School News: Making Time Capsules During the Pandemic

Fall 2020

What will students remember most from the COVID-19 pandemic? To capture memories and document this moment in time—and assess learning in a virtual environment—Indian Creek School (MD) teachers created a project they considered to be valuable, equitable, and achievable: a time capsule.
Using a time capsule guidebook—a PDF with ideas and instructions—all 550 students from pre-K to grade 12 were given the opportunity to participate in the assignment. Some of the instructions for the youngest students included an outline of a face and house for them to draw and color to represent how they looked and felt and where they lived during stay-at-home orders. Older students could create a podcast, blog, playlist, or video.

During synchronous learning time, younger students shared items from their time capsules with their classes. Lower school STEM lab teacher Abram Bear incorporated the project into a measurement unit for his fourth through sixth grade students. Students were tasked with building a container with specific dimensions to hold their time capsules. They were then asked to measure the volume of their containers through experiments using water and other materials.
Upper school history teacher Tonya Montgomery incorporated the capsule project into a larger experience for juniors in collaboration with the Maryland Historical Society’s primary source collection project.

Students and families completed 50 capsules and shared them with the Indian Creek community through photos and videos that were posted to social media. The school is keeping a photo and video gallery of student submissions on CREEKnet, the school’s internal website, and teachers are considering how this project can be extended this fall.

Student Melanie Morgan gathered treasures to preserve in her capsule (top); items second grader Jackson Lear included in his capsule (bottom).

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