Presidential Pumpkins greet voters at Oak Trace

Students proudly display their presidential pumpkins: Brooklyn Carey (Theodore Roosevelt), Brylee Stubbs (Richard Nixon), Gavin Phares (John Adams), Nicky Webb (George Washington), Jacob Bush (Abraham Lincoln), Ty Galyean (Theodore Roosevelt), Mairin McAndrews (Ronald Reagan) and Matthew Penley (William Clinton). (Photo by Tenna Pershing)

By Tenna Pershing

Washington Township voters got a presidential welcome when voting at the Oak Trace Elementary polling site. Fourth grade students decorated the entrance to the polling site with Presidential Pumpkins.

The Presidential Pumpkins were part of a project that tasked each student with researching a president and completing a series of three tasks to focus research using different mediums (video, article, text).

The students selected one of the 12 presidents – John Adams, William J. Clinton, Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, James Madison, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt or George Washington – to complete the project.

Each student researched and studied one of the presidents and created an informational book with text features (table of contents, glossary, chapter headings, photos with captions, and research).  Expository writing was the project focus on which the students were graded.

Next using a craft pumpkin, the students and their families decorated the pumpkin in the likeness of the president based on the information they had gathered.  The finale was presenting the information to their classmates.

Fourth grade teachers Rose Damiani, Jeni McAndrews, Sandy Martin and Mary Robison were especially excited with how the project came together, as this was their first performance assessment based on the new Indiana Common Core Standards.