IRVINGTON, N.Y. -- Third-grade students at Dows Lane Elementary School took their classmates and parents on an adventure to different countries around the world by letting them sample a variety of authentic food dishes during the annual Country Celebration, held on Wednesday, June 1.
As part of a nonfiction writing unit in their classes, the students conducted independent research on a country that represents their heritage before creating travel brochures and video slideshows with interesting facts about their chosen country.
They made discoveries about the country’s main features, national symbols, monetary unit, language and educational system and used the ShowMe app on their iPads, which were provided through a grant from the Irvington Education Foundation, to create their videos.
“Children learn best when they are vested in their learning,” third-grade teacher Christopher Cullen said. “Students selected countries based on their heritage and interest levels. This project was hands-on with students learning many new computer programs and most of the work was done in class integrating social studies, writing, reading and computer technology.”
The students represented several countries, including India, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Israel, Japan, Ireland, England, France and Italy, and brought in an array of gelato, macaroons, sushi, tacos and other authentic dishes to share with classmates and parents.
“My grandpa is German and I thought the country was interesting,” said third-grader Brady Kadro, who brought in chocolate and spoke with enthusiasm about Germany’s well-known soccer team, famous landmarks and history. “My favorite thing about [the Country Celebration] is learning about other countries, cultures and history.”
Third-grader Benjamin Meyer represented Russia and brought in authentic sushki, which he described as miniature donuts. He said he was interested in learning more about his heritage and after conducting his research, he said he felt prepared to visit the country.
Besides Cullen’s and Joan Burns’ third-grade class, students in Ronni Alpert’s and Diane Kiernan’s third-grade class also held a Country Celebration to showcase their knowledge of different countries around the world.