The first graders at Palouse Prairie Charter School embarked on a three-month expedition where they explored community helpers and the tools they use.
Using the EL ELA Curriculum Tools and Work module as a starting point, they explored different types of tools and the ways they help make work easier. They tested out the tools of different professions and developed their own learner tools while practicing effective collaboration, responsibility, grit, and craftsmanship. This launched into a more focused study of the local community, the people that help make the town successful and special, and the tools that they use.
Through fieldwork and collaboration with professional experts, students gained an understanding of the importance of different jobs and the tools used in various professions. Students needed to learn how to ask effective questions and listen closely to the answers in order to gain the information they needed for their writing.
Some highlights of their fieldwork were using a stethoscope to hear a newborn baby’s heartbeat while at the hospital, testing different tools with firefighters and paramedics, and interviewing the mayor. Using this knowledge and their love of literature, the class wrote and illustrated this book to share their learning. Students collaborated by creating and using criteria lists to provide each other feedback on their work and becoming inspired by the high-quality work of others, which helped them to show grit to continue to revise their work. Through the process of writing and illustrating the book, the first graders gained a deeper understanding of the power of literacy, an increased motivation to read fluently, and learned how to be more effective communicators. They are excited to share their learning and the joy ofreading with others.
How This Project Can Be Useful
- Shows how the community can be an impactful partner in learning
- Highlights a process that results in a quality product
- Project could be replicated in any community and at different grade levels