Wasatch Elementary

Kindergarten Social Studies: Interviews: Jan. 2015

Mrs. VanDyke’s Kindergarten class took big steps in learning the research process by understanding the need to create appropriate questions. The class decided to find out more about their janitor, Mr. Rick Critchlow. Topics included personal interests, every day tasks, likes and dislikes, etc. Initially the students wanted to guess at answers, but with the help of the District Teacher Librarians and Mrs. VanDyke the children realized the need to create essential questions and the need for an actual interview with “Mr. Rick.” After the students each developed a question for the interview, “Mr. Rick” came to the class and students got the answers they were looking for right from the source. After the interview, students took their questions and the answers, and created a statement sentence that they wrote down along with a descriptive picture. These pages all became part of a class book about their research on “Mr. Rick!”

5th Grade Social Studies: U.S. History: Feb.-Mar. 2014

A group of 5th graders at Wasatch Elementary were asked to “think like historians.” Students worked in partners to research U.S. history topics ranging from the American Revolution to the Civil Rights Movement. Instead of just presenting the facts, Mrs. Mathewson and a DTL asked the students essential questions to guide their research. Questions included:

  • What were the lasting effects of the Lewis and Clark expedition?
  • What were the causes and consequences of westward expansion?
  • How did technological innovation change the way people worked?
  • How did the Great Depression impact the lives of ordinary Americans?
  • What are some turning points (major events) that helped the civil rights movement?

Students worked collaboratively in Google Apps to keep track of their sources, write their essays, and create their presentations.

6th Grade Social Studies: Ancient Chinese History: Dec. 2013

In December, sixth-grade students from Hillcrest and Wasatch researched innovations from ancient Chinese dynasties. To show what they know, students used a modern innovation, Google Documents, to create an online newspaper. Students collaborated with their peers to write articles about porcelain, tea, kites, silk, wheelbarrows, and more. They shared their newspapers across schools to learn from each other and offer peer reviews.

A Wasatch student commented on the sharing process: “I really enjoyed reading Hillcrest’s newspaper. One article had a fact that I completely forgot to write about in my article.”

Students at Wasatch also read Chinese folktales and performed shadow puppet plays for younger grades. To view an article and video about the project, click on Standard-Examiner’s link here.