This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land!


SHERWOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL                               

7080 Grantham Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45230                                                   513-231-7565                                                                                             fax  513-231-3666    

This Land is Your Land,This Land is My Land!    

 A Collaborative Community Project       

Designed ByDonna G. Prues

Forest Hills School District   Sherwood Elementary School

   This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land!

Overview The Forest Hills School DistrictVision, Mission, and Beliefs VisionSuccess for all students! MissionTo provide educational opportunities that enable our students to acquire the knowledge, skills and personal qualities necessary for responsible citizenship and lifelong learning. Beliefs

  • The responsibility for the education of our students is shared by our students, their parents, the school district, and the community.
  • We must invest in our students-they are our highest priority.
  • Quality education recognizes that students learn in different ways and at different rates.
  • Our education programs should address the needs of the total person.
  • Our school district must strive for excellence through continuous improvement.
  • Community awareness, involvement, and support are essential to successful public education.
  • Our staff promotes learning through their positive interactions with our students.
  • We must maintain a safe and secure learning environment.
  • All persons deserve respect and acceptance of their individuality and diversity.

   RationaleI designed this project to accomplish the Forest Hills School District Vision, Mission, and Beliefs with my second grade students. This innovative learning experience combines indicators from Ohio’s English Language Arts Content Standards, Social Studies Content Standards, and Technology Academic Content Standards. This project can easily be replicated by any school district in every community. This packet will provide you with learning goals from Ohio Content Standards, materials list, step by step instructions, and contacts to support you!  

Ohio Content Standards Social Studies Ohio’s Social Studies Content Standards encourage educators to incorporate the use of technology by all students in learning social studies. Grade Level Band: K-2                 Standard: GovernmentStudents use knowledge of the purposes, structures and processes of political systems at the local, state, national and international levels to understand that people create systems of government as structures of power and authority to provide order, maintain stability and promote the general welfare.Benchmark AIdentify elected leaders and authority figures in the home, school and community and explain reasons for having persons in authority.IndicatorsExplain how a system of government provides order to a group such as a school or community and why government is necessary including: a. making and enforcing laws; b. providing leadership; c. providing services; d. resolving disputes.Benchmark BRecognize and explain the importance of symbols and landmarks of the United States.IndicatorsExplain the importance of landmarks in the United States and the ideals that they represent including: The Washington Monument, The Jefferson Memorial, and The Lincoln Memorial.Standard: Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities Students use knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in order to examine and evaluate civic ideals and to participate in community life and the American democratic system.Benchmark BDemonstrate personal accountability, including making choices and taking responsibility for personal choices.IndicatorsDemonstrate citizenship traits including: honesty; self assurance; respect for the rights of others; persistence; patriotism.Standard: Social Studies Skills and MethodsStudents collect, organize, evaluate and synthesize information from multiple sources to draw logical conclusions. Students communicate this information using appropriate social studies terminology in oral, written or multimedia form and apply what they have learned to societal issues or real world settings.Benchmark AObtain information from oral, visual, print, and electronic sources.IndicatorsIdentify sources used to gather information; people; printed material; electronic sources. Obtain information from oral, visual, and print sources.Benchmark CCommunicate information orally, visually or in writing.IndicatorsCommunicate information in writing. 

Ohio Content Standards English Language Arts Ohio English Language Arts Content Standards states that students acquire vocabulary through exposure to language rich situations, such as reading books and other texts and conversing with peers and adults. One of the important goals of reading is to gain new information for purposes of learning new information, researching a project, making decisions or accomplishing a task. Students are expected to become effective communicators by speaking, listening, and viewing. They learn to apply communication skills in increasingly sophisticated ways to deliver presentations and to respond to oral and visual presentations. Grade Level Band: K-3  Standard: Reading Process: Concepts of Print, Comprehension Strategies and Self-MonitoringStudents develop and learn to apply strategies to help them comprehend and interpret information.Benchmark AEstablish a purpose for reading and use a range of reading comprehension strategies to understand literary passages and text.          IndicatorsEstablish a purpose for reading; to be informed, follow directions, or to be entertained. Independently read books for various purposes; to gain information and to perform a task.Benchmark DApply reading skills and strategies to summarize and compare and contrast information in text, between text and across subject areas.IndicatorsSummarize text by recalling main idea and some supporting details. Standard: Reading Applications: Informational, Technical and Persuasive TextBenchmark CIdentify the central ideas and supporting details of information text.IndicatorsClassify ideas from informational text as main ideas or supporting details. Standard: Writing processBenchmark BDevelop audience and purpose for self-selected and assigned writing tasks.IndicatorsDevelop a main idea for writing. Develop a purpose and audience for writing.Benchmark DUse revision strategies and resources to improve ideas and content, organization, word choice and details.      

Ohio Content Standards English Language Arts Continued IndicatorsReread and assess writing for clarity, using a variety of methods.Benchmark EEdit to improve sentence fluency, grammar and usage.IndicatorsProofread writing to improve conventions.Benchmark FApply tools to judge the quality of writing.IndicatorsApply tools (rubric, checklist and feedback) to judge quality of writing.Benchmark GPublish writing samples for display or sharing with others, using techniques such as electronic resources and graphics.IndicatorsRewrite and illustrate writing samples for display and for sharing with others.  Standard: Writing ApplicationsBenchmarks A and CCompose writings that convey a clear message and includes well-chosen details. Write friendly letters and invitations complete with date, salutation, body, closing and signature.IndicatorsWrite letters of invitations that include relevant information and follow a letter format.Standard: Writing ConventionsBenchmarks A, B, C, and DPrint legibly using appropriate spacing. Spell grade appropriate words correctly. Use conventions of punctuation and capitalization in written work. Use grammatical structures in written work.IndicatorsPrint legibly, and space letters, words, and sentences appropriately. Use periods, questions marks and exclamation points as endpoints correctly.Standard: ResearchBenchmark AGenerate questions for investigation and gather information from a variety of sources.IndicatorsCreate questions for investigations, assigned topic or personal interest.Benchmark BRetell important details and finding.IndicatorsStudents report findings to others.Standard: Communication: Oral and VisualBenchmark AUse active listening strategies to identify the main idea and to gain information from oral presentations. 

Ohio Content Standards English Language Arts Continued IndicatorsUse active listening strategies, such as eye contact and asking for clarification and explanation. Benchmark DSpeak clearly and at an appropriate pace and volume.IndicatorsDeliver simple dramatic presentations.Benchmark EDeliver a variety of presentations that include relevant information and a clear sense of purpose.IndicatorsDeliver informational presentations that demonstrate an understanding of the topic.   

Ohio Content Standards TechnologyThe philosophy of the Ohio’s technology standards is to ensure that all students become technologically literate through the understanding and use of technology. Educators need to set high expectations for technology achievement by all students. Grade Level Band: K-2  Standard: Technology for Productivity ApplicationsBenchmark A B and CUnderstand basic computer and multimedia technology concepts and terminology. Demonstrate operations of basic computer and multimedia technology tools. Use productivity tools to produce creative works.IndicatorsIdentify and describe the purpose of various types of computer and multimedia technology. Use correct terminology when talking about computers and multimedia technology. Use a variety of computer and multimedia technology resources for directed learning activities. Standard: Technology and Communication ApplicationsBenchmarks B and CExplore how information can be published and presented in different formats. Participate in group projects and learning activities using technology communications.IndicatorsUse productivity tools with teacher assistance. Use technology resources with teacher assistance for communication and illustration of thoughts and ideas.Standard: Technology for productivity ApplicationsBenchmark CUse productivity tools to produce creative works and prepare publications.IndicatorsParticipate in the creation of media products. Present information in an electronic format, including text, graphics or multimedia.

Materials Needed Video CameraComputerFree computer program called “Movie Maker”DVD burning capacity on computerDigital cameraAmerican flagsBooks on various levels on the topics of

  • Military Careers
  • Patriotic Symbols
  • Patriotic Songs

Music TeacherParent VolunteersContact with area Veterans Organizations: American Legion Post, Vietnam Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, or Veterans HospitalTechnology Specialist from district or buildingWe had 6th grade “writing consultants” to assist with editing writing pieces.  

Bonus Materials/Contacts

  • Contact with local cable channel- Ours showed our movie on their station and permitted us to use their DVD duplicating machine.
  • Contact with local Community Center: Ours invited us to an evening in their beautiful theatre to honor the Veterans and their stage for the students to sing their patriotic songs as a greeting activity the night of the celebration. There were close to 300 people at our event!
  • Local restaurants, grocery stores, camera stores, and frame shops. We received donations of food, drinks, paper supplies, pictures printed, and our biographies written by second grade interviewers next to photograph of Veteran and Second grader.
  • Contact with local media. We were the front page story of the Cincinnati Enquirer on December 26, 2009 and three other local articles written about this project.

 Preparations in Class with StudentsIn class the students read about the military to learn about veterans. We also used different websites to explore patriotism, American Landmarks, and patriotic songs. My favorite website for second graders is called Ben’s Guide to Patriotic Symbols. The students learned how to operate the video cameras as they were going to be the videographers for the veteran interviews. Students practiced asking one another “mock interview” questions to practice writing responses and asking clarifying questions of interviewees. The students wrote about an American landmark, symbol, or song to go along with an illustration. They edited their writing with support of teacher or 6th grade writing consultants. The day before the interview sessions, I discussed the purpose of the interview to show respect, honor the veteran, and demonstrate patriotic pride for their sacrifice to our country. I informed the students that it is disrespectful to ask a veteran about guns, killings, or blood.

Preparations Outside of Class for Teacher

  • Contacted local American Legion Post 318 Commander Don Bishop to arrange a meeting to discuss my proposal for this project. We had several meetings before the night of the celebration. I highly recommend contacting Commander Bishop as he knows many of the commanders of the different posts and he may be able to arrange contacts for you.
  • Started contacting local restaurants, grocery stores, camera stores, and frames shops to solicit their support. I suggest having a letter of the project typed up on school letter head to leave with the business. I have an example of mine at the end of the packet.
  • The commander secured the Community Center invitation for us.
  • Started recruiting parent volunteers and technology volunteers. Parent volunteers were at school for the two filming days I scheduled with the commander for the students to meet and interview a veteran. Some of the veterans interviewed were family members of the students! This was suggested by one of my students!
  • The commander and I wrote the interview questions, edited and fine tuned the final draft of interview questions.
   Preparations for the Commander, Teacher, and Volunteers
  • Commander Bishop recruited the veterans from his post.
  • Students invited their family members who are veterans to the interview sessions.
  • Commander Bishop and I met several times to edit the interview questionnaire.
  • Arranged two morning interview sessions. Arranged for parent volunteers to assist with greeting veterans, assisting with chaperoning the three filming rooms, support uploading the interviews on the computers, volunteers to stay with students and veterans at all stations from start to finish.
  • Technology specialist, family members, and veteran/grandparent volunteers assisted with matching the photographs of the students with the veterans with the corresponding video interview.
  • Created one unedited version of the interviews. This video is 3 hours and 20 minutes long. I wanted the veterans and their families to have the unedited video.
  • I took the checklist of veteran names and the unedited video to create the edited movie of the interviews. Every veteran is featured in the movie. I watched the unedited interviews several times as I looked for common themes to place each interview into. I also filmed the students in their music class practicing their patriotic songs. Some of this footage is on the movie.
        Soliciting Support from Community  My first piece of advice is “don’t be shy!”  I asked as many different local merchants for everything I thought I might need to make this evening a success. I provided each merchant with a copy of the movie and informed them of the AC-TV viewing. I also gave them a framed photograph of the students holding a thank you sign. Most of these pictures are still posted inside the stores. At the end of the movie I gave credit to each merchant.  I received contributions from;
  • Kroger  $25.00
  • Cord Camera donation of printing the  45      8x10 photographs
  • The Frame Shoppe-Professional matting of 45 photographs with “Meet my Hero!” biography
  • Big Apple Bagel   Delicious Bagels for serving at  our celebration evening
  • Anderson Community Center  Donation of their beautiful stage and entertainment facility
  • AC-TV for their equipment and support in showing our movie on television
  • The Cincinnati Reds  donation of 4 box seats to be given to a veteran in a random drawing
 Special People Who Supported This Project
  • My principal, Daniel Hamilton- gave me support and guidance along the way!
  • Forest Hills School District School Board and Administration, support for their teachers, students, families, and community!
  • Debra Simson, Sherwood Technology Specialist for all her expertise!
  • Mike Simson, volunteered a tremendous amount of time and expertise!
  • Mark Puccia, intern from Anderson High school for his technology expertise!
  • Dan Foley, Veteran, grandfather of my student, volunteered many hours of expertise!
  • Lawrence Prues, my very own husband, volunteered many hours of support and expertise!
  • Commander Don Bishop, supporter, recruiter, and new friend!
  • My second graders, this project could not have been accomplished without them!
  • Veterans, here and now and those who are gone but not forgotten-You are our heroes!


Donna G. PruesSecond grade teacher, Sherwood Elementary SchoolE-mail me 

Commander Don BishopCommander American Legion Post 318 Anderson