Walk-in-Wednesday: 2nd Grade with Mrs. Rebekah Stegman

We hope everyone enjoyed a restful and wonderful Thanksgiving! At ILS we are extremely thankful for our outstanding teachers and the joy and enthusiasm they bring into each of their classrooms. Our teachers truly love what they do, and their love for teaching and learning is experienced daily by our students. We hope to capture just a bit of this each week in our “Walk-in-Wednesday” blog feature so that you can get a sense for the delightful learning happening at ILS.

This week, we are visiting 2nd grade, as Mrs. Rebekah Stegman presents a peek into the delights of her 2nd grade classroom during a history lesson.

Every week our ILS blog features an update from one of our teachers highlighting what a visitor might observe when they walk into our classrooms. Whether you are unable to join us for a Walk-in-Wednesday tour to see our students and teachers in action, or you would just like to get a better feel for what the experience of a classical Christian education is like at Immanuel, we hope this feature creates a picture of just some of what you might observe if they were to peek into Jr. Kindergarten, or 3rd grade, or Upper School Latin, or any one of our classrooms at ILS. 

Please enjoy, and check back each week as we share additional “Walk-in-Wednesday” features!

Step into the 2nd grade classroom during a history class and you may see the class standing on their chairs enthusiastically chanting a poem about chivalry, participating in a dramatic re-enactment of “Robin Hood,” or coloring an illuminated manuscript while listening to Gregorian chants.

Using Susan Wise Bauer’s The Story of the World: The Middle Ages as a guide, we study the history of countries all over the world in the Middle Ages and Renaissance period. The Story of the World is written in an engaging narrative format, which helps make these distant times and places come to life for the students. Additionally, we enhance our study with a host of embodied activities: we emulate Emperor Justinian and create and follow a “2nd Grade Code” for a day; we pretend to be Japanese poets, writing haikus while surrounded by nature; and we throw a Medieval Feast, wearing period appropriate attire and eating dishes that Middle Aged royalty would have enjoyed. Along the way, students learn a chant that highlights important events and dates in history so that by the end of second grade, they have these important events committed to memory. Students are also able to hone skills that we practice often in writing class: listening comprehension, retelling and summarizing stories, and formulating complete sentences.

We study these fascinating stories not only because it is good to know them, but because history is a teaching tool akin to Literature; it helps students identify heroes and villains, analyze moral behavior, such as courage, wit, cowardice, and deceit, and ultimately show students the consequences of our frail human nature living in a fallen, sinful world. In this way, history can always point us back to Christ crucified and the promise of eternal salvation by His grace.

For these reasons, history is a valuable subject and a favorite to delve into in second grade!