A few weeks ago, I shared a lesson that I collaborated on with my 2nd grade co-teacher, Quincey Williamson (who is simply amazing!). It started with these two books:
…and transformed into a student-driven series of lessons that focused on the changing season and the needs of living things during this transition. You can read a bit more about the start of this unit HERE. If you read that post when it happened, you might have wondered…and then…what happened? Well, here’s what happened next. 🙂
Based on their suggestions and some voting, the students decided that they wanted a school-wide winter clothing drive. Due to this, the lessons took a number of paths. One of those paths was to learn about the various local organizations and what they do, so that the students would be the ones making the final decision about where the clothing was donated. This path involved the creation of expert groups with videos, readings, and a graphic organizer, to later be part of a jigsaw. Another path involved focused on the clothing drive itself, and learning about advertisements (teacher created samples seen above). The students decided it would be best to have different types of advertisements: flyers, posters, school announcements, and commercials. They self selected which group they wanted to be part of and beforehand created a rubric to guide their work.
It is important to note that the rubric was student created, and then adapted slighted for each advertising group. This is why I am not including a PDF download of them, it really needs to be created with your students. It was also a teacher-guided effort, in an expanding vocabulary sort of way. Once this was done, the students got into their teams and got to work. Quincey provided a guiding page to support the groups.
It was wonderful to see the creativity, background knowledge, and collaboration of the different advertising groups. For the flyers and commercials, the students used their iPads to support their work (we are a 1:1 school), and so did the announcement and poster team (for their practices and for drawing support). Once they were done, they were sent out and sent home! 🙂
Now, I mentioned multiple paths for this unit. Well, the other two pathways I want to share involved some mathematics. One involved the collection of winter clothing items and keeping track by classroom. The 2nd graders were the leaders of this project, the whole project, not just parts, so they also took the lead on this as well. They delivered boxes to every classroom and had a team collect items and take turns charting it on the hallways graphs. See below.
Another mathematics pathway involved a scarf project. We took part in a “Wrap Up (City)” effort, where you make (or buy) scarves and then wrap up trees, benches, poles, etc. for those in need. Our 2nd graders made scarves, using fleece (note: JoAnn’s Fabric gives a teacher discount) and then those who could met on the first day of break to wrap up our downtown! 🙂 I included those pictures below, including pictures of me modeling how to cut the fabric, and the measuring steps.
We are so proud of our second grade leaders! As a school, we collected over 1500 pieces of clothing! The students really were impressive, and as a language teacher, I was beyond happy to see how active our ELL students were in the whole process and authentic use of language–practice and growth in all four language domains! YAY! 🙂