Celebrating America!Yikes! It's amazing how quickly the year is winding down. While we have less than 20 days of school left, I feel like we still have about 40 days worth of learning to do! Can anyone else relate?
One thing that keeps me sane during the end of the year rush is my Celebrating America project.
We always start this during the last full month of school and it carries us right up to the end. This project is so much fun! The students learn about various American symbols including the flag, the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell, the bald eagle, the White House, and Mount Rushmore. The project also includes The Pledge of Allegiance and an acrostic poem about America. Let's just say, it keeps us busy, but it is a great way to incorporate research, writing, and social studies all in one!
I always read a book or two on each topic, and the students take notes as I read. To do this, I stop periodically and task them with writing down something important from the reading. Note taking in second grade is very guided, and the students write down notes in the form of complete sentences. Shorthand doesn't really come that easily to them. In this sense, note taking becomes a great way for them to practice their listening skills. It is one of my favorite ways to keep students engaged during purposeful read alouds.
After we finish taking notes, we compile our important information onto a class anchor chart. The students then use the charts to write an informative paragraph about each symbol. Over the next few days, they edit and publish their writing. Now, some days/weeks we are more pressed for time than others, so sometimes we take notes and then complete a shared writing. This helps saves us time with editing and publishing since it can be done "on the spot."
We also create art to go with each paragraph.
We spend about one week on each symbol, and sometimes we research two symbols in a week since we can work on this project during writing and social studies. The kids just love the project and they tend to put a lot of effort into their work knowing that they are working on an important project. And, the finished project becomes an impressive keepsake! You can check out my Celebrating America pack on TPT by clicking here.
DON'T FORGET IT, PIN IT!