The Barnesville School of Arts & Sciences fourth grade social studies curriculum centers on the study of United States. In addition to learning American history and regional geography, topography, culture, and heritage, each student is responsible for a long-term research project focusing on a state of their choice. The culmination is the Fourth Grade State Fair, where students present their findings to parents and students from other grades.
Over a six-month period, students use class time for independent research on their chosen state’s culture, geography, economy, climate, resources and government. They create tri-fold displays featuring facts, symbols, famous citizens, unique laws. These displays as well as related artwork are on display in the gymnasium so visitors can enjoy a mini tour across America, asking questions of the fourth grade tour guides.
Fourth Grade Teacher Ms. Harabatch (known as Ms. Z) said, “Students have spent a great deal of time on research, planning, and organizing their findings, and it all comes together when they start to practice their presentations. They’ve learned so much about their state and are eager to share that knowledge and fun facts they’ve discovered.”
Students also share signature treats from each state, such as fresh pineapple from Hawaii, mini maple pancakes representing New Hampshire, and Boston Cream Pie donuts. We caught Ms. Z trying a donut!
Barnesville’s Fourth Grade State Fair is an interdisciplinary Signature Curriculum Event. In language arts, students draw on their research to complete writing assignments and create materials such as state reports and presentations. In art class, the students created relief prints of their state’s bird and flower. After carving rubber block stamps, they transferred ink images to printing paper. In music class, the students learned the song about the “Nifty Fifty” states.
A photo album of the 2018 State Fair can be viewed on Facebook.