This calendar was created by 1st grade students at the Alice B. Beal Elementary Magnet School, in Springfield, Massachusetts, as part of their “Parks as a Neighborhood Resource” Learning Expedition. It is an example of using a calendar format for combining written description and visual depiction of a local resource, in which students investigated a neighborhood resource while also learning about the function and layout of calendars.
As part of their investigation, students took repeated fieldwork excursions to Forest Park where they worked with local experts, including park personnel, made detailed observations and experienced features of the park.
Each month of a Calendar of Forest Park highlights different activities in the park, corresponding to the current time of year. Through writing and artwork, students feature the aspects of the park they found most appealing and interesting. At the end of this calendar is an extra section called, “Things to Do and People to See at the Park,” in which four additional drawings and descriptions are included.
The Calendar of Forest Park had an authentic audience – it was available for purchase at the park’s recreation office.
How This Project Can Be Useful
- Engaging product format for 1st graders
- Exemplifies student illustrations, done through careful observation and multiple drafts, of places they have actually been to
- Shows a nice level of detail for 1st graders. See the August drawing, “The Rose Garden.” Notice how this student incorporated details of the rose bushes, the paths and the larger landscape features such as the hilly terrain, bigger trees and the sky
- An example of a product with a real purpose and an authentic audience
- An example of an expedition for 1st graders that includes real research and investigation
Common Core State Standards
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