Contributed by Head of Grade 2 Melanie Thompson
G2 spent time the first few weeks of school reading about and researching the power of our bodies and our brains. We discussed how the food we eat fuels our bodies and our brains; thus, how can we make healthy choices?
After much exploration, we developed a system for students to log and rate their snack intake by nutrition, similar to a traffic stoplight.
Green: Lots of nutritional value
Yellow: Eat in moderation
Red: Little to no nutritional value
Students enjoyed discussing their snacks each day and soon, conversations at our family-style lunch tables evolved to, “Look how colorful my plate is!” Or, “I am eating all greens and one red!”
G2 students began to become much more aware of their choices and many parents shared that the conversations we were having in the classroom and the lunchroom were becoming conversations at home.
In addition to classroom conversations and activities, read alouds, and relevant texts assigned through literacy centers and guided reading groups, students were able to hear from some incredible internal and external experts.
Director of Media and Maker Jim Tiffin led a ZPD activity where students walked back and forth between their ‘comfort, stretch, and panic zone’ while many questions focused on the brain, body, healthy choices, community (procedures/routines, norms, laws).
Lower School Art instructor Dr. Karinna Reddit collaborated with G2 to plan cross-curricular PBL/Art with Social Sciences and Science. Students painted still lifes of bowls of fruits, veggies, healthy foods.
Head of Upper School Chip Houston presented to G2 about the importance of sleep, health, and nutrition. He also shared the need to turn screens off as well as protect our brains when playing sports.
Expert in Residence Dr. Dewitt Alfred, Psychologist, taught G2 how the brain creates neural pathways. Then, students created their own neurons and work collaboratively to transmit information from one neuron to the next.
When asked what the brain helps us do, students responded: play soccer, imagine, dream, solve math problems, do science, think, and it’s a big controller that controls our whole entire body! G2 students all agree: “the brain is the “superhero” organ because of its many amazing functions!”
In addition to their brains, students also celebrated other parts of their body – “The Best Parts of Me!” They highlighted their hearts, which pumps blood through their body, their hands that allow them to play and throw baseballs, and more!