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Around the World at Memorial School

First Grade students in Renee Luzzetti's class show off their knowledge about the countries that their ancestors came from to their teachers and families.

You could travel from the United States to Australia, from Israel to Ireland, or from Canada to Scotland at the Memorial Elementary School's second annual World Fair. First grade students and their teachers invited parents and grandparents into their classrooms to demonstrate their new knowledge of the countries where their ancestors came from.

As part of their curriculum, the students recently finished reading the book Captain Bill Pinkney's Journey by Bill Pinkney, which is a true story about a man that sails around the world, and during his journey he visits the lands of his ancestors. Two years ago, the first grade team of teachers decided to extend this activity by having the students learn about their own ancestry.

The project was broken up into three parts. First, the students chose a country of their own heritage and researched and recreated the country's map with the capital and the country's flag, using the flag's authentic color and design. Second, the students researched three fun facts about the country such as facts about the holidays, language, food, and/or clothing. Third, the students had to share why they chose the country that they did.

On April 5, parents were invited into the classrooms to take a tour across the countries to see all of the students' presentations and hear what they learned about the countries where their ancestors had lived or still live.

Seven-year-old Alexa Gibson chose Canada for her project because that is where her grandmother came from. "I learned that fiddleheads are kind of a vegetable and they come in the spring. I also learned that they have Thanksgiving in October," she said about her "fun Canadian facts."

A few desks over, you could travel 3,200 miles to Ireland, where 6-year-old Nicholas Cummings said "I chose Ireland because it has a green, orange and white flag, which is a pretty flag. Also, my dad went to Ireland and brought us back lollipops from there. Also, I am part Irish."

First grade teacher Renee Luzzetti gave the students some encouraging words minutes before the Fair opened. "I want all of the parents to see that you are proud of all the work you have done," she said. After the fair, Luzzetti commented on how pleased she was with this year's Fair. "We are so very proud of all of our students for their incredible efforts and hard work. It is our hope that activities like our "World Fair" will foster a love of learning and create an enthusiasm for gaining knowledge about the world around us," she said.

First Grade students in Renee Luzzetti's class anxiously await their audience in order to show off their knowledge about the countries that their ancestors came from.

First grade student Alexa Gibson gets ready to present her project at Memorial Elementary School's second-annual "World Fair."


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