The third and fourth graders at Red Bird Christian School in Beverly, Kentucky, celebrated the 100th day of school by researching and giving presentations on people born in 1918—100 years ago. Among the famous folks profiled were Margaret Osborne DuPont, Jack Berry, Anne Shirley, Johnny Klein, Dame Cicely Saunders, Mickey Vernon, Marjorie Lord, Jane Frank, Sam Walton, and Paul Harvey. Teacher Patty Vance also participated by researching makeup mogul Mary Kay Ash.
Students were able to select any person, preferably a famous person, to research. They were to learn all about that person’s life, including the date and place of birth and death, what they were known for, why they are famous, as well as to share at least two other interesting facts about their person. Students were to also dress up like their person.
“My students said that they had never heard of the people who were selected, not even [Walmart founder] Sam Walton!” said Vance. “The most important thing that they learned was what life was like 100 years ago. To see the reaction of my students as they learn about women’s suffrage and equal rights for the first time is always moving.”
Students shared their presentations with the class while Vance videoed them; she then shared the recordings on the class Facebook page for parents, grandparents, and friends to watch.
“In my classroom we do a lot of project-based learning, especially in social studies,” said Vance. “I like to include communication skills with these projects; my students frequently do presentations and speeches. Our fourth grade 4-H Club participates in the annual Communications Day Competition for Clay County each year. Our 100 day research and speech project is one of several activities that we have done in preparation for that competition.”
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