To jump-start the school year in an exciting way, South Grove School infused its annual celebration of Constitution Day with many enriching and engaging activities. While the focus was mainly on second grade as part of its civics social studies unit, the entire school played a role in this special exercise.

This year the project incorporated the talents of many special-area teachers, as part of Syosset School District’s cross-cutting initiative. This initiative seeks to integrate concepts or “big ideas” across the curriculum to make learning more meaningful and relevant for students. Here are the highlights of our two-week Constitution Day program:

Second-graders participated in a lesson by enrichment specialist Michele Webb about the United States Constitution and wrote their own personal “constitution” that highlighted their values. This personal reflection was a powerful way to begin the school year. 

Music teachers pushed into the second-grade classrooms during social studies to teach second-graders the preamble to the Constitution in song. Students loved this musical touch to their social studies curriculum and seeing their music teachers in this new light. In conjunction with this, South Grove hosted its eighth annual Preamble Challenge. Students in grades two through five were encouraged to memorize the preamble to the United States Constitution. Over 30 students were successful reciting the preamble from memory. 

Students also had an opportunity to participate in a Brown Bag session during recess to learn about the judicial system from Judge Gina Summa. Over 60 students elected to participate in this informative and interesting presentation in lieu of their usual recess activities. Students enjoyed meeting this acting judge (who is also a South Grove parent) and were fascinated by her presentation.

On Sept. 18 the entire South Grove School came together for a special assembly. The school kicked off its character education program, and the 2017-2018 Student Council class representatives and officers were formally installed with the help of the school color guard, student council advisers, Judge Summa and Principal Mi Jung An. The school also introduced another special guest to students, Mascot Grover, who reinforced the importance of every student’s commitment to good character and making South Grove the best place it can be.

For many second-graders, the grand finale of this two-week initiative was when they “aged” their personal “constitutions,” using tea leaves to give the scrolls a weathered look. Teachers from the music, art, world language and physical education department pitched in to ensure that all students were successful.

Everyone had a hand in making this an exciting program for students.

View a video from the South Grove Constitution Day celebration below: