First graders learned about America and its people in an integrated social studies unit this month, culminating in a Famous Americans Day on February 20th. The unit began with students reading several biographies about different Famous Americans, through which they learned how to take notes on their reading. They then turned their notes into an informative writing piece, which was one of many ways the students demonstrated their understanding of timelines and biographies. They also created timelines of their own lives.
In another math lesson, students ordered numbers from least to greatest by sorting Famous Americans’ birthday years first into centuries (1700s, 1800s, 1900) and then by sorting within each century by the range of when their Famous American was born (example: who was born in-between 1700-1750). Students also used their math abilities to solve challenging math problems around the classroom while figuring out a 100s chart mystery picture–a flag!
To close the unit, students chose a Famous American who has positively contributed and impacted society. Then they researched individuals such as Georgia O’Keefe, Neil Armstrong, Abraham Lincoln, Clara Barton, Katherine Johnson, Daniel Boone, Helen Keller, Babe Ruth, and Mark Twain using books, articles, and the Internet. Following their research, the students created a speech that they performed in front of parents and the school on Famous Americans’ Day. In art, students created a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, and they also produced a flag that hung on a poster above their station at the Famous Americans’ celebration in Bishops Hall.
Throughout the day, the whole school community enjoyed “pressing buttons” to hear the individuals come to life, viewing expert costumes, and learning about men and women who shaped American history.