Early Elementary News: January 2013

In Early Elementary we are finishing up our thematic unit, “My Journey through School” by learning about how germs journey through school and conducting an experiment to help us to understand where germs can be found and how to prevent their spread.

We will then begin our third thematic unit of the year, “My Journey through the Community”. In this unit, children work toward developing the following understandings: Learning about myself and my community helps me to see the patterns in our community and my role within it; I can make observations to discover patterns and when I see community patterns I can make informed choices. Learning about historical patterns of unfairness and patterns of how people worked together to work for justice helps me make informed choices about how to treat others. Learning about resource use and conservation helps me see patterns in how we take care of the environment that can help me make informed choices.

We begin with a Fairness Unit, in which we read age-appropriate books about different forms of discrimination (patterns of unfairness) and the children learn how people throughout history have stood up to unfairness and gotten laws changed to make things fair for different groups of people (women, people with disabilities, people with different religious beliefs, and African Americans). The children then make the connection to how they can make sure things are fair in our own community, by using I Statements and SOS to resolve differences, and how they can stand up for justice (fairness) when they see something that is not fair. This unit provides a deeper context for the meaning and celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This unit will be followed by a unit on Resource Use, in which the children learn how people get what they need to live from the environment and how our actions affect the environment.

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