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Pound Ridge Fifth Graders Research Kindergartners' Favorite Subjects

 PRES 5th graders pose with bookmarks they made for their kindergarten buddies

“Mars has iron in its dirt and it takes eight months in a spaceship to get there,” Pound Ridge Elementary fifth grader Joseph Metino said. Joseph was sharing facts about Mars that he learned during a research project in library that he completed for his kindergarten buddy.

Knowing how much fifth-grade students love to work with their kindergarten buddies, library media specialist Rina Baldo thought a topic chosen by a kindergartner would be a great motivator for fifth graders to practice their research skills.

“Kindergartners came up with a favorite subject,” Baldo explained. “Their fifth-grade buddies then used three different resources to come up with three fun facts about the subject.”

Using a Google Slides template, fifth graders created a bookmark with facts and a photo of their subject. But they didn’t stop there.

“The QR code on the bookmarks incorporated an extra piece of technology. Fifth-grade students used Screencastify to record themselves reading the bookmark facts out loud and saying hello to their buddy,” Baldo said. “Kindergarteners were so excited to receive the bookmarks — a gift that will be used over and over again as they enjoy reading books.”

James Drew, whose kindergarten buddy chose zebras as his topic of interest, knew nothing about the animals before this project. Some of what he found out surprised him.

“When zebras are attacked, they fight for their lives by kicking really hard,” James said.

After completing the bookmarks, fifth graders were able to meet with their buddies to present their hard work. They sat together on rugs and in tiny chairs at tables in the kindergarten classrooms while fifth graders read the facts to their buddies.

Charlie and Amelia, two kindergartners who were paired with fifth grader Sophia, were thrilled to be spending time with their older peer.

“We love having a buddy!” they sang in unison.

PRES 5th grader with kindergarten buddies