Friday, May 20, 2016

Project Based National Symbols Unit

My students loved our project based National Symbols unit this year. I started the unit by reading a letter to the class from the National Park Service Rangers. The letter tells the students the park rangers are in need of new teaching materials at each location. As a class we decided we could complete the projects the park rangers needed, but first we would need to research each National Symbol.

We started with the Statue of Liberty. I modeled how to close read the text. I projected a teacher text of the Statue of Liberty. We coded the text, answered text dependent questions, and took notes together. Here is an example of one page from the text. 

The Park Rangers were in need of a tour guide script for the Statue of Liberty. The students used their script to pretend to be tour guides. They loved dressing up as the Statue of Liberty for the tour. 

Next we researched the Flag. The National Park Rangers needed help teaching visitors how to respect the flag. Together we read, text coded, answered text dependent questions, and took notes on the Flag so we could write a "How to Respect the Flag" for visitors. The students loved having their own books. 

My students acted as tour guides and taught the "visitors" how to respect the flag. 

Next we started our research on the Liberty Bell. The National Park Rangers needed a documentary about the Liberty Bell. Students read, answered text dependent questions, coded the text, and took notes with partners so they could write an accurate script for their documentary. 
My students used their documentary script to present their documentaries to the class. They turned out so cute! 

I was able to easily assess speaking standards during each presentation using this simple checklist. 
Our last National Symbol was the Bald Eagle.I had my students complete the reading, text coding, and note taking independently. I printed off differentiated text so they could all be successful.  The students really loved this project. The rangers needed informational trading cards about the Bald Eagle. After we learned all about the Bald Eagle they made these cute cards informational cards and acted as tour guides. The tour guides told "visitors" facts about the Bald Eagle as they handed out the informational cards. 

Students assessed their own writing for this project. 
If you want to try this in your own classroom you can purchase each symbol individually or all of them in a bundle from our TPT store. 

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