Second grade is about to wrap up their first unit, Who We Are. The second graders have spent time inquiring into their own cultures, family histories and personal time lines. The theme elements highlighted by the second grade team gave students an wonderful opportunity to look at their individual backgrounds, think about their ancestors, traditions and cultures then learn about other families. The similarities and differences among classmates have been fascinating! We have really learned to appreciate each other. After reading Eve Bunting’s The Memory String, we felt inspired to make our own Memory Strings which incorporated both our own personal history, as well as important events in our family history that helped contribute to who we are today. After talking with family members to learn more about our family history, we soon learned that not only do our families originate from all over the world, but they also likely brought many elements of the culture we celebrate today, with them. We then created collages that displayed important aspects of each student’s cultural experiences. This project served as a powerful visual that although we have a lot in common with our classmates, there is also a lot we felt we could learn from and about one another. This also allowed students to see how special and unique their own cultures are.
Who We Are: An inquiry into the nature of self; of beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities, what it means to be human.
Central Idea: Understanding our family’s history helps us to understand ourselves.
Key Concepts and Lines of Inquiry:
Causation: Influences that shape who we are
Connection: Our family history is a part of our personal history
Reflection: How our histories and experiences impact our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
Approaches to Learning (Skills):