This month at school, the girls celebrated Hispanic Heritage. They had to do a full on research report about a hispanic country of their choosing, with rough drafts, a reference page, research proof and a typewritten two page report, AS WELL AS a poster depicting the country and their research...welcome to 5th Grade!
Have I mentioned how amazing their teacher, Ms. Burrus is? She just knows how to make it fun and get the kids excited about it. She didn't just assign them a report... she gave them a whole packet that helped lead them through it, as well as daily assignments that helped them prioritize and slowly make progress.
Then, to get them excited about presenting it, she didn't just say, "Oh you're gonna have to stand up in front of the class to show what you know." She invited the parents (with a printed invitation and country guidebook) to a potluck luncheon where everyone brought something from their country. Before we ate, she had each child stand in a different spot in the room and as the parents came into the room, they had to tell each parent about their country. And to help the parents with the presentations, she provided us with a list of questions to ask the students.
She then told the kids that if they didn't have a parent they needed to find one that was standing around cuz they were having a contest to see who could present their country report to the most parents.
What a great idea! We all know that teaching is the best way to learn something. Sure enough, all these kids knew their countries backward and forward by the time they had presented it and answered questions at least ten times.
I'll be honest. When I walked in and saw Xoe standing prominently and proud in front of her report she worked so hard on, and then looked over and saw Xanthe animatedly telling one of the moms about her country that she also worked so hard on, I got a bit choked up. I don't know why. I just did. I was bursting with pride! I just got teary eyed all over again writing that. haha.
I realized I never said what countries the girls did. Xanthe chose Chile (since her dad went on a mission there, and my sister's boyfriend is there on a mission), and Xoe chose Colombia (since that is part of their heritage, their dad is Colombian.) They had such a good time emailing James and their dad to have their questions answered. They even loved the story that their dad asked his parents for some answers to the questions, and James took the list of questions around to the Chilean people to get schooled. They were in heaven knowing that the answers came from real native people. They also loved researching too. And who loves research!?
Oh, and did I mention they BOTH GOT 100%'s! A+! WAY TO GO GIRLS!!! WOOHOO!