Better Together

First grade students reflected on how COVID has affected their lives, both positively and negatively. They formed a relationship with a sister class in Simi Valley, California to discuss their similarities and differences. In the end, students decided to help their community feel better about returning to school by making videos and welcome posters.

Teachers: Lorraine Keir and Michiko Mull

Students: 1st Graders at Charles Barrett Elementary School

Driving Questions: What does it mean to be part of a community? How does COVID-19 affect us?  Is it the same for students in Simi Valley, California? What can we do to help our community?

Standards of Learning:

One of our goals for the class is to teach citizenship in our homes, schools, states, countries and the world.  This project explores what it looks like to be a citizen in each area as we compare our students’ lives with those of  their counterparts in Simi Valley, California.

Social Studies Standards:  Students will develop map skills and geopgraphic understanding of location and its impact and demonstrate skills for geographic analysis and responsible citizenship.

ELA Standards: Students will develop oral communication skills

The 5Cs:

  • Collaboration: The students worked together with another class and with their classmates to discuss their personal, geographical, familial, and cultural similarities and differences. They worked as a team to make posters and a video.
  • Critical thinking: The students began by thinking about how COVID has affected them personally. They extended their thinking to consider how it affected their community and another state across the country. They made a plan to take action in their own community. 
  • Communication: The students presented about their communities and asked questions of their peers in Simi Valley. 
  • Creative thinking: Students  wrote their own messages for a schoolwide video and posters. 
  • Citizenship skills: The students prepared a presentation about their communities for the students in Simi Valley. They taught about Virginia,  Alexandria and Charles Barrett. They also planned activities to support our community during this difficult time.