Most people are curious about space. Second graders can’t get enough of it.
Prior to launching their unit on space study, students in grade 2 were asked several essential questions, which were expected to be answered upon completion of their unit:
- What is the difference between a rotation and revolution, and how are they related to our calendar and seasons here on Earth?
- What are the different moon phases and how do they affect our lives?
- How are planets and stars formed and what are their different characteristics?
Given their drive to learn and ceaseless curiosity, students delivered answers to these and significantly more complex questions during their exposition on Space Day, the culmination of their space study.
In preparation for Space Day and after a trip to Tellus Science Museum, students were asked to chose a single space topic in which to dive deep: milky way, constellation, planet, lunar module, etc. Curious wannabe astronauts researched their subjects online, read books, asked questions and soaked up everything space-related.
Based on their research, they were asked to write an informational book, complete with an introduction, three chapters, a conclusion, a glossary and a section called “About the Author.” In order to exhibit their knowledge and discovery, each second grader then began to create models of their selected topic, using everyday household items and other recyclables.
Through research, study and 3-D modeling, Space Day proved to be an extraordinary showcase of various elements in space. Families were invited to tour the four second grade classrooms, as were all students in Kindergarten through grade 4, to visit each space station to hear the intricate details about our universe. In true Mount Vernon style, questions were asked, passion fueled and feedback was encouraged, in Post-it form.
When asked about the experience, one young space expert commented, “I thought I knew a lot about space before, but I learned so much more from doing my own project and listening to my friends do their work.”