Over the past two years our 4th grade team has been working on creating and refining our concept map. We have spent several hours discussing important topics and ideas. Our discussions were based around what we thought our students needed to learn in order to be better citizens when they left our classrooms at the end of the school year. We decided to create a concept map centered on the topic of acceptance. As a team we wanted our students to recognize and celebrate the uniqueness of others. We believe it is a valuable lesson to teach students to respect similarities and differences.
As our 4th grade team began the refining process on our concept map this year, we had the desire to dive even deeper into the topic of diversity. In 4th grade, students learn of cultural diversity in social studies, but we wanted to take it one step further. We decided to implement a two month lunch and learn book study centered on the topic of diversity.
A lunch and learn book study is an opportunity for students to receive a valuable enrichment experience. Students participate in Socratic seminars, deep analysis of the text, and discuss important themes. The driving question for our lunch and learn book study is “How can we help others be accepting of diversity?”
To launch our lunch and learn book study, students participated in a “book tasting.” We set up our Blue Discovery Center as a book café. Students rotated to different tables and read a few pages in several books to “get a taste” of the topics. Students then completed a Google survey on which books they would be interested in reading.
This is an optional learning experience that students can join at any time throughout the two month period. To date we have 34 students participating in our lunch and learn. Each 4th grade teacher is leading a book study. This gave students the opportunity to choose from a selection of 4 novels. Our building principal is also joining a book study to add to the novelty of this event and to lend her expertise. It will be exciting to see the impact this learning experience will have on our students.
Questions for Twitter Tuesday on December 4th:
- How can we teach students to celebrate diversity?
- How can we inspire students to dig deeper and take ownership of their learning?
- How do you provide enrichment activities for students in your classroom?
- What strategies do you use when guiding reading discussions?
- What are your concept map themes?