historical fiction or poetry based
on the material covered in your interview.
SCHOOLS HAVE ROOTS
SUGGESTED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Name of person interviewed:
2. Date of birth:
3. Place of birth:
4. What schools(s) did the person attend?
5. How far from home was the school?
6. What was the person's home like?
7. How far away was the church located?
8. What was the community like, i.e., how many families?
9. What was 'wash day' like?
10.How did the person's family make a living?
11. What means of transportation did they have?
12. What did the person's family have to make for its use?
13.What was available at stores? Name some things and their prices:
14. How are some things different today than they were long ago?
List other questions you would like to ask:
Reference: Growing Up On St. Croix by Eulalie C. Rivera