Nov 27, 2009 1:42 PM by Epiphany Day School Press Release
New Iberia, LA - November 23, 2009
Epiphany Day School third grade students recently focused on the relevance of artifacts in detailing a family's geneology and history. Students brought interesting artifacts from home to collaborate in a classroom exhibit and also completed a family tree. Some were surprised to learn the given names of their great-grandparents when completing their family tree. This Social Studies unit was a great way to get in touch with student's own family history just before the opportunity to explore some stories with grandma and grandpa at Thanksgiving gatherings.
A plethora of family relics made an interesting classroom exhibit. Students were amazed at the concept of some artifacts such as using a chamber pot instead of indoor plumbing,a rotary dial telephone, even a washboard. When Mrs. Goldie held up a washboard many students chimed in, "That's a musical instrument", not realizing its intended purpose of washing clothing. Some artifacts had local significance and others represented traditions of old from abroad.
Third grade teachers Goldie Cestia and Stephanie Breaux invited local historian Dianne Landry to share the importance of a different kind of historical remnant - the oral history. Mrs. Landry spoke to students about the importance of the story behind each artifact and how the stories of everyday life are often the most meaningful. One of New Iberia's favorite local historians, over the years Mrs. Landry documented local people relating their oral history. She shared documentary footage of locals telling stories about their life in Iberia Parish which would have been lost if not recorded by Mrs. Dianne.
Family relics are a tool or conversation starter to open the door to those every day stories about life that become lost if not told and retold. Mrs. Landry, Mrs. Cestia and Mrs. Breaux encouraged students to speak with their own grandparents about the meaning of artifacts to their family, and to ask grandma and grandpa to tell them stories about every day events in family history.
Photo 1: Mrs. Goldie Cestia shows students a chamber pot used when at her grandmother's home in St. Martinville during her childhood.
Photo 2: 3rd grade student Grace Miholic shares a relic important to her family.
Photo 3: Local Historian Dianne Landry presented students with documentary footage of locals telling stories now etched in New Iberia history.