This month, 2nd Graders at Fieldston Lower worked on an integrated STEAM project in their social studies workshop (SSW) class. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math, and this project incorporates aspects of each subject!
Fieldston Lower Librarian Joan Arrowsmith explains, “In Library, we explore ways to talk about books. 2nd Graders have been looking at characters and settings in stories and how they help readers to imagine the story.” To kick off the project, students looked at a series of books by Molly Coxe that tell a story using stuffed animals (“stuffies”).
Then, students learned to sew by hand in SSW, made their own stuffies, and began to imagine stories of their own: “Students were given a pattern that they could interpret into any creative stuffy that they wished. They learned how to thread a needle and do the whip and running stitches. Many students learned to use patterns to create clothing for their stuffies, while others created their own designs and accessories,” says Visual Arts and SSW Teacher Shari Fischberg.
Next, students created a storyboard to organize a short story about their stuffy. Then, they used iPads to photograph a location that they would later use to design their scene.
Ethics and Technology Lead Kim Deveaux explains that students are currently learning about animation and a few simple coding techniques to create their scenes in a program called ScratchJr. With ScratchJr, students can program their own interactive stories and games, and in the process, they learn to solve problems, design projects, and express themselves creatively using technology.
Deveaux hoped to introduce students to simple concepts of coding: “We work to demystify the technology students use in their everyday life by helping them understand how computers work. Coding challenges allow students to problem-solve and integrate math concepts in a real-world way and creatively express their ideas.”
The 2nd Graders look forward to sharing their completed projects in the coming weeks!