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Second Grade

Expeditions (projects)
This year we are planning two expeditions in the second grade. In the past we called these units “projects.” This year we are trying out the term “expedition.” According to Webster’s Dictionary an expedition is a, “a journey or voyage undertaken by a group of people with a particular purpose.” This seems a better descriptor for the work ahead. Expeditions have many intended purposes, here are a few:

  1. Integrate reading, writing, math, science and social studies curriculum
  2. Provide a real world purpose for the children’s work
  3. Provide children with engaging experiences designed to teach skills and help them reach grade level expectations and standards for learning
  4. Foster powerful and memorable learning experiences that empower children to take charge of their own learning

As expeditions are unique to the group that undertakes them and evolve and grow from the groups’ interests, expeditions will look different in each classroom. Here is a general overview of the two expeditions planned for this year.

Community: Past and Present
second_grade.jpgThe fall expedition will focus on social studies and understanding of community past and present. Our goals are to create community in our classrooms, foster oral story telling, interview skills and help students compare and contrast their present day experiences with stories they hear about the past. Children will conduct interviews with friends, family and hopefully some other Cambridge residents telling stories about their own school experiences. We also envision this as an opportunity for children to explore the history of Cambridgeport and what makes it such a special place through interviews of older students, staff members, and parents. As a culminating activity the children will present their learning to members of the Cambridgeport school community. 

Life Cycles and Community Action
second_grade.pngThe spring expedition will integrate our science unit on life cycles with a social studies goal of making an impact on your local community. Students will spend time this coming spring observing and learning about the life cycle of several animals. We will focus on the painted lady butterfly. Each student will have the opportunity to raise his or her own butterfly from a caterpillar! In addition, we will do some research on the endangered butterfly species that pass through Massachusetts. Working with City Sprouts, students will use the Squirrel Nut Zipper garden to plant a butterfly garden rich in the plants that support these endangered butterflies. Our final step will be to write narrative nonfiction books and create artwork to educate local residents about why planting butterfly friendly gardens is important.

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