Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Alexander Graham Bell Project

For the last month of school, Georgia had one enormous project to complete - it's official name was "The Biography Project," but we referred to it by it's more specific name:  The Alexander Graham Bell Project.  

As far as third grade projects go, this one was pretty substantial.  Georgia had to research Alexander Graham Bell and make a scrapbook about his life, which she then presented to her class and their parents at an end-of-the-year Biography Breakfast.

Georgia chose to dress in character for the presentation, so we borrowed a doctor's coat from our friend Janet and Georgia wore one of her father's ties:

Georgia read five clues so we could guess which prominent Massachussian she chose for her project:

She read:

1:  I am a male inventor
2.  I thought I would be best known for my work with the deaf
3:  I taught Helen Keller, but I am not Annie Sullivan
4:  I was born in the year 1847
5:  You use one of my inventions every day

Everyone was stumped!

After all the clues had been read, the parents went from desk to desk, guessing who the children's clues had been describing and admiring their scrapbooks.  And these weren't just your ordinary scrapbook with just photos and drawings.  Oh no!  This scrapbook assignment had 8 parts including a two-page life summary, a diary entry from an important day in the subject's life, an 8x10 inch hand-drawn postage stamp, two drawn "pieces of memorabilia" with descriptions, a birth certificate, and a "dear reader" letter.  Georgia's scrapbook also included had some photos (taken from the internet) of Alexander and his family and a time line of important dates in Bell's life - Georgia likes to do a little extra!

The Alexander Graham Bell Project  involved a good amount of time budgeting and organization and for those two things alone, I thought it was genius.  Henry never had a large project that required such complex planning until he got to middle school and we've learned the hard way that it's never too early to start learning how to budget your time!

I was so sad to say good-bye to Georgia's third grade teacher - she was a true gem.  She gave homework, but never too much and never during a holiday weekend or over the standardized testing weeks.  She chose thoughtful assignments over busy work and she managed a classroom full of kids with ease.  Georgia told me once that "Mrs. Fitch never gets mad."  Which is an amazing feat considering that she had an enormous class of children to teach.  

Thank you, Mrs. Fitch!  We hope Josie is in your class in two years!


elisabeth said...

Seriously. Your kids go to the most ambitious school of all time. I am simply exhausted by all their learning! They have certainly earned their summer vacation (as have you!)

Martha said...

I'm so glad to hear that! I think it gets pretty crazy with all these projects but no one else seems to!

It helps to have an out-of-town perspective!

Angie said...

Sounds like a wonderful project! I can't imagine how much planning and thinking went into it.

elisabeth said...

LOL. When I read about the work your kids are doing, it gives me renewed appreciation for the worksheet packet. Which is exactly where our local school is at. And you know what? I have no problems with that whatsoever! I thought I would. Maybe if we had normal behavior issues, I'd be more ambitious about their learning. But right now, we find worksheets very comforting in this house!

Martha said...

Even without the behavorial issues, I would think that a work packet would be just about right! Alas.

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