Saturday, December 7, 2013

2nd Graders Teach Facts About Holidays

Every year I have parents ask to come to our classroom to teach the class about Diwali. There are generally 2-4 students in my class who celebrate this holiday, so the majority of students are not familiar with it. In the spirit of Common Core this year I had students themselves teach about a holiday that there family celebrates. The assignment had several parts.

First, students created a web about how their family celebrates a holiday of their choice (I asked them to choose either Christmas, Diwali, Kawanza, Ramadan or Hanukkah). I wanted a holiday celebrated in the fall/winter season that they could research using books from our school library. Students had the option to create the web using Popplet or paper. I asked them to think of their celebration last year or this year and include who they celebrate with, where they celebrate, why they celebrate, what they do, and what they eat.

Next, they used My Story to import a photo of themselves celebrating the holiday, with a detailed caption. I also asked them to draw a 2nd picture of the holiday using either Drawing Pad or Educreations.

Then I grouped students who had chosen the same holiday. Together they read 2 or 3 books about their holiday and had to find 4 facts. Many groups wanted to put more facts in their presentation, but because of the time we had for presentations I asked them to limit to 4--but told them they could write additional facts on paper or in a separate app project. However, I was pleased that there was so much enthusiasm and can take that into account for next year. Groups then created a presentation of their facts using an app(s) of their choice. Ahead we brainstormed that good options might be Thirty Hands, SonicPics, Strip Design, Educreations, and My Story. Of those options different groups chose Educreations, SonicPics, and Strip Design.

Christmas facts

Students enjoyed learning about other holidays and even how other families celebrate the same holidays.

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