Saturday, March 14, 2015

America the Beautiful

We just wrapped up our "Living in America" unit!  This unit is such a perfect time to focus on nonfiction book characteristics, informational writing, and so many other standards while instilling a love of country!

I really did used to loathe this unit because it just seemed too abstract for kinders.  I thought how in the world would they learn all the facts and did they really even understand what a state or a country was!!!  Those concepts seemed too out there!  But then I realized it wasn't so much about the facts and deep concepts! This unit was so much more about WHY our country formed, HOW it was begun, and HOW it has changed. When we started to focus on the deeper understandings, everything became easier and more fun to teach. 

We found video clips from United Streaming and Brain Pop! Jr.. We researched and read lots of nonfiction books.  The kiddos talked a lot and had some great discussions with each other and more importantly with their families.  Their understandings grew deeper the more they shared with others!

And what happened was, our students began to feel a deep love and sense of loyalty and pride for their country.  Trust me, they learned lots of facts and information, but more importantly they learned the whys and hows of America...the big picture!  

This inquiry approach feels so right!  The kids were able to think deeply about the hows and whys and hopefully as they study America's history over the years, they'll begin to see trends and how it's all related.  And many of the same struggles of early America are part of many other countries' stories as well.

Well...this post turned into a bit deeper place than I meant to go!!!  But I just loved watching it all unfold this year, and feel like it will stay with my kiddos over time. Not all the facts, but the whys and hows!

In the meantime... Check out these amazing informational writings they did in the now!!!
Peace out for now!

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