Third graders in Washington Elementary School in Westfield displayed their academic talents as well as their tea serving abilities on March 24. Capping off Women’s History Month, the 78 students invited their special female adult relatives and friends to a celebration in the school gym, where student-created research biographies were read, wall art was admired and tea was poured for all the guests.
According to third grade teachers Karen Geddis, Lisa Bukowsky, Carol Fahrenthold and Elizabeth Reilly, the three month interdisciplinary project began in January when the students learned to write non-fiction. Their research skills were honed in February through reading, incorporating a combination of Language Arts and Social Studies curriculum. During the month of March, those skills were put to use as the third graders took notes in preparation of their biographical report. Each report focused on a famous female figure and was peer-edited in class.
The project was enhanced with a timeline created through Google Docs, which was taught through a classroom visit by Westfield K-8 Master Technology teacher Jeanine Gottko. Completing this task as homework, the third graders put the finishing touch on the timeline display with an art project – a hand crafted paper doll representing the famous female historical character of their choice.
Commenting on her son’s impression of the project, April Stec said, “He kept coming home telling me different facts that he learned. I didn’t think he would enjoy it as much as he actually did.”
“Our March 24th event not only celebrates women in history, but also celebrates the women in our children’s lives, the authors they have read, and the writers they are becoming,” added Geddis.