America the Beautiful was on full display as fourth graders presented WTA’s first annual State Fair. Months in the making, the State Fair is a multidisciplinary project that combines research, writing, editing, costuming, the assemblage of found objects and the creation of artwork in a rich exploration of what makes each of our country’s 50 states different and unique. The final product included both an essay about each student’s chosen state and an exhibit table featuring items characteristic of that state.
Relying on books, articles and the Internet during the research process, students learned to sift through information and select what they could use to good effect in their essays, while also learning how to identify and separate out information that was not relevant to their purposes. The students then learned how to paraphrase and summarize the important information, and also how to assemble it appropriately into different sections within their writing. The final essays were printed and displayed proudly on trifolds that the students colorfully decorated with images relating to their state.
To make it an immersive experience, students decided to dress in clothing that reflected each state, and brought artifacts that would provide their audience with tangible, state-related information. Some students brought food items that were native to their state, while others brought state souvenirs they’d either found, made or borrowed.
After months of research, writing, cutting, gluing and loads of hard work, the students presented the fair to the second and third grades, and then to their parents and friends at a special evening event. WTA fourth graders should be very proud of themselves for a job well done!