Integrated Project: Create an Island

We’ve ended our Upper Elementary school year with something very special: an integrated project. This massive piece of work first involved separating the class into mixed-grade groups, intentionally selecting students with varied strengths and interests.   

During the course of this project, cooperation would be key, and group members practiced inclusive discussions, democratic voting and reaching a consensus when choices had to be made.  There were some challenges along the way, as different ideas were sometimes in conflict and different personalities sometimes clashed.  But, in the end, each group became a cohesive team. 

This was no whimsical undertaking.  Students had to use their creativity and imagination, but apply them in logical ways informed by their knowledge of the real world.  Each island came to life with a name, a geographical location, and a history from its discovery to the present day.  Islands had particular biomes defined by their geographical location and landforms. Group members contributed to design currency, draw maps, detail the special flora and fauna on their islands.  The pinnacle of their creativity was displayed when they were tasked to create a national anthem for their island, and to dramatize one of its myths or legends.   

Our Open House was their moment to shine: each group had a large display to welcome guests, complete with a flag, activities, and even delicious snacks.  It was amazing, and the students were rightfully proud to see the culmination of all their hard work.  What a great way to end the school year! 

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