2009-2010 will be a MONUMENTAL* year in second grade! We will be on a learning journey that will have us "visiting" some of our country's greatest national monuments and symbols - the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell, Mount Rushmore, and more! Come along, and learn about this year's theme - The Great American Road Trip!

*Monumental - \ˌmän-yə-ˈmen-təl - highly significant : outstanding

About Our Theme
Peirce Prides
Statue of Liberty
Liberty Bell
Mt. Rushmore
Gutzon the Bear

Graphics from Phillip Martin
Animated Text from TextAnim

About Our Theme
In our class we have a yearly theme. Themes help to build a sense of community and spirit in the classroom and give us a focus for the year. Our theme for the school year 2009-2010 will be The Great American Road Trip, chosen to highlight some of our country's national monuments and landmarks.

As stated in our Massachusetts History and Social Science frameworks, "Students in grade two study United States history, geography, economics and government by learning more about who Americans are and where they came from. They explore their own family history, listen to, and ready a variety of teacher and student selected stories about: distinctive individuals, peoples, achievements, customs, events, places and landmarks of America..."

Our first "stop" on our journey will be the Statue of Liberty in New York, then we'll be "on the road" to the Liberty Bell in Pennsylvania. Our next "destination" will be the hills of South Dakota to "visit" Mount Rushmore. Time permitting, we may even continue our journey! The following links will help you learn a bit more about the monuments we will "visit" this year:

Our yearly theme is also tied into a classroom incentive program in which children earn Peirce Prides (PPs). Read on to learn more...

Peirce Prides
Our yearly theme is tied into a classroom incentive program in which children earn Peirce Prides (PPs) for demonstrating the following:


This year the children will reach "Monumental Milestones" for each 25 Peirce Prides they earn. At each Monumental Milestone they will receive "Souvenir Treasures" - prizes which represent that landmark.

Each child will have her/his own charts on our "Great American Road Trip" board to keep track of his/her progress.
NOTE: It is important to remember that this is NOT a race.
It's not about getting there "first", it's about getting there!

Here are just some ways you can earn Peirce Prides:

  1. This year be sure to bring back your completed name wordsearch on the first day of school.

  2. Bring a fruit or a vegetable for snack. (We will talk more about this).

  3. When we read "mini books," bring them home, read to a parent, and have your parent sign it. (Parents, look for a memo coming home about this.)

  4. Bring back notices, etc. by a given date.

  5. Get a 100% on Spelling tests.

  6. Get a 100% on Math4Today tests.

Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is a huge sculpture that is located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. This monument was a gift to the USA from the people of France in recognition of the United States' 100th birthday, and to honor the friendship between the two countries.


Statue of Liberty Quick Facts
  • The Statue of Liberty celebrates her birthday on October 28th in honor of the day she was officially accepted by the president of the United States in 1886.

  • Visitors must climb 354 stairs to reach the Statue of Liberty's crown (or take an elevator to a lower lookout point).

  • There are 25 windows in Lady Liberty's crown.

  • The seven spikes on the Statue of Liberty's crown represent either the seven oceans or the seven continents.

  • The statue is made of copper and is now green in color because of oxidation (a chemical reaction between metal and water) from evaporation of the seawater surrounding it.

  • The Staue of Liberty weighs 450,000 pounds (204, 100 kilograms).

  • The Statue of Liberty has size 879 sandals that are each 25 feet (7.6m) long.

The Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell is a huge bronze bell that symbolizes freedom in the United States of America. This historic bell is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The bell was originally made in 1752 in London, England. It was commissioned as a bell for the Pennsylvania State House (now called Independence Hall).


Mount Rushmore

Mt. Rushmore National Memorial is a huge mountain sculpture of four US Presidents, located in Keystone, in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The Presidents on the mountain are: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. These four Presidents were chosen to represent the founding, growth and preservation of the United States. The work was designed by the sculptor John Gutzon Borglum.


Just Plain Silly - But So Fun...The Presidents sing...

PARENT REMINDER: Always supervise your child's use of videos online.

Gutzon the Bear
Gutzon the Bear was a special gift from former student Kate Hurley. Brought back from her trip to Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, she named him after the monument's sculptor, John Gutzon Borglum. Our Gutzon will be "on the road" this year, traveling to each student's home where he will share learning about our country's symbols, landmarks, and monuments with students and their families.

More About Gutzon Coming Soon!

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