8th grade students have started researching a historic moment in Washington State History--The Everett Massacre. They will use the research they gather to write a collaborative historical fiction novel. This past week, they visited The Northwest Room at The Everett Public Library. Students were able to look at specific artifacts from this time period, such as the International Workers of the World (IWW), also known as The Wobblies, song books. They also had an opportunity to read through past issues of The Everett Herald using microfiche technology.
In addition to visiting the library, students walked through parts of Everett to gather details for their novel. They viewed the plaque erected at the site of the massacre and observed the waterfront where the event took place. As they walked through downtown Everett, the students examined original buildings, including the Commercial Club where lumber barons and mill owners used to gather to socialize and discuss business in the city. Students also had the opportunity to stand across from the Commercial Club observing the corner of Hewitt and Wetmore. This was a spot where the laborers would gather to protest their wages and working conditions. Because of the proximity to the Commercial Club and the fight for free speech, this specific corner became known as the Free Speech Corner.
Prior to our Everett Field trip, students had completed annotated bibliographies and began brainstorming a plot for their collaborative novel. Now, they will take their research and each be in charge of writing their own chapter of the class novel. By the end of the unit, the students will have a well-researched, educational book on what took place during The Everett Massacre and how people in the city were impacted by this event! Ask an eighth grader for more information on their creative process!