This video from second graders at Conservatory Lab Charter, an Expeditionary Learning school in Boston, MA, demonstrates how EL can inspire students to master the Common Core State Standards through rigorous and relevant work.
These students built deep scientific knowledge of snakes (they became "herpetologists," they will tell you) by reading, writing, listening, speaking, and observing. Their work exemplifies the shifts required by the Common Core: they demonstrated reading for evidence and writing with evidence by reading challenging, non-fiction text and producing a high-quality informational book. They conducted field research at Harvard University and a nature sanctuary; they interviewed a herpetologist; and they created beautiful, accurate scientific illustrations for their book, revising their work through multiple drafts with peer critique. Finally, the second graders at Conservatory Lab Charter School wrote this song and produced the music video to persuade others not to fear snakes -- after all, snakes are "born that way." Their learning is public, meaningful, and joyous.