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Caroline Murray/Recorder staff Some of the Broadalbin-Perth Intermediate School student volunteers who came in early and stayed late to help complete Dianne Magliocca's fourth grade ELA project are, from left, Shelby Fenton, Sophia Rodgers, Luke Tambasco, Emma Goebel, Luke Barnhart, Maddalena Minkler, Emma Morey, Katherine Szumowski and Dylan Tyler. The students used recycled items and candy to make a house in tribute to the Iroquois nation, part of a three-month study in the class.


Students put in extra time to complete model house

Saturday, December 14, 2013 - Updated: 4:08 AM


PERTH -- An eagle crafted out of Tootsie Rolls, marshmallows, banana Runts and M&M's was the focal point of a project created by two Broadalbin-Perth 4 grade ELA classes.

Every year, B-P's Intermediate School teacher Dianne Magliocca will have her students decorate a house made out of recycled cardboard with winter themed and holiday decor.

In an attempt to make the project more academic and up to date with the New York State Common Core Standards, this year's theme --Iroquois -- pays tribute to a three month long study that her class underwent while learning one of four New York State modules.

"It (the project) started a week ago, the eagle took one whole day," said Magliocca." We wanted the eagle to look genuine so it took a lot of time, the rest was ingenuity. "

The house is garnished with candy, frosting and outdoor materials that depict what the students learned while reading about the Native Americans. Each wall of the house incorporates scenes from their texts as well as certain elements significant to the Iroquois nation.

On the back, a holiday scene of snowmen and snow flakes is displayed.

"One part fun, three parts academic," said Magliocca.

After reading five sections out of "The Great Law of Peace," a compilation of 100 different Iroquois narratives and "Eagle Song" a modern day Native American story, the kid's were taught how to "dissect the text" and dig deep into their stories.

"This was all student generated, I supplied them with the house and they determined what was important about the Iroquois," she said.

The kid's showed off their assignment on Friday afternoon. Magliocca said that Common Core standards prevent her from having time to linger on projects.

They simply did not have enough time to work on it in class.

Nine students volunteered to work on the assignment before and after school hours. B-P's buses were supplied to transport the students to and from school.

The student volunteers were enthusiastic about what they accomplished.

Including Luke Barnhart, who said his favorite part was "making the eagle."

"It's a symbol of the Iroquois, they thought it watched over and protected them," Barnhart said.

Another student, Luke Tambasco, explained the Gustoweh head piece's significance, which was depicted on another side of the house.

"'Eagle Song's' main character was a construction worker. He wore it on his head because he thought it would keep him safe," said Tambasco.

Magliocca said that their ideas were incredible. She was especially proud of how they were able to synthesize the materials and work together to produce a cohesive project.

"It is amazing to sit back and watch it all unfold, you can determine as an educator at that point that learning is achieved," said Magliocca.

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