A Road Trip with Grade 4

The King Community embarked on a trip across the United States in early May as Grade 4 presented their 'State Fair' in the LS Library. The State Fair is the culminating project for students' state research unit. Students serve as tour guides and display fun facts and details about their state in their "booth", which includes a poster board, custom delicacies, costumes, and speeches they've rehearsed about their state. Whether visitors are enjoying Ben and Jerry's ice cream from Vermont or mint julep tea from Kentucky, the Fair is always a highlight of the year.

Student Lucy Goldstein chose Oregon as her state and educated visitors about Crater Lake.She asked, "Did you know that Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States? At first, it was a volcano but the top exploded and glaciers formed. The glaciers filled the volcano and Crater Lake was created."

The State Fair project is a way to develop research skills, and extract information from a text and the internet. "Students utilize skills including paraphrasing, reading for information, using search tools in a text and online. Also, they practice and build on their oral presentation skills as they write and present the information on their state. Organization and long-term planning skills are applied as they create their presentation," said Helen Santoro, Grade 4 Faculty.

Student Zachary Louizos was distributing coupons to Hershey Park from his Pennsylvania booth. "My favorite part of the Fair was learning new things about a state that I didn't know before. For example, I learned that Benjamin Franklin, who was a famous person from PA, was the first owner of a post office," said Zachary.

Some years, the whole family gets involved with the project and plan vacations to the chosen states.One year a parent joked that she was thankful her daughter chose Florida and not Alaska.

"This unit of study provides essential skills and utilizes many learning styles. Students are fully immersed in their state exploration and they become experts and the best ambassadors for that area. And they have fun, which develops their love of learning," said Ellen Eagleton, Grade 4 Faculty.