All of my classes had previously participated in celebrating National Library Month by collaboratively authoring a book. Fourth grade has been studying the branches of government and American symbols in their classroom. These two completely separate lessons collided today during a live feed speech from President Obama. During this live feed "virtual field trip", President Obama answered student questions while in Anacostia Neighborhood Library in Washington, D.C. He highlighted the importance of reading, writing, and using technology as a tool for learning.
I received an email yesterday through the Arkansas Library Association listserv sharing details about the event. Immediately, I flew (Ok, I walked) to Ms. Jessica, the fourth grade literacy teacher to tell her about it. We decided that she would have her class watch the presentation! Today, when they began to watch, the other fourth grade classes crashed her classroom to watch, too! Ms. Jessica texted me to let me know when they were starting. When I arrived, the room was completely silent. The students were completely enthralled and totally engaged in hearing the President speak. I was impressed with the style of the conversation taking place among the students physically at the library and Mr. Obama.
Tomorrow, fourth graders will follow up with a journal entry discussing the President's Virtual Session, National Library Month, and the branches of government, tying everything up with a nice pretty bow!
If you're interested in viewing the speech, it is available here or you can go to whitehouse.gov. Be aware, if you use the link, it doesn't actually begin on the video until around the 40 minute mark.
Student journal entries: