Last Friday was quite the day. Besides breaking out the lawn games again for math, which students love, second grade also had their big continents fair. It was the culmination of a month long research project students worked on both at school and at home.
After in depth study of the seven continents, students picked a country of interest, and identifying what continent it is located on. Then, with graphic organizer in hand, students got busy researching specific information. The second grade teachers collaborated with our librarian and technology teacher to complete the research. Between books and websites, students were able to fill in their research guides over a few weeks.
It was a lot of work to research each of the countries but students did a great job gathering all the information they needed. They used all available resources to gather information, although I am not surprised at all that researching online was their favorite. They also had the chance to do a STEM activity that helped with some research. You can read more about how each student built a famous landmark from their country by clicking here.
With the research complete, students then took home preprinted posters to fill in with facts and to color. In addition to their posters, students were also asked to find or make an artifact that represented their country.
While researching students also worked with our music teacher to learn songs about the seven continents and five oceans. It was a great tie in to our social studies curriculum and it will be these songs they remember for years to come when they are naming the seven continents. In addition to teaching songs to students, our music teacher also wrote a script for students. It connected each of the songs and was woven throughout the performance for parents.
It all came to fruition last Friday when students shared their learning with parents through the continents celebration. All families were invited to come and listen to students sing and share information about the country they had researched. To spice things up a bit, our second grade teacher team brainstormed ways to make it more memorable. We ordered decorations and my colleague Ali had the genius idea of creating a photo booth area with props for students and families to take pictures.
The continents fair was a huge success. We had way more people come than we anticipated and the students did a wonderful job singing and presenting their information. It was a great opportunity for students to shine, and show off their hard work. The photo booth was also a huge success with long lines to take pictures and lots of student smiles.
I am so lucky to not only work at a wonderful school, but to work with amazing teachers! The continents fair was truly a group effort that took collaboration between several teachers, custodial staff and parents. Without the hard work on all fronts we would not have had the same success we experienced. Our second grade team was thrilled with the outcome and already have plans to make the event even better for next year!