Biome Project: Second Grade

Burke’s second graders finished an interdisciplinary project about biomes, countries, and people around the world.

This project is part of a Social Studies unit within Burke’s greater curriculum of teaching racial literacy. The project defines “race” as a group of humans with shared physical qualities (such as skin tone, hair color, and facial features) and focuses on exploring cultures around the world and how these cultures are shaped by geography. In true Burke’s style, the Makery, Library, and Science collaborated with the classroom teachers to support students as they conducted research and explorations into the natural resources of each biome. 
In Science, students looked into different landforms and water features in several biomes, as well as precipitation. Students took their learned scientific understanding of the land and its resources to transition to understanding the interrelatedness of human life in biomes. These lessons directly connected to activities in the classroom to learn about identities and cultures. Teachers also read aloud Let’s Talk About Race, by Julius Lester. Throughout the book, the narrator explores the idea that, while race is a part of our identities, there is more to know about each other aside from our race. There are many things we cannot tell about one another from the outside. 
In Library and Social Studies, students honed their research skills as they learned about the countries of their choice and then made recordings of their research. The recordings were accessible by QR codes and the final projects that they created in Makery, which included pop-ups, illustrations, a few facts, and even moving people and animals! Students delved into investigations around questions such as: 
  • How does the place we live impact our lives?
  • How does geography affect where we live, how we dress, and what we eat?
Our second-graders are beginning to broaden their understanding of who they are and who is in their own communities and it is a joy to watch them grow and learn!
Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.


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7070 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94121
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