Fifth Grade Explores Personal & Family Identity through Symbolism

Mrs. Agronin’s fifth grade humanities class delved into both the physical and symbolic role the lion door knocker played in the historical novel, A Lion to Guard Us.
A Lion to Guard Us is an historical novel that chronicles the trials and tribulations of three young siblings they journey from London, England, to Jamestown, Virginia circa 1609. After the death of their mother, the siblings travel to Jamestown and encounter numerous challenges along the way. They bring the lion door knocker from their old house in London with them as “protection,” since their father told them the lion would guard them. The door knocker serves as a connection to their old life, and a hopeful reminder of the future. It also serves as a plot device that adds suspense and conflict to the story.

To deepen their understanding of this story, Mrs. Agronin’s fifth grade humanities class delved into both the physical and symbolic role the lion door knocker played in A Lion to Guard Us: what it represented to the characters in the story; the significance of door knockers to different cultures throughout history; and what the students would choose as symbols to represent themselves and their families. The students sketched and created their symbolic door knockers using air-dry modeling clay and metallic paint, which are on display in the Middle School hallway, accompanied by their own written explanations of their meaning.
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BETH TFILOH Dahan Community School
Roz & Marvin H. Weiner Family Campus | 3300 Old Court Road, Baltimore, MD 21208 | 410-486-1905 | mail@bethtfiloh.com