Second Grade Students Help Keep Tribal Language Alive

As an EL Education school, we pride ourselves on creating high quality products for authentic audiences and providing opportunities for students to do service learning in our community and abroad. Take a moment to read about the service that Miss Katie’s second grade, Echo Crew is doing in support of the local Washoe children. If Read more →

As an EL Education school, we pride ourselves on creating high quality products for authentic audiences and providing opportunities for students to do service learning in our community and abroad. Take a moment to read about the service that Miss Katie’s second grade, Echo Crew is doing in support of the local Washoe children.

If you think back to the benefit concert that Miss Emily and our students put on for the Washoe people in June, you will remember that they are very concerned that they are losing their tribal language. According to the Washoe, “The Wašiw Language is currently classified as a moribund language, meaning that the language is only spoken by a handful of the eldest elders. However, in light of the language shift undergone by Indigenous peoples toward English there have been multiple efforts by the Wašiw people to protect, preserve, promote and revitalize the language and all that the language entails for future generations.”

The Echo Crew is supporting this effort by collaborating with Stewart Head Start Preschool in Carson City to help students retain the traditional Washoe language while TEA students learn about the traditional Washoe culture. On December 9th, the Echo Crew visited the Washoe preschoolers to get to know them. They read to the children and, in return, the preschoolers showed the Echo Crew their classrooms and playground and taught them Washoe songs.

For their final product, the Echo crew will be creating a memory game for the preschoolers. Each second grader will incorporate information that they have learned over the course of their expedition into cards for the game. Each card will have a Washoe word, a scientific drawing and informational paragraph about the object depicted. The Echo Crew will return to the Stewart Head Start Preschool to present and play the game with their new friends at the end of January. In playing this game, the preschoolers will get valuable practice learning their diminishing language. We can look forward to playing the game at the Celebration of Learning the following week.

Thanks to Katie, Allison and the Echo Crew for embracing the character traits of empathy and advocacy and reaching out to help our neighbors in such an engaging and meaningful way.