Last year, students in Edith Stein’s Blind Middle School Social Studies classes at FSDB experienced a “Taste of Rome” (ancient Rome) sampling raw foods and olive oil while listening to the first human melody found, dated to 1400 B.C.
This year, students in Stein’s class travelled back in time to the early days of colonial America. A well-prepared and articulate student presenter, Elizabeth McDaniels, regaled students with tales of what life was like as a young woman in the 1740s. Elizabeth wore the young female garb of that day, skirt with petticoat, apron with a concealed pocket to hold her valuables, and head scarf.
As the students listened raptly and occasionally giggled (this is middle school after all) Elizabeth described the employment options available to colonial women – not many. She could work in a tavern if she was a widow, or she could make clothing. Elizabeth described the fabrics that clothing was constructed of back in that time, and. Stein stepped in to explain the laborious process by which raw fabrics were constructed. The students in the classroom audience voiced their opinion that it sounded like too much work! Stein brought some raw sheep wool and cleaned wool ready for spinning, drop spindles used for spinning textile into thread, and lucets (tools used for making drawstrings from a single thread of yarn) for the class to handle. She is a believer in the hands-on teaching methodology. Last but not least, Stein served students a Colonial Era meal – beef stew made with seasonal vegetables and hard unleavened crackers.
“Stein again demonstrates her aim of making history lessons as authentic and hands-on as possible for students, as well as enjoyable. She was recently named Blind Middle School Teacher of the Year 2018-2019, and it is evident why, based on her high-quality curricular programming.”
By Christi Boortz, Instructional Services
The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) is a fully accredited state public school and outreach center available tuition-free to eligible Pre-K and K-12 deaf/hard of hearing and blind/visually impaired students. Comprehensive educational services at FSDB are individualized, specific to the unique communication and accessibility needs of each student for independence and lifelong success. FSDB gratefully accepts private donations to support vital programs that directly benefit students and are not paid by state general revenue funds. To visit the school or to learn more about eligibility for enrollment, contact 1-800-344-3732. For more information, visit www.fsdb.k12.fl.us.