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A Kids' Guide to California National Parks

School: Big Pine Elementary School

City/State: Big Pine, CA

Grade(s): 2

Format(s): Book

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Social Studies, Visual Arts

Project Overview

Second-grade students at Big Pine Elementary School in Big Pine California created this beautiful and useful guide to the vast array of National Parks found in California. The book is geared especially towards kids. Some of the locations detailed here were visited by the students in the class who wrote the text as part of their studies, and others were researched by students.

The text was published in book form and distributed to the local community including other students at and outside of the school. The text and illustrations in this book were all created as part of their learning expeditions: (1) John Muir, A Life of Exploration; and (2) Home Sweet Home, Eastern Sierra Habitats.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Skillfully rendered sketches/illustrations by second-grade students that correspond to student writing
  • Highlights a simple format that is easy to produce and could be replicated in any state
  • Exemplifies a product with an authentic audience and one with a meaningful purpose

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can answer questions to show what I learned in an informational text.
  • I can construct a closure on the topic of an informative/explanatory text.
  • With support, I can strengthen my writing through editing.
  • With support, I can use digital tools to publish my writing.
  • I can participate in shared research projects.

Additional Standards

  • CA Social Science: 2.2.4 Students demonstrate map skills by describing the absolute and relative locations of people, places, and environments. Compare and contrast basic land use in urban, suburban, and rural environments in California.
  • Social Science Skill: Historical Interpretation- 2. Students identify the human and physical characteristics of the places they are studying and explain how those features form the unique character of those places.
  • CA Visual Arts: 1.0 ARTISTIC PERCEPTION: --Processing, Analyzing, and Responding to Sensory Information Through the Language and Skills Unique to the Visual Arts Analyze Art Elements and Principles of Design 1.3 Identify the elements of art in objects in
  • 2.0 CREATIVE EXPRESSION --Creating, Performing, and Participating in the Visual Arts Skills, Processes, Materials, and Tools 2.2 Demonstrate beginning skill in the use of art media, such as oil pastels, watercolors, and tempera.
  • Communication and Expression Through Original Works of Art 2.3 Depict the illusion of depth (space) in a work of art, using overlapping shapes, relative size, and placement within the picture. 2.4 Create a painting or drawing, using warm or cool colors ex
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