Every year, 4th graders explore the importance of nutrition and what the human body needs to remain healthy. This year, students learned about the same concepts, but more of the unit was devoted to their overall well-being, including mental health.
Students collaborated in groups to create public service announcements around one of eight topics: sleep, stress, screen time, sugar, healthy eating, hydration, body image, and false advertising – all topics that can affect the developing child in some way.
“We expanded the unit to encompass other areas of healthy living. It ended up tying in perfectly to the School's Strategic Plan initiative for balance and well-being,” 4th grade teacher Sue Moon said.
To prep for the project, students watched various PSAs and brainstormed creative ways to get their messages across. In addition to the actual PSAs, they learned various tech skills that will serve them well as they progress through the Lower School and beyond.
“They tried different presentation methods to deliver the most effective and engaging PSA using acting, stop animation, voice overs, image selections, games, PowerPoint slides, and videos. They got to experience creating a message for a targeted audience (their peers). And above all, they got to use their creativity!” Moon said.
For Loire W. ’26, choosing her topic was an easy choice since false advertising resonated with her. She recently saw an advertisement on TV for a particular toy and decided to spend her allowance on it. The bright colors, lighting, and enthusiasm of the actors in the ad sold her on the product. When she finally bought it, she was disappointed and didn’t think she got what she was promised - which is why she wants to raise awareness about false advertising.
“People spend money on products or services because the advertisers sometimes don’t tell the entire truth about their products. Some ads emphasize that you will look a certain way by buying their product, or that you will live a better life from having it, but that never happens,” Loire said.
Another group of students chose body image as their topic, but they struggled with a way to visually represent the data they collected from their peers. They polled 3rd graders to see if they thought certain images of models they showed them were expectation or reality. The data collected showed a wide range of opinions, which students opted to display in a more engaging way.
“Instead of showing a pie chart on the screen, we decided we are going to bake a key lime pie and cut it up to represent the data. Then, we’re going to eat it!” Elise G. and Quinn B. ‘26 said.
The students had to go through multiple iterations of the project, which ultimately enabled them to experience more breakthrough moments. In addition, 4th graders developed skills they can apply on big projects moving forward.
“Understanding that multiple drafts/edits are necessary to create a final product, choosing what information is important to include and what is not, researching to find all the facts, navigating the iPads and using iMovie to create their PSAs, and collaborating with peers to approach the project as a group – these are all skills they will need as they continue to age,” Moon said.
In addition to conducting their own research, students were visited by guest teachers who were experts in their respective fields, which further allowed them to dig deeper into their subject matter and to further validate the important messages shared in their PSAs.
Bird's Eye View is a story series highlighting our work towards the initiatives and goals laid out in our Strategic Plan: Bridge to 2022.