Wednesday, February 18, 2015

State Fair Project

"Our State Fair is a great state fair
Don't Miss it don't even be late
(our state fair is great)
It's dollars to doughnuts at our state fair
It's the best state fair in the state!"  (State Fair Lyrics Written by Rodgers & Hammerstein)

This song by Rodgers and Hammerstein could have been written for the State Fair at OUR school which was held last Thursday in the Grade 4 wing.   The State Fair was the culminating activity for a research project that began in early January.  

To start each of the 80 students chose a state.  A lottery was held to decide who would choose first, second, third, etc.  There could be no more than 2 students studying a single state (mostly because we don't have an abundance of print resources.) 

Once the states were chosen, students were given their PSC (Portable Study Centers) which was made up of a sturdy pocket folder and an outline.  Books borrowed from the Media Center would also have a  home inside the PSC. Students were instructed to bring this to and from school each day.

Once the outline was reviewed, the process of learning how to 'research' began.  Using a table of contents, using an index to find information and note-taking were just some of the skills explored. Students had the option of completing the outline on paper or as a Google Doc.   

Next the "project" piece was introduced.  The State in a Bag from TpT (created by Amy's Smart Designs) was the focus.  It's a wonderful!  Students are given a bag (donated by the Good Food Store of Walpole) along with Amy's packet.  The packet includes instructions on how to complete the project (basically - decorating the bag and finding 3D items to represent different topics around the state - resources, history, tourism, etc.),  a checklist, object slips and a rubric.  Well worth the cost of two dollars!  

Snakes, coins, mountains, glaciers, busses, pots of gold, footballs, tractors, headdresses, masks, clay animals, maps, cans of corn are just some of the items that were in those fantastic bags! Students really used their imaginations to select, locate and create objects that would represent their state in a unique and appropriate way. It was great fun to see how students related these objects to classmates!

At the State Fair students set up their desks around the room and displayed their bags and items.  The rest of the school spent time visiting the 4th grade classrooms!  It was a huge success. Students not only got to share their work but got practice their presentation skills! 

Over the years our State Fair presentations have evolved and it's safe to say that we found a 'keeper'.  

Students: What did you like best about the State Fair?  

*Photos edited using


1 comment:

  1. That sounds like so much fun. It's nice to see that you are bringing fun back into the learning process. I love it!



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