Process Posters

In February, 3rd grade hosted our first Celebration of Learning. As I've shared in previous blog posts, our first expedition of the year was all about Michigan's early history.  After studying Michigan history from the first Native Americans through attaining statehood in 1837, each student chose a topic that we had studied (topics included the French-Indian War, the Ojibwa Tribe, and the Erie Canal).  Students wrote a page for our class book, added a poem and illustration, and their final drafts were compiled into a book titled Our Great State: Michigan's Early History.  Students were so excited to see their published work and read their pages aloud to their families at the Celebration of Learning!

But what about all the "behind the scenes" work? In order to create a page for the class book, student spent weeks doing research, taking notes, planning, writing, revising, re-writing, getting feedback, re-writing again, planning poems, revising poems, drafting illustrations, getting multiple rounds of feedback, re-drawing, and so on. Tons of work and drafts went into the process of learning.  We chose to capture this learning by creating process posters. Students collected all of their drafts and displayed them on a tri-fold board.  After sharing our book with families at the Celebration of Learning, students invited their families to come see their process posters. This allowed them to share with their families ALL of the work that had gone into creating a final product.

I thought this was a very valuable experience for a few reasons. First, it highlights for students that the process is just as important as the final product. Second, it invests students in the importance and value of giving and receiving feedback and revising work through creating multiple drafts. Third, it really allows students to make a connection to perseverance (one of our habits of character) and be able to explicitly talk about how creating multiple drafts and persevering allowed them to create high-quality work.  Process posters, and the work that they highlight, is just one of the many components that make expeditions a unique and valuable learning experience for all students.