by Arielle Gillman
Allendale Columbia’s third grade students just completed a Project Based Learning (PBL) unit based on the Driving Question: How can we create original art, music, and folk tales that share positive central messages with our community? They demonstrated their learning to their parents on Thursday night, January 18th, before the Winter Concert.
Students started out choosing an animal from an African habitat and researching its characteristics. They read and analyzed folk tales, and from there, they imagined what kinds of stories their animal might participate in that would convey positive messages like kindness, compassion, helping others, gratitude, and so on. Each student then storyboarded ideas, wrote and rewrote drafts, and finally produced a book, a mask inspired by their main character, and a music motif performed on percussion instruments to share their messages.
Two of those stories, Elena’s Why Giraffe Have Long Necks and Eryn’s How the Parrot Got Its Intelligence were read and performed during the concert. During the performance, students either acted out original, student-choreographed movements, or played in the percussion section to make these Folktales come to life!
These students have exceeded our expectations. It just continues to amaze me how thoroughly these students grasp a project like this and take it to a level beyond what I’ve seen anywhere else. PBLs can encompass many different learning styles, subject areas, and methods of expression, and they make learning fun.
Arielle GillmanArielle has been involved in the field of education, either through volunteering, as a college student, or as a teacher, since she was 14 years old. She has taught students in multiple grades in Penfield, Fairport, Webster, and Newark and has also worked at the Mary Cariola Children's Center and The Community Place of Greater Rochester. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Childhood Education from SUNY Fredonia and her Master of Science Degree in Literacy Education from SUNY Geneseo.
Posted in: Highlights, Lower School, LS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches, Third Grade