Early Settlements of the Pacific Northwest And Plains
This early settlements project was a major hit for my students and the rest of the school.
When I think it can't get any better, along come my students with these models to prove me wrong.
We just finished our Early Settlements unit and Friday was the day to present to the parents. Earlier in the week each student presented to the class and answered questions for them. The whole process was incredible. The children were so excited to see the projects and ask questions.
They were so serious about what they were doing and they demonstrated a good understanding of the differences between the two areas studied and the contributions of the First Nations people and the early settlers/pioneers. This was truly their chance to shine.
There were so many good projects, I didn't know which ones to pick so I decided to show them all. Even my struggling students did a super job. They were so proud! I think their parents were proud too. I know I am very proud of each and every one of them.
How it started
A few years ago I found out about a site that focused on the book Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. People sent cutouts of Flat Stanley around the globe and had pictures taken with them. This gave me the idea to send a flat family to other places.
For several years I had been focusing on family heritage and I had done projects that helped my students to celebrate their heritage. This idea seemed to fit perfectly.
The steps we took
The children sent their flat families to friends or family that lived in other parts of the country or the world. They sent a journal and asked for the recipients to take pictures of the family doing things and then to return them to our school.
We started by creating a journal to send to others. In it we told them a bit about our family and we included a drawing of our family. We also included a self addressed return envelope for the recipient to send back the completed journal in.
In order to know where to send the envelope, a letter was sent to the parents to explain what we were doing and also to get some possible addresses for family members in other parts of the country or world.
The project went so well, that I did it again two years later with the same type of results. It was necessary to wait two years because I had a split class and some of the students were in my class two years in a row.
This is one project that was a great success and definitely a keeper. I would love to hear about it if you decide to try it with your class.
Many students received memory books, postcards, pictures, special messages, and other memorabilia that connected them with the recipients. There was always great excitement when a brown envelope arrived with a student's name on it.
Check out the flat family project at my TeachersPayTeachers store by clicking on the image above.
Every year, I try to find something a little different to do for celebrating Hundreds Day. This year, I began to reflect on things I have done in the past and then I started looking at all the resources that are out there that other teachers have used. I decided that I would use some of their ideas instead of trying to come up with my own this year. However, there are some activities and books that I do like to use each year, so I will continue to include them.
One thing that I do every year, is read the story One Hundred Hungry Ants by Elinor J Pinczes and Bonnie MacKain. This story is great for visualizing ways of grouping 100 objects. We usually try to do some of the same grouping in class, but we quickly run out of people and have to come up with alternatives. The stuffies come out and so do blocks, or other objects around the classroom. I just came across this post on Classroom Freebies that has activities for 100 ants that will tie in nicely with the ones I do. 100 Days With Ants from Diane at TeachWithMe.com
Money is another popular thing to sort and count, so I get out all the school money tubs and we do activities using the coins and the paper money.
This year I also thought about doing 100 Random Acts of Kindness. If we started now, it is possible to reach 100 in time. We would have to do about 5 a day to make it in time.
What are you doing for Hundreds Day?
At Christmas, I received a special letter with our package from Korea. My grandson had written a letter to my class.
His teacher had put out a message asking for pen pals, and I replied saying my class would love to participate. I hadn't had a response, so I wasn't sure if it was going to happen or not. I was very happy to see that he had written us.
Here is his letter. I am impressed with his artwork and his printing. He is just 6 years old and in Grade 1.
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.