What do you do when you find yourself in a new place and/or time? Consult a map! This week, both classrooms of Grade 3 students gathered together to build grade-level identity and to answer an essential social studies question: Where am I?
Based on this open-ended prompt, students were offered not answers but a wealth of resources by their teachers: books, maps, the Gillispie School Family Directory, computers, and even a phone call to a parent. Following on this research activity, students (such as Connor A.) made balloon globes to get the big picture.
In Connie Engelhardt’s Grade 1 classroom, Patrick W. answered an essential question of his own: Why do you want to learn this year? His answer: “Because I’m interested in learning more about the states and where I live.” His first project: a hand-drawn, watercolor-coded map of western states–a functional and beautiful start to a first-grade year of inquiry.