The Story of “Children Just Like Me at Capital City”

0042_001A huge thanks goes to the friends and families of second grade who joined us for our Children Just Like Me at Capital City book launch. For the past eight weeks, students photographed, interviewed, drafted, read, revised, edited, mounted, cut, and critiqued for hours each week to publish this book. Our second graders were thrilled to share their published book this week.

In case you missed it, here is a small attempt at sharing the massive amount of work that our second graders put into making this book during our first eight weeks of school.

During the first case study of our expedition, friends explored the guiding questions, “What do all children need?” and, “How do I meet my needs?” To show their learning, they created their own version of the UNICEF book Children Just Like Me Around the World.

To begin, they studied Children Just Like Me Around the World, closely reading the captions and photos. To plan for their own version, they reflected on how they, seven-and-eight-year-olds in Washington, D.C., meet their own needs. DSCF2315DSCF2318 DSCF2320 DSCF2323Ms. Cushner, the Pre-K art studio teacher, taught friends how to use digital cameras to take portraits and still-life photos. Friends focused on zooming in to focus on just the object or person. For homework, friends took photos of their shelters, foods they like to eat, and their families.DSCF2512 DSCF2523DSCF2525

Next, friends wrote captions for their photos. After studying the captions in the mentor text, they developed criteria for what makes a good caption. They then worked with a partner and used the criteria they created to assess their captions.DSCF2573DSCF2576DSCF2574DSCF2577After reflecting on and writing about themselves, friends also thought about how adults in their families met their needs when they were seven. To do this, they interviewed different families. After considering the type of information they wanted to include, friends wrote interview questions to learn about how the adults in their families met their needs for food, shelter, clothing, and play. They practiced interviewing different adults at Capital City and taking notes by writing the key words so they could later remember what was said. After interviewing the adults in their families, friends wrote up the interviews. DSCF2475 DSCF2487 DSCF2493Finally it was time for layout. Friends studied different magazines and the mentor text to create criteria for their own layouts. They practiced laying out pages using my pictures and captions about when I was seven. DSCF2592They then carefully cut out their own pictures and glued them on black construction paper. They used rulers measure a border around the edge to mat their photos. They cut out the pictures and captions and laid them out on the pages. They looked at the Children Just Like Me book as they worked to make sure that their pages were easy for their audience to read.DSCF2604DSCF2601DSCF2600DSCF2613At last, it was time to celebrate. A sincere thank you to the families and friends who joined us Tuesday morning. Thank you for bringing food, celebrating our students work, and for sticking around to clean up after. DSCF2618 DSCF2619 DSCF2622 DSCF2623 DSCF2626This project would not have been possible without collaboration with our second grade families. Thank you for emailing and texting photos, engaging in interviews, and scrambling for last-minute decoding of sometimes-difficult-to-read kid writing. We are so grateful.

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