Second Grade Immigration Showcases Reflect Collaborative Teaching and Learning
“True Collaboration.” That’s how Peter Fletcher, Academic Technology Integrator, described the joint effort by the Second Grade Team, as they worked together to revamp the process leading up to the second grade immigration showcase incorporating language arts, social studies, library and technology.
2R usually holds its showcase for parents first. So, to begin their project Second Grade Teacher Ginny Rowe sent home a questionnaire for the boys to seek out details about their family history and immigration story. From this information, each boy selected one side of the family and its country of origin that they wanted to research.
With the help of Lower School Librarian Bonnie Tucker, the boys began their research, learning important research tools as they used a series of age-appropriate books called Exploring Countries, to find facts about the particular country they’d chosen. Ms. Tucker created a graphic organizer (see sample) to help the boys set out their work. She taught them how to take notes, what information they should look for in a non-fiction book, how to read an index, glossary and table of contents, how to use pictures to find facts, and that anything in bold is usually something important. Once they’d conducted their research, the boys turned their information into notes, learning to put keywords into their own sentences.
The next step of the project was new this year. Second Grade Teacher Clarissa Crowley, in a Second Grade Team meeting, suggested using the book, Children Just Like Me, by Barnabas Kindersley and Anabel Kindersley, as the basis for creating the final project. Each boy, it was decided, could create their own page to reflect the design and content type of the pages in the book.
Peter Fletcher took on this new challenge in the Computer Lab, beginning by taking photographs of each boy. Using the software Pages, the boys learned to delete the background around their photo. They then created text boxes to incorporate their name and fun facts about their country, which they pulled from the research they had conducted with Ms. Tucker. Adding images to support their fun facts were found through Photos for Class, a kid-friendly site.
For the actual 2R showcase on March 1, the boys proudly carried miniature country flags they made themselves, then took turns reading out loud in front of the audience highlights of their research, which described the foods, language, holidays, sports, and family life of their country. The page they had created with Mr. Fletcher was displayed on a screen behind each boy as their backdrop. The boys did a wonderful job using their practiced presentation skills to speak loudly and clearly.
The collaborative process is underway again for 2C, as both this class and 2D will get their turn to work with this innovative team on research, tech, writing and the presentation of their own immigration projects.