Sunday, December 8, 2013

U.S. Symbols with collaboration and teamwork!

Raise your hand if you are stuck inside because of snow or freezing rain.. If only it could hold off until tomorrow morning so we could have a snow/ice day!  I'm not sure about many other states weather right now but if you're in NC, you'll appreciate this...

Onto the meaning of this post.  A group research project on U.S. Symbols!

Another teacher and myself decided to have our classes collaborate on this project and it has been so much fun and quite the learning experience for our 2nd graders.  We started by splitting them up into 9 groups of 4 and giving them each a symbol to become an expert on.  Day 1 & 2 they did research and found all of the information they needed.  They worked in pairs- 2 people reading books/magazines, 2 people on the computers.  We were prepared to solve arguments about who would go on the computer and who would go on the computers but we were pleasantly surprised.  If they disagreed, they compromised or played rock, paper, scissors (Oh, they actually DO hear me when I'm talking!)

They had their research papers with them as they did their research.


Then on day 3, they got together and compared information.  They asked themselves: 

  • Did we find the same information or different?
  • Do we have to find more information?
  • Do we have to find the correct answer (If we have different answers)?
Then began sketching their idea for their poster as well as choosing which information they would teach the rest of the classes.  After their ideas were approved by myself or my teammate, they could start.  We had 2 basic rules.

1. No arguing
2. Everyone must participate

Look at them all so hard at work! We got to use our schools "Learning Commons" which is a new room this year that is perfect for this type of work!

We are still finishing up but their posters are beginning to look fabulous.  This week they will plan their presentations, practice, and then teach the classes about their symbol!


I've created a resource to go along with this project that includes 3 different types of research sheets, resource lists (online & books), and a group norms page for your students to come up with the rules they think are important in order to work the best they can.  This resource is great for any grade and is easily adapted to fit the needs of your room!

Well, stay warm and safe from the storms y'all!


As educators, we remember and honor our fallen colleagues and their students from Sandy Hook School. We honor them each day in our classrooms in which we continue their dream of teaching our children. We honor their memory with our service. Join with teachers everywhere in committing random acts of kindness to show our love for Sandy Hook.


  1. Love the research pack!! That is just my alley, and my kids would enjoy it. Thanks for sharing the idea.