Community Day Offers Life Lessons for MHS 2nd Graders
The movie theater marquis was up and ready; the scent of warm pastries and tasty treats emanated from the bakery; the “Museum of Awesome Things” had been newly cleaned; hair and nail stylists were ready with beautification tools in hand; and the bus drivers and sanitation department workers were ready to go.
Did we mention that most of the employees in this town stood under four feet tall; many were missing teeth; and collectively, they averaged the age of eight?
Welcome to Community Day 2013!
“Community Day is a culmination of various second grade state objectives we put together to make the learning really fun,” said teacher Jennifer Zimmerman. “Students have to learn about service jobs versus jobs which produce a good. Another state objective is about wants versus needs….sometimes they really want a toy but it might be sold before they get there or it might be too much money for what money they have left.”
Second grade classrooms were re-designed as urban, suburban and rural areas replete with stores, activities, and food offerings for the student shoppers and adult guests to enjoy. Students were given change for the jobs they did in one session and were able to spend that change as consumers in the other session. Students learned to manage their time, to budget their money, and to appreciate the hard work that goes into each job….from “bus driver” with Right Away Transportation (RAT!) to “crossing guard”….from “movie ticket seller” to “postal employee”.
And treats were a-plenty: popcorn, smoothies, root beer floats, baked goods, just to name a few. A tattoo parlor sold on-the-go tattoos (temporary, of course!). Flea markets gave students the chance to barter for a variety of toys and trinkets. Manicurists and beauticians were on-hand to offer a little “handy relief” for those who just wanted a relaxing break. And fifth grade students in Maggie Gobetz’ gifted classes created an extravagant miniature golf course for the second graders replete with stadium fields, castles and amusement parks.
All money collected went back to the “bank” to help defray expenses to set up the various shops. The students learned standards not only about needs and wants but also about finances and the economy.
“We take what the second graders have already learned through their social studies classes and put it together into a fun, culminating activity,” said teacher Chris Zuccaro. “I know they have a lot of fun, and I think that through the fun, they’re actually learning.”
Second grader Kate Edwards, who said she always wanted to be a ‘ticket booth teller’, got to live her dream…and learned a little something along the way:
“Community Day is really great because everything is like you’re a real grown up but you’re still a kid!” she said, adding, “It’s really hard to have a job. I thought it would be like you’re just standing behind a ticket booth saying ‘here’s your ticket’ but that’s not what it is. It’s real hard. It’s like real life. Real life is not that easy but still can be very fun!”
To view the slideshow from Community Day, please click on the photo below: