AGC 2nd Graders Study Social Advocates Across History

AGC 2nd Graders Study Social Advocates Across History

AGC’s 2nd graders finished a unit of inquiry this week on social advocacy and “Making Our Voices Heard.” During each 6-week unit of inquiry, students master common core standards while exploring a central question using a 5 step process of inquiry: invitation and discovery, empathy and exploration, defining and engaging, ideate and representing and, finally, developing and reflecting – acting on what they’ve learned. For the last 6 weeks, students have focused on the central idea that, in a democracy, people create a better world through problem-finding and then organizing with others to make their voices heard. Students studied the responsibility of citizens in a democracy to improve their communities and learned about the many individuals and groups who have used their voices throughout history to make positive change and the methods they used. They studied the structure of Chicago’s government, important social movements throughout history, and interviewed social advocates within our community.

For their final project, students chose an advocate to research independently and then invited their peers and families to watch them present what they’d learned at a “living wax museum.” In addition to presentations including timelines of the advocate’s life and work, students dressed up as their advocate of choice and invited guests to press a “button” to hear a fact about the advocate. Our students did an incredible job representing advocates who changed the course of history, including Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Jane Addams, Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez and more. For videos and more photos from this project, visit AGC on instagram and facebook. We especially encourage you to check out this project on John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) from one of AGC’s Diverse Learners.

Many students also chose to research contemporary advocates, who are still actively shaping our future, including Daryll Heller, a parent of one of our students, Malala Yousafazi, a young girl working for equality in education today,  Vandana Shiva, an anti-GMO activist, and Leonardo Dicaprio, the environmental advocate.



This 2nd grader invented a new hero for Halloween called the “Protector of the Arctic.” He chose to study an environmental advocate focused on climate change and the arctic, and discovered ctor/advocate Leonardo Dicaprio through his research. (Click to view presentation.)

“My halloween costume was actually the Protector of the Arctic, and Leonardo wants to protect the arctic because of the global warming heat pointed at the arctic, so I thought if he wanted to do the same thing as my character, I would really like to study him.”  – 2nd Grade Student I.


making our voices heard malala
This student chose to study Malala Yousafazi, who has been advocating for equal access education for girls since she was 12, just a few years older than this 2nd grader!



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