Students and parents watch the slideshow they made for their recycling projectStudents in the Summer Learning Academy have become experts on the importance of recycling.

Throughout the month-long program, students in grades K-5 have participated in project-based learning to research, design and present information about topics such as ecosystems, climate change, over population and carbon footprint.

The Common Core aligned projects require students to site evidence from various sources of text and present in a clear and organized manner.

Students created iMovies, slideshows, public service announcements, and Animoto videos to present their research to friends and family on July 27.

The students really enjoyed this project and took pride in their work as their topics were chosen by student choice,” said Michelle Emma-Barnes, Elementary School Media Specialist. “When they were able to see their final products come to fruition, it gave them a sense of ownership- which was so amazing to see as an educator.”

Project examples below:

Grade K-1 iMovie
Students researched different ways of recycling, reducing, and reusing. They then presented facts that they researched to go along with their inventions of Recycled Creations: Turning something old into something new!

Grade 2 – Mr. Borkowski
Grade 2 – Mr. Mauriello
Students worked on researching different ecosystems and their classifications of living, and nonliving things as well as food chains. They also learned new vocabulary such as producers, consumers, decomposers, and many other words associated with ecosystems. They then worked as a team to contribute to a class slideshow with their new research.

Grade 3
Students researched the cause and effects of environmental issues such as: air/water/soil pollution, climate change, energy conservation, resource depletion. Students used a variety of digital and print informational text to research their topics, and then created their own Public Service Announcements through the use of an Avatar- designed to be themselves!


Grade 4

Essential Question: Why are some areas in the world over /under populated? How does that differ from the country we live in?

What are the reasons, current census, and statistics of a chosen country?

Students chose a continent, and then a country within that continent to research over/under population and the reasons why. Students used websites like the  and others to gain current census information. Students then read multiple text and had to make inferences as to why they thought their country was over/under populated based on information and data statistics from the text. Students created Infographics to display all of their research and peer assessed each other’s’ products.

Student Work Examples:


Grade 5

Essential Question: What topics matter to you when it comes to our environment?

Student Chosen/Driven Research Questions: Where does old money go?  Where do recycled items go? How is glass recycled? What is your carbon footprint and how big can it be? Then students created Animoto movies with their research.

Student Created Animoto Videos: