The second grade animal research project is always a highlight of the spring. If you ask any current ninth grader, who today is thinking primarily about the prom, graduation, and final exams (and probably in that order), they can instantly recall their animal from seven years earlier. This academic project combines so many valuable skills that children need to learn. Our second graders learn to select books from the library and how to do research, to take good notes, to organize their thoughts on notecards, to write rough drafts, and then to edit those drafts into a finished paper—one that includes a map, original poem, and watercolor illustrations. Their final step is to create a diorama featuring their animal in its natural habitat; and then, ultimately, they teach others about their animal. I love seeing a second grader as an "expert" on the American bison or the emperor penguin. Powerful learning indeed.
I hope you enjoy this short video that captures the spirit of this annual GCDS special project.
Adam C. Rohdie
Headmaster, The Greenwich Country Day School