“Georgia Then and Now” was the topic of deep exploration for Grade 2 which recently wrapped up after classroom study and research, interactions with MVXperts, and multiple expeditions. This unit is designed to help students understand the history and geography of our state, from the Mesozoic Era (about 230 Million years ago) to the present day. The unit concluded with the development of a time capsule.
Elachee in the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve in Gainesville, is one of Georgia’s largest protected and most ecologically diverse green spaces. Hearing directly from a representative from the Elachee Nature Center, who visited Grade 2 helped to provide context and color to Georgia’s geography throughout the years. She also brought lots of items for the students to touch and investigate. Grade 2 student Gray H, shared “We learned how the coastal planes used to be covered in water, the earth isn’t solid all the way through, and we got to look at different rocks that she brought.” Students explored rocks in small groups while writing down the characteristics of each one. Hill L said, “I thought it was really fun that we got to touch all of the rocks and I remember when she told us where each rock came from and why they look different.”
That week, with knowledge gained from the Elachee Nature Center representative, students discussed the different regions of Georgia in small groups while sharpening their communication and collaboration skills to complete each group’s drawing of Georgia’s landscape.
The students also went on several expeditions, exploring different parts of Georgia and learning about the different regions and the people who have lived there throughout history.
- Students had the opportunity to learn from the battlefield staff at Kennesaw Mountain. They visited the site and connected with the staff, who developed lessons that helped students and teachers understand the historic events that took place there. They toured the battlefield and learned about the landforms and topography of the area.
- Grade 2 also visited the Harris Homestead Museum and Education Center where they explored a 19th-century log home while discussing log house construction and living standards for civilians and military before, during, and shortly after the civil war.
These expeditions helped students gain a deeper understanding of both the history and geography of our state while being exposed to a wide range of perspectives and experiences.