By Christine Fecteau and Sofi Kurtz
Director of Library Services, Lower School Science
Last summer, as we learned of GFA’s opening for on-campus learning, teachers were given the task to reimagine their classrooms, along with reshaping the lessons they teach. The library and science classrooms were no different, as this year they would be closed for student visitors. As lover of all things books and reading, as well as outdoor spaces, we had the perfect plan: an innovative and creative way for our students to enjoying both – a StoryWalk. An idea created by Anne Ferguson of VT, a StoryWalk allows for readers to stroll along a path, enjoying a story on the way.
Believers in project-based learning, we knew that this would be a perfect partnership with the fourth graders. We could not have completed this without Jairo Mejia and Tom Barry, so a big thank you to them. Incorporating, math, science, language arts, and design thinking, we challenged the fourth graders with planning, designing, and building the 18 stands that would become our StoryWalk.
This fourth-grade class rose to the occasion, even volunteering to lend a hand during their recess time. In math, the class worked together to complete math problems to determine how many stands could be created out of one sheet of wood, how many posts were needed, as well as nuts, bolts, and screws. From there, the class evaluated picture books, creating a database of books to use in the future, and voted on the first book to display. In art, they painted every StoryWalk stand and secured the final bolts once the story was placed within each stand. Finally, they carried the stands to their final destinations and allowed space for future contributions, which can include the choosing and displaying of new books monthly.
It is for this incredible effort that we would like to recognize the fourth-grade class. This StoryWalk will be left to future Lower School classes to enjoy for many years to come. Thank you class of 2029 for your leadership. This plaque will be placed on the first sign of the story walk in order to recognize your efforts.