Fifth graders learn timeless skills studying heroes from history

Emma was super excited to be in the group that was researching Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony for the fifth grade’s annual Day Before Thanksgiving Day Parade. Not only is she a distant relative of Stanton, she identified with her work in human rights. She also gained experience in a skill that Stanton and Anthony certainly practiced: collaboration.

“I learned a lot about working in a group,” said Emma.

Between three and five students were assigned to each hero. They  organized themselves; determining who would lead the research, write a short presentation, and design the visuals.

“I learned that it’s always better working as a team,” said Jessy, a student whose group worked on Eleanor Roosevelt. “If one person couldn’t do something, another one of us could.”

Character Development is folded into the project

The fifteen-minute parade is low-tech, fun, and informative for the whole school. Fifth graders become experts in an American hero and exercise their research, drawing, writing, and public speaking skills.

Maggie's group worked on Jackie Robinson. She felt her American hero’s legacy personally. “He was the first black person to play in Major League Baseball,” said Maggie. “He inspired others to not be afraid and to be who they are.”

“Look at my hair!” Maggie continued. “In the summer it even gets more orange/red. People always ask me if it’s real. I can be different. It’s okay.”