This is my first year teaching social studies (in fourth grade). In North Carolina, fourth grade is about all things, well, North Carolina. One of our essential standards asks them to explain the historical significance of our state symbols. And I have to admit, before this year, I wasn't able to name many of our symbols. Who knew we had a state marsupial? (It turns out that my sister-in-law does. I was trying to make a point this weekend and she rattled it off.)
Instead of merely memorizing the symbols and whatnot, I wanted to try something a little more fun and engaging. So... We did!
Basically, each kiddo picked a symbol out of a hat. They researched their symbol, filled out a little research template, and then used the information to create a slide in a class presentation about all of the symbols (or as many as we studied). This project integrated reading, social studies, research, technology, speaking/listening, and fun! My kiddos loved it and I loved watching them as they engaged with the material and the creative process.