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Famous American Day has been a tradition for FRCS second graders for over a decade. But a few years ago, we added a technological twist! Wanting to go beyond mere memorization of facts, Mrs. Hart opted to ask children to synthesize the important facts into something original. Students now have to understand how the Famous Americans made an impact and analyze how they are related to one another even though they may seem completely different.

Mrs. Hart’s new approach encourages students to use critical thinking skills through the process of creation and the use of technology.

This year, students chose an influential American. Instead of creating a poster and writing a summary of their American, however, students worked collaboratively to plan and storyboard a short film to communicate important facts about their chosen Famous American. Once the research was finished, the students were grouped with others who had chosen Famous Americans with common traits (e.g., Famous Women or Famous Explorers). They then brainstormed ideas for a short film related to all of their Famous Americans. Once they had an idea, they moved on to storyboarding, script writing, and making props, including costumes.

Mrs. Kakac and Mrs. Hart helped with filming and final editing, but the students had a hand in every aspect of the video production process. The results are amazing! Both parents and students alike are thrilled with the end result which captures the creativity and enthusiasm of FRCS second graders. One video is posted below to give you a glimpse at the results.

Lights, camera, action!