Bronxville Elementary School third graders, who have been engaged in a comprehensive study of communities around the world, creatively showcased their knowledge and commitment to children’s rights through the creation of information quilts.
Throughout the learning experience, the students delved into four crucial rights: access to education; provision of basic needs such as food, clothing and a safe home; protection of privacy; and support for students with disabilities. To gain deeper insights, they interviewed experts in their own school community, including Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Mara Koetke, Director of Technology Brad Ashley, Director of Food Services David DiNuzzo and pediatric occupational therapist Jenna Fanelli. These experts play a key role in ensuring the safeguarding of children’s rights.
“Our goal was for students to become more compassionate, empathetic and supportive of others by bringing more awareness to how children live around the world,” said Megan Hanson, a third grade teacher and curriculum leader. “I was blown away by the students' responses on how learning about children's rights influenced how they are engaged citizens, critical thinkers and empathic of others, which are dispositions at the heart of the Bronxville Promise.”
As part of the third grade social studies unit, the students examined various communities and cultures globally, including their own, and made comparisons. Guided by the question, “How does government influence a community?” the third graders researched three types of government: monarchy, democracy and dictatorship. Their research encompassed the fundamental aspects of each government, from the selection of leaders to the mechanisms by which they maintain power. The students engaged in simulations of each government, facilitating firsthand experiences to draw comparisons.
“This year, the third grade team revised our unit based on the dispositions of the Bronxville Promise, emphasizing students’ compassion, empathy and support for others,” Hanson said. “We included a section on children's rights and discussed with the students that governments are responsible for citizens’ rights and, according to the United Nations, all children have certain rights.”
The third graders explored the significance of universal children’s rights and how everyone can support them. After generating questions, the students each chose a specific right to investigate. The quilt was a culmination of the unit and allowed students to blend words and visuals to convey their understanding.