LOWELL -- Last month, third-graders and fourth-graders at Lowell Catholic welcomed visitors from the Tsongas Industrial History Center, who helped them experience the history of industrialization firsthand.
As part of their Social Studies curriculum, students learned about the process of converting natural resources into consumer products. Through the hands-on demonstration, they were able to understand the process of converting wool into cloth by pulling the wool, turning it into yarn and working in tandem to operate a weaving loom.
This was the first time that Tsongas Center representatives introduced the loom into a classroom lesson, and they were delighted with the results.
"Lowell Catholic students were so welcoming and helpful to each other," said Paul Dadak, who instructed the children. "If one of them didn't understand how to do something or got stuck, another one jumped in to help them out before we had the chance. It made the lesson go very smoothly, and the students got a lot out of it."
Working hands-on with the wool allowed children to make discoveries that would not be found in the pages of a textbook, such as how the wool feels and smells. The exercise also gave the children a glimpse into the history of Lowell as a center for the textile industry.
The Lowell Catholic elementary curriculum is designed to engage students in learning by immersing them in hands-on activities.
Several in-school and out-of-school field trips are offered to help students explore their lessons further.