I love to incorporate art and creativity into learning! One of my favorite projects that my students do is creating portraits using watercolor paints! I have used them with my kiddos when they write their biographies. (You can read more about this project HERE!) I think they turned out great! Here are some photos of these!
We even made self-portraits for conferences. The families LOVED them and the kids were so excited to show them off!
Another activity that I like to do with my class is familiarize them with their town and community. We spend about a week getting to know our town. I teach in my hometown of Frazee, Minnesota. It is a tiny little town in northern Minnesota with a HUGE population of 1,350 people! After spending the week learning about our town and its history, we take a community walk. The kids get a scavenger hunt/quiz before we leave. They put this on their clipboard and I tell them that they have a big job to do as we discover different aspects of our town. As we stop at different stopping points, I share a fact or interesting point and then they have a question or job to answer on their paper. In the photos below you will see that Frazee is known for having the “World’s Largest Turkey”. You will also see my kids reading signs posted along our walk that explain the history of the logging industry in Frazee. Another photo below shows students counting the rings on a log to find out how old the tree was. Our town was an old logging town so I feel that it is important that my students know of this important history.
Lastly, I feel it is important that (even at 2nd grade) we allow our kids to be kids! Let them be little! Learning and school should be fun! I truly feel that if a child loves learning and school, they will grow as learners with the help of hands-on, developmentally appropriate, guided instruction! Okay, off my soap box… I love to expose my 2nd graders to a variety of activities that help them to practice their spelling words. In the pictures below you will see a couple of my students using shaving cream to practice their spelling words. Yes, it’s messy. Yes, it’s work. Yes, it’s noisy. Yes, they LOVE IT! And guess what, they are LEARNING!