Family Celebration


Thank you to the many second grade families who sent food and joined us for the family celebration last Wednesday.  We closed out our first case study by sharing our favorite foods and celebrating our work.



During the first case study, we explored the guiding question: “What needs do all children have?” and “How do I meet my needs?” We focused on food, shelter, communication, clothing, and play.  Our second graders worked with a photographer to take photos documenting how they meet their needs.  They practiced interviewing Capital City staff before interviewing their own families about how they met their needs when they were seven.  This work was the basis of three products: the “Children Just Like Me at Capital City” book; their personal memoirs; and their six-word memoir self portraits.


Using the UNICEF book, “Children Just Like Me Around The World” as a mentor text, students wrote paragraphs and captions describing how they meet their needs as seven-year-olds in Washington, D.C.  Our goal was to create a picture of what life in 2014 is like for many seven-year-olds living in D.C.  Students left the case study understanding that all children have needs, but that they meet them in both similar and different ways.





We spent much time closely reading Cynthia Rylant’s When I Was Young in the Mountains as a mentor for our personal memoirs. We noticed how she repeated a refrain–“When I was young in the mountains…”–to begin each memory and developed our own refrains.  We also noticed how she carefully selected words to evoke feelings and help readers make mental images beyond the illustrations.  Students tried that in their own writing.

Finally, we integrated art and literacy. After publishing their memoirs, friends selected six words from their memoirs that represent the memoir.  As one friend said, “If someone reads these six words, they’ll know a lot about me.” In art, they painted self-portraits and integrated those words into them.

If you didn’t get a chance to celebrate with us last week, be sure to stop by the second grade hallway to check out the book, memoirs, and self-portraits!




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