Teaching Global Citizens

Every year our second grade boys study immigration. They learn about immigration in the historical sense, specifically the wave of immigrants that passed through Ellis Island in the 1900’s, as well as what immigration looks like today. The boys are fascinated with the stories they read and the role-playing that they do in the spring during “Immigration Day”. However, equally beneficial to the boys are the lessons they learn about each other. I stopped in Mr. William’s classroom last week and the entire grade was gathered around sharing stories about their family background. Some went back just one generation, others went back several generations, to uncover countries of origin. It was such a beautiful reminder of the “melting pot” that is America. The boys will place a pin on the map representing one country that they identify with, and over the next few months they will learn about that country and imagine themselves coming here for the first time. The hope is that they will not only learn to appreciate their own heritage but the heritage of their classmates as well. We live in a changing world. It feels increasingly important to include lessons about tolerance and understanding of cultural differences.


Enjoy the pictures from that activity below and look for more about our second grade lessons on immigration in future blog posts.

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I hope that my communication with you each week encourages “talking points” to inspire conversation with your son or sons. Here are some “talking points” based on recent school events.



  • If you are in Kindergarten- What type of penguin are you researching? What can you tell me about fractions and pizza?
  • If you are in Prep-One- Why will there be a large Kapok tree in your classroom? What do we mean by the term “rainforest”? How did you construct your tower of marshmallows and spaghetti in Makerspace class? Were you successful- why or why not?


  • If you are in First Grade- What is a fact family? Are you enjoying your Tall Tale Unit?
  • If you are in Second Grade- What country did you identify with for the world map in the hallway? What did you share about your family’s country of origin? What is the definition of “immigrant”? What does it mean to be “Americanized”?
  • If you are in Third Grade- What did you do to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your little buddies? Are you proud of your final product for you Native American report- why or why not?
  • If you are in Fourth Grade- How well did your balloon-powered car do in science class this week? What are you learning about the Federal government in social studies? Who are you researching for your African American Leadership Project?


  • If you are in Fifth Grade- How are your stocks performing in the Stock Market Game? How did you add “voice” to your last writing assignment? Did you enjoy reading The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle?

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