American Heroes: Lifeguards

Student Contributor -Josephine Michele Howard
My students were learning about American Heroes such as Jane Addams, Martin Luther King Junior, and Ceasar Chavez. After learning about these heroes, we made a poster with phrases telling the lifeguards thank you for what they have done. Once we are done writing, then we colored the poster and drew on it. I took the poster to the local YMCA and took a picture of the lifeguards holding the poster to show the students.

In this project, students were reading about the. different ways known American Heroes have affected us. We read a book, made graphic organizers describing why they were heroes, and then we shared our thoughts on the story. After we read through the book and talked over what a hero is again as a refresher, we started to brainstorm ideas about what kinds of heroes we see every day. We wanted to discuss lifeguards because they are the heroes that are not discussed much. We brainstormed what lifeguards do for us on the whiteboard and then turned those thoughts into sentences. Once the sentences were formed, we copied them down on a poster board that I bought from the dollar tree. Next, the students started to draw pictures on the poster board and color them. I took the poster to the lifeguard at the YMCA and took a picture of them to show the students when I went back to my practicum school. When talking to the students about what they thought of the project, most of them talked about their desire to be American Heroes. When I showed the picture to them, they were very happy and had big smiles on their faces. This is an easy projects that gives a lot of satisfaction to the students.

The part that works well was getting the students interested in the female hero, Jane Addams, because the group that I was working with was three second-grade girls. Some of the aspects of the project that I had to modify in the. middle of the lesson was getting students' attention back on track and keeping the conversation going, not just having them read. I noticed that this particular group had a hard time focusing when the pace wasn't fast enough or if we were on a subject for too long. Knowing your students is key when doing a project such as this. When doing this project, I would suggest making activities if you have time. I did not have time to make activities for this group because it was at the end of the year, however, the students would have gotten more out of it if it was more memorable.

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