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5th Graders at Parker Explore the Cost of Bananas

Many of us buy bananas regularly at the grocery store for few a cents each and do not think more about where the bananas are
grown or come from. Leigh Vandebogart, fifth grade teacher at Parker Elementary School, wanted her students to dive deeper and think more critically about where our food comes from.

Leigh said, “ For this particular project I used the NYS Social Studies Inquiry Framework where students focused on answering the question, “What is the real cost of bananas?” I wanted students to learn about where bananas come from, how corporations in the banana industry contribute to society, and what fair trade means. Once we conducted our research, students broke into groups and were able to choose how they wanted to showcase their learning. Students had to answer the question, “What is the real cost of bananas” in their project. Many of my student groups selected podcasts, while some made videos, and others made posters.”

Madison Diescher, a student in Leigh’s class said, “I really enjoyed doing this project. Working in groups is fun for me because I had my two group members, Shiloh and Serenity to work on ideas with. The three of us were able to come up with better ideas than if I was just working alone. Our final project was a video in which one of us played a reporter and the other group members were farmers.”

Students then presented their videos to their classmates. Their videos were then placed on the District youtube page for parents and community members to view.



Mr. Michael J. Hoose, Superintendent

1 Valley View Drive
Cortland, NY 13045

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