Mrs. Hance, the Grisham librarian and a good friend and mentor of mine, is ONE of SIX educators in North America chosen to travel to Antarctica as a 2016 Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow! She left on Tuesday, December 27th for her two-week trip aboard the National Geographic Explorer carrying a book of poetry written by Canyon Creek 5th graders with her.
Our fifth graders will be her sixth graders next year, so I invited Mrs. Hance to work with our students partly for them to learn from her experiences and partly to begin building middle school relationships. Transitioning to middle school can be rough!
After a quick meeting with Diane and our awesome 5th grade teachers, we decided to collaborate on a project. It was time for their poetry unit, so the students researched and wrote poetry about all aspects of Mrs. Hance's trip from wildlife to weather to glacier movement to the ship itself.
After the students illustrated their poems, the teachers included them in a photo album with the first name and yearbook picture of each student. Also included was a guest "book" for any of the crew, naturalists, researchers, or guests to sign if they read it as well as a little blue comet that Ms. Owen, our ITS, made with a 3D printer (our "Flat Stanley" ;).
The result was breathtaking. The talent, heart, and hard work that the CCE students put into those beautifully crafted poems literally brought tears to Mrs. Hance's eyes (and mine) as she read through the finished product.
As her schedule allows, she will try to photograph poems with their concrete subjects, record readings or the poems, or include them on her blog (www.teacheradventures.com) as the spotty connection allows. We are planning a presentation to the 5th graders when she returns.
The Daily Expedition Reports from the ship can be followed here.
Wishing Mrs. Hance an incredible trip and professional learning experience!