Turning 36 Cayuga Heights Elementary school fifth-graders into subject matter experts on the topic of Frank Lloyd Wright and tour guides of the Darwin Martin House was an outcome of the junior docent program offered by the Martin House complex.
The program, coordinated by Traci Kanick, a teacher on special assignment for the District, began in November with docents from the Darwin Martin House teaching students about art, architecture and the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.
As they started to gather information, fifth-grade students were given a tour of the Martin House to learn more about the Martin family, the history of the complex and the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Students took notes and asked questions throughout the tour to conduct research for their presentations.
Over the next two months, students worked closely with Mrs. Kanick and the docents from the Darwin Martin House to prepare their individual scripts. Students revised scripts and rehearsed with their peers in order to prepare the best possible presentations.
Throughout this program, students were able to explore the correlation between the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, the Common Core Learning Standards and the state’s Social Studies framework.
In January, the students conducted the tours of the Darwin Martin House to share their knowledge and expertise with more than 70 parents and guests. They led guests through the property and shared the information that they had gleaned since they began digging into the topic in November. Using their own research for the facts-based scripts, they pulled in historical facts about the house, the Darwin Martin family who lived there and architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.
“Not only did students learn about the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, they learned about art and architecture throughout history and from around the world," said Mrs. Kanick. "Students worked diligently to refine their public speaking skills and during their presentations, they were poised and informative. I am so proud of their efforts.”