Using the combination of creativity, research, and expertise about their topics, our second graders created original books and maps that they were excited to share with their families and fifth-grade buddies at a recent two-part publishing party.
Part One: Books
During their reading unit, the students have been focusing on the non-fiction genre. In addition to reading non-fiction books, the students learned about how authors make decisions about the topics they write, which features they chose to include, and the many creative ways to entertain and educate their readers. After reading many examples of good writing, known as mentor texts, students identified topics about which they knew something, but wanted to expand and share new knowledge. They used the Epic app to perform their research, as well as referencing books from our Lower School library. Using Book Creator, students then wrote, designed, and printed an original book, in which they added informational notes in the margins. Finally, they shared their newly-created books with classmates and families at a publishing party.
Part Two: Maps
Next, the second graders shared their hand-drawn maps with publishing party guests. A culminating project of their Social Studies unit, the students spent three weeks making creative maps that depicted the recess yard, their classroom, and even imaginary 3D globes. First, after researching a variety of maps and identifying common features seen among them all, students created their first map of the classroom space. “We encountered the challenge of scale,” explains Second Grade Teacher Alex Miller. “Students worked in partnerships to create accurate, bird's-eye-view maps of the space.” Then, the students shifted into an inquiry-based project to create a map of a place of their choice. First, students identified if they wanted to work independently, in partnership, or in a small group of three. Once groups were created, students had to identify where they would map and were offered the choice of creating a map of a real or fantastical place. “They identified the materials they needed to feel successful and off they went!” exclaimed Mr. Miller. “They went all in on their cartography creations, often inventing entirely new worlds. As a cherry on top, the class will have an opportunity to use their maps in a stop-motion project with Art Teacher Susan Turner.”
We can’t wait to see their final creations!