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Our first grade students learn to Think Beyond through their experiences in becoming a member of the Lower School community. They are practicing their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills throughout the day and in everything they do. As they learn about what a community is and does, they learn about and experience many aspects of a community. They participate in their community helper play. Through this amazing experience, they learn the art of performance, music, and public speaking, while incorporating their knowledge of community. Science is incorporated through the community’s weather.
Next, they move to traveling through the community via “Transportation Day” where they create their own vehicle for a drive-in movie event. The “tools of the trade” allows them to interview and use their speech abilities to research their parent’s job.
Animals and their habitats are examined as another type of community. Their vocabulary is enriched through their excitement of learning about these animals. The Atlanta Zoo is a favorite field trip, where the students get to see the habitats and communities of animals.
The culminating activity for first grade’s community is the creation of “Box City.” The students use their cumulative knowledge and problem solving skills to create an entire community in the classroom. This activity requires collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking, which are the 4 C’s of 21st Century Learning.