Palos East Elementary SChool

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2nd Grade



Lego Robotics

In the first ALPS unit, second graders will be working with the Lego
® Education WeDo Activity Pack. WeDo enables students to work as young scientists, engineers, mathematicians and creative writers providing them with the settings, tools and tasks for completing cross-curriculum projects.  Students are encouraged to build and program a working model and then use the model for different purposes, depending upon the theme of the activity.


The WeDo Activity Pack will be used in the ALPS classroom to help students meet the following learning goals:

  • Think creatively to make a working model
  • Develop vocabulary and communication skills to explain how the model works
  • Establish links between cause and effect
  • Reflect on how to find answers and imagine new possibilities
  • Brainstorm ideas and endeavor to bring some of them to fruition
  • Make fair tests by changing on factor and observing or measuring the effect
  • Make systematic observation and measurements
  • Display and communicate data using tables
  • Follow 2D drawing to build a 3D model
  • Think logically and create a program to produce a specific behavior
  • Write and present creative stories using models for visual and dramatic effects



Field scientists and archaeologists explore the past to understand how the environment, plant life, and animal life have evolved.  Students will attempt to unravel the mysteries of prehistoric life in three phases.

Phase 1:  Before their imaginary journey to a fossil site, students learn they are members of the dinosaur research project.  Each member of each learning team will role play a peaceful plant-eating dinosaur who must search for food, care for its young, and avoid T-Rex.  As this phase ends, teams are allowed to select fossil sites.

Phase 2:  Students learn how to extract fossils, lay out grid lines, and map and label their finds.

Phase 3:  Students assemble fossils and use their knowledge to complete a dinosaur discovery report.

Other activities include creating their own dinosaur, performing a dinosaur history shadow play, and making a dinosaur book.

Apple Valley School


Apple Valley School is a simulation that helps students to develop background knowledge on American history and education as they learn about school during the pioneer times. Students “attend” classes at a one-room schoolhouse in the last half of the 19th century and work to earn points in order to graduate from the Apple Valley School.

Students discover the beginnings of the public school system and experience what it would be like to be a student in the 1850s.  They role-play life as a teacher and a student in the past as they develop an appreciation of progress made in education.

The students begin their journey back in time when they are given a new student identity with a new name, age, and family history.  Each student will write diary entries, conduct interviews, and work in small cooperative groups where they will make decisions about simulated problems.  Through these activities the students earn points toward graduation.

Your child will bring home a list of projects about pioneer days called CHALLENGE TASKS.  If your child chooses to work on a CHALLENGE TASK at home, try to be supportive of his or her efforts.  You might help gather materials and offer suggestions when needed, but don’t do the project for your child.  Enthusiasm and effort are more important than a “perfect” diorama, story, or poem.