By TIM CLEVELAND
A recent project at Robinwood Lane Elementary School has allowed fourth-grade students to not only research where their ancestors came from but also to enjoy some tasty treats.
On Feb. 28, the school held a Cookie Festival for its fourth graders, which was the culmination of a project where the students picked any country in the world to research and write a paper on. The Cookie Festival featured cookies from the various countries that were selected.
“The kids had to do a research project so we tied it into social studies,” said social studies and science teacher Jeanette Tamulonis. “They had to research either their country of origin or country of their choosing. They got to pick the country on their own. They did a research paper on it, where they had to research the country – the customs, the culture, the geography, and put together a research paper.
“They each created a paper bag for their country, and inside the bag they had to put in items that went with their country. Then they got to come in front of the class and present it.”
The approximately 80 fourth-graders then got their moms involved in the project.
“We sent notes home, and all the moms either baked or went to the bakeries they use,” Tamulonis said.
Language, arts and reading teacher Jan Zorman was also heavily involved with the project.
“One of the new common course standards for next year is going to be a research project,” she said. “What we did this year is we got our feet wet. We decided to do it with the countries first. They wrote three paragraphs and we gave them the ideas of what they had to do for each paragraph. They had to use computers and iPads, but they were also allowed to use books. Most of them picked a country that’s of their origin or their background. They would write it up, we would correct it, and the final copy is to make it on a computer and they had to type them.
“Now we know where we’re going next year. We’re going to do a state project and it starts with me because I’m going to Hawaii. I’m going to take the first part of it. I’m going to collect information and then I’m going to model their project for them. Then I’m going to make a Powerpoint and I think next year we’re going to let them try and do a Powerpoint.”
Some of the countries that were selected by the students were China, Japan, Vietnam, Italy, Germany, Finland and Sweden.
Two of the students that wrote papers for the project were Ahmad Imeishat and Adam Mohammad. Ahmad chose Jordan while Adam selected Palestine for their countries. Like most of the other students, they picked countries that were a part of their genealogy. Each learned many facts in researching their papers.
“I learned about the Dead Sea and the Petra [a historical city in Jordan] and my ancestors that lived there,” Ahmad said.
“It has more [people] than Jordan,” Adam said.