Poly Second Graders Brings in 'Rebel' Readers

Published : Friday, June 1, 2018 | 2:06 PM

Poly teacher Bordeaux Martin explains how the second grade team found a new way to help students learn about amazing women who have left their mark throughout history:

Poly’s second grade’s final social studies unit of the year focused on people who have made a difference in their communities. Inspired by discussions during meetings, thoughtful conversations with our students, and the book “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls,” our teaching team tried a new approach this year. The discussion came about when Upper School English teacher Charity Hume commented about how students can go through an entire school career without learning about the incredible contributions of women to the world in which we live.

We felt challenged to deepen these conversations. After kindergarten teacher Hallie Rogers suggested we take a look at the “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” book series, we were inspired to make the focus of our unit a discussion of all the fantastic women who have made their mark all over the world, throughout history, and in our everyday lives. Our hope is that through this unit, our students will develop an awareness of these amazing women who continue to make their mark — from astronomers and physicists to mountaineers and even pirates!

As a way to foster connections across campus, inspired by the PolySolves Connections and Collaborations Committee, we decided to invite members of our campus community to read from the books in our classrooms. The invitations were met with overwhelming enthusiasm — reading slots were filled within a few hours! Having readers from across the campus visit and connect with our students has been incredibly meaningful.

Through follow-up work in writing and a connected technology activity, our hope is that thoughtful conversations and questions will continue within our community. Building on this project and exploring more opportunities for discussion, we hope to help break down existing gender biases and address issues of diversity in the world around us.

Polytechnic School, 1030 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 396-6300 or visit www.polytechnic.org.







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