By Emily Zumsteg, Director of Marketing & Communications
Every year, our 3rd Grade Magpies dive into project-based learning through their Country Report. Led by their teachers Kim Denkers and Natalie Kaplan and Teaching Assistant, Dana Powers, each 3rd grader in 2020/2021 chose a country to research and report on. In the end, they did more than collect facts; their view of the world and its people broadened and deepened, too.
The 3rd graders’ deep dives led to all sorts of discoveries. They learned everything from the country’s flag design and official languages to its climate and current events. They wrote up their findings in their very own mini newspaper, and the project culminated in a grade-wide fair open to families, featuring popular foods from each country.
The 3rd Grade Country Report aligns beautifully with Limud L’shma (Learning for the Sake of Learning). Our Magpies reported that through this project, they learned to write things in their own words, find current facts (and double-check them!), and to break the project into sections.
Perhaps most importantly, the students had a lot to say when asked about how this project reflects another McGillis value: Derech Eretz (Having Respect for All). 3rd grader Samuel said, “This project helped me learn about the lives of other people and what is important to them and how it feels to be them.”