Presenting the ‘It’s Great to be You!’ project

Published 1:27 pm Friday, March 4, 2022

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The fifth-graders at Carrsville Elementary School put on an expo Feb. 22 that showcased their work in connection with a project titled “It’s Great to be You!”

The project began with teachers posing some key questions to the fifth-grade students led by this question: “Is everyone born good?”

Describing the emphasis of the project, Darnelle Kellison, a fifth-grade teacher at the school, said, “Our focus is on how we are all born good but have life events that affect our perspectives and often affect how we feel about ourselves and others,” she stated. “We took this theme and connected it to text and research as a way to infuse our reading and writing skills.”

The project branched off into a variety of assignments for students, but each of those assignments was in service of the theme.

Students watched a video that detailed an experiment with toddlers in which the toddlers were presented with a puppet show featuring a good puppet and a bad puppet. Afterward, each infant was presented with a choice to play with either the good puppet or the bad puppet, and all the infants chose the good puppet.

Two authors students studied for the “It’s Great to be You!” project were C.S. Lewis and Maya Angelou. Students analyzed quotes from Angelou and Lewis and shared what those quotes meant to them.

Students compared and contrasted the movie and book versions of Lewis’ novel “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

The fifth-graders also wrote approximately three-page research papers on Lewis’ life.

They learned about Angelou’s life and how she overcame an extremely difficult childhood. Then they wrote their own versions of her poem “Still I Rise,” being careful to use Angelou’s same rhyme scheme, rhythm and tone.

The project gave students the opportunity to show kindness through making paintings for community members in nursing homes and hospitals. Students also had the opportunity to show gratitude, writing ‘thank you’ letters to those who have made a difference in their lives.

The project culminated in the unveiling at the expo of a Kindness Mural that students helped design and paint on a prominent wall inside the school.

Kellison noted that the project stemmed from the mind of fellow Fifth-Grade Teacher Courtney Berard.