Explorations of Elementary – Spring 2016
Our elementary students surprised and impressed visitors at our amazing Famous American Live Wax Museum. This event took place all throughout our school where students were dressed as Americans who made a positive contribution to American history. In preparation for this event, students selected an American and researched that person’s life. They were to learn about their American’s childhood, education, hobbies, and special characteristics that led the person to impact history. All students wrote a research report, complete with an APA style bibliography.
The night of the museum it was difficult to recognize our children because they looked like Betsy Ross, Sacagawea, Ben Franklin, and Amelia Earhart (just to name a few).
In our reading groups students gave presentations about their books. One group read the Newbery Honor book Hatchet. Another group chose to read the biography of Helen Keller. Our third group read the classic adventure of Robinson Crusoe. The Hatchet group wrote thoughtful news articles explaining the events of the story and the emotional trip Brian, the main character, takes throughout the book.
Each student demonstrated their love for their fathers by painting beautiful rocks that read “My dad rocks” as a gift to give at Dads and Donuts. All of the fathers receiving this rock chuckled. I’m sure they will look at it in the future and think of their wonderful morning with us.
Our annual International Festival was a huge success and our students put on quite a show. Elementary students worked in groups to research a man-made wonder of the world.
One group researched The Great Wall of China. They learned how long the wall is and that it is not a continuous wall, but has gaps where mountains run through it.
The group researching the Taj Mahal discovered a sad love story of a husband who lost his wife too soon. The Taj Mahal was built as a tomb for the young woman. This group utilized their math skills to discover how much it would cost in today’s American dollars to build. They first exchanged Indian Rupies for British Pounds (because American was not a country when the Taj Mahal was built), then Pounds for today’s Euros, and finally to the American dollar.
Easter Island was a surprise to many of us because it was very unique in that no one knows how or why it was built. This group discovered a video showing how the large statues may have been moved using ropes and three groups of people to shimmy the statues form one place to another. It is one of the most unique wonders we researched.
The group researching Christ the Redeemer enjoyed learning about all of the trials to build the amazing statue. Originally, it was to be built in the 1850s, but construction never began until 1922. The statue was completed in 1931, taking close to nine years to finish.
The Forbidden City was another wonder researched by our students. This imperial palace is located in the heart of Beijing and housed 24 emperors. Today it is the palace museum.
Machu Picchu, an Incan citadel in Peru, is famous for the stone walls that stay together without the use of mortar. To this day, the use of this amazing creation is still unknown.
The infamous Colosseum in Rome was the seventh wonder researched by our students. This group was fascinated with the fighting that took place inside the Colosseum. Their scale model displayed how seating surrounded the events. Their skit of the lion fighting “Jackonitus” entertained everyone at our festival.