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2009 Elementary School Winners


Performing Arts - Music, Dance & Drama
Agassiz Goes Behind the Scenes
Students will work behind the scenes as part of a tech crew for the production of the Broadway musical "Annie Junior." Students will be trained in light and sound design and will create sets, costumes and props for the musical.
Nicholas Hall, Jan Heyn-Cubacub
Performing Arts - Music, Dance & Drama
Sing and Dance
Students will learn Chinese folk songs, holiday celebrations and stories to involve them in Chinese culture.
Mary Wei Weerts
Science / Mathematics / Technology
The Alcott Zoo
Our student scientists will create animal habitats, learning to feed and care for our increasing number of animals. Students in other classrooms visit and learn about our animals from our student scientists.
Joan Billingham, Nancy McAuliff
Science / Mathematics / Technology
The Architect
The Architect
Manuel Gregory
Armstrong, G.
Performing Arts - Music, Dance & Drama
Three Tales From China
Armstrong School will journey to China this year through the folktales that tell the rich cultural heritage of this ancient country. Students will read Chinese Folktales and become the storytellers to the other actors and actresses. Students will select three of these folktales to present on stage.
Patricia Rain Gianneschi-McNichols, Aileen Cornbleet, Kathy Korse, Amy Bernstein, Denise Pellikan, Frances Barry, Amy Behrenz
Science / Mathematics / Technology
Community and School Garden
Students and parents will improve the appearance of the school by creating garden boxes where existing art tiles will be displaced. Raised flower boxes will enhance the entrance.
Gerardo Vivas, Tania Jimenez, Crescencio Toriz, Hang Nguyen
Language Arts
The Writer Within
The students will draft, revise and publish original writings using mini-lessons, peer conferences, read alouds and modeling by teachers. They will illustrate work using photography, painting, collage or drawing and create an 8th grade anthology to be added to the class, school and local libraries.
Karen Tellez, Meghan Jeter, Jim Phelps
Performing Arts - Music, Dance & Drama
Dancing Through the Decades
Seventh and eighth grade students will be immersed in the study of American culture, music and dance as we study American history.
Gina Spears
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Weaving Our Dreams
Students will study the Navajo culture through visuals, lecture and discussions. They will learn the social and visual aspects behind Navajo weavings and create their own Navajo-inspired weaving.
Sara Simon
Social Studies / History
Our Community is Special
Students use technology tools to discover and document unique features of a community that they select. They will collaborate on a final product
Narineh Gharashor
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Inspiring the Artist in You
Students will display their paintings and drawings on movable exhibit screens and compose songs to accompany them at our Fine Arts Night Gallery based on their visual and literary interpretations of the musical movement from the Russian composer, Modest Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition."
Lisa Macri, John Hillier, Heidi Stirling
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Tiny Pieces = Big Picture
Students will create mosaic art pieces in collaborative teams. The final pieces will be mounted around the school building to enhance the appearance of the overall school environment. The artwork will focus on the themes of positive character traits such as honesty, respect and responsibility.
Arthur Helbig
Performing Arts - Music, Dance & Drama
Carnivale de Cassell
Students' learning experience is based on the method of aesthetic education; students will choreograph a dance for production that coincides with a mobile or toy structure they design based upon Alexander Calder's work.
Natalie Davis, Danielle Juracka
Performing Arts - Music, Dance & Drama
Chappell Comes Marching Home
Fifth grade students will use barred percussion instruments to perform Civil War era songs at a spring concert. Students will learn these songs during their social studies unit on the war.
Angela Maniaci, Rhona Bitterman, Caroline Holmes
Chicago Academy
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Printmaking for All
Students at all grade levels will learn about and make prints. They will study different ways to make a print such as monoprints, relief prints, stamp prints, stencil prints and subtractive prints.
Heather Walters
Chicago Academy
Language Arts
Much Ado About Something
Students will read and interpret eight plays by Shakespeare. Later, they will perform them under tents on the school grounds for the school and community.
Susan Stone, Pam Scala, Kathy Barabasz, Meri LeBlanc
Working With Our Senses
Special Education students will learn vocational skills while working alongside their 6th grade peers. Students will order spices, teas and herbs and make products to sell during the school year. Profits will be used to continue this program.
Arlene Stark, Theresa Benande, Salley McGrath, Grace Szafran
Gardening With The Senses
Students will participate in adding a sensory garden and vertical garden to our existing Enabling Garden. The sensory and vertical gardens will provide fragrant plants, interesting textures, intriguing sounds plus fruits and herbs that everyone can enjoy.
Theresa Benande, Arlene Stark, Patrice Morrin
Fine Arts
Sew Happy
Students will create age appropriate bibs for our special needs students.
Therese Burke, Kathy Konstant, Ann Adams
Sweets & Treats
Students and teachers will work together to create a school bakery called Sweets & Treats. This bakery will be run by the students in both regular education and special education. Students will build vocational, life skills, and social skills by working with one another.
Amy McKee
CICS Loomis
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Fashion A Company
Students will create an individual company name and design a logo which will adorn a student-made tee shirt. Students will be photographed wearing their logo shirts which will be used to advertise the company.
Keeley Stitt
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Worth a Thousand Words
Students will design pictures that speak a thousand words, pictures that represent science concepts such as Newton's Laws of Motion, life sciences, biological classifications, chemical formulas and space matter. They will transfer this information into mosaic patterns and murals.
Lexi Coffee, Joy Reeves
Science / Mathematics / Technology
CSI: Claremont
Student detectives and their parents will conduct hands-on forensic science tests on evidence found at a "crime scene." Students will draw on scientific knowledge gained from a year of comprehensive scientific study and a visit to the CSI exhibit at MSI.
Julie Scott, Joy Reeves, Sarah Culp, Jonathan Meeks, Lexi Coffee, Karen Willis
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Books are Born
Students will create their own non-fiction books. Stories will be written during Writer's Workshop and books will be illustrated and decorated during Art class. Students will work cooperatively to construct a classroom collection of books that will be shared with other students and parents.
Maureen Ghuneim, Shelley Davis
Performing Arts - Music, Dance & Drama
The Road to Oz
Students will design, create and perform in a production of The Wizard of Oz utilizing fine arts, drama, art and music.
Joel Duran, Shelley Davis, Corinne Hopkins
Columbia Explorers
Language Arts
Life Can Change
After reading the novel, On the Edge, by Alex Coreas, students will engage in dialogue and keep a journal on their feelings. They will learn strategies for monitoring their thinking, writing and turning their words into themes. To close the unit, Mr. Coreas and Frank Tobin, his mentor, will speak with students.
Eileen Considine, Pria Shah, Gamboney Maureen, Cosme Andrew
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
The New Chicago
Students will begin by learning about The Chicago World's Fair. We will discuss the social, political and cultural elements of The World's Columbian Exposition and The Century of Progress International Exposition. We will create a three-dimensional mural that includes each student's architectural design.
Jennifer Hall, Carla Manning
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
3D Celebration Art
Students will explore the world through the art of celebration. Topics will include learning about how people around the world make and use artwork to express cultural ideas. Students will make masks, costumes, sculptures, decorations and musical instruments.
Patrick Waldron
De Diego
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
A Mosaic Welcome
Students throughout the school will experience creating a "Welcome" mural. They will learn how to apply mosaic pieces to their own drawings, experience applying their work to the entrance walls of our school and create an inviting welcome to Jose de Diego Community Academy.
Ruth Evermann, Maureen Johnson
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Discovering Clay
Students will explore and experiment with the fundamentals of clay through various themes within the core subjects while learning about themselves, new cultures and new techniques.
Stacey Rowland
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Outdoor Sculpture
Students will explore famous outdoor art sculptures throughout the Chicago area. Students will use the Internet to research famous artists and create a PowerPoint presentation and also create and display their own sculpture pieces.
Yollande Gottlieb
Science / Mathematics / Technology
Harnessing the Sun
Students will construct Passive Solar Houses and add various elements to determine which features will provide the best heat retention.
Ann O
Edison Gifted
Life Skills
Take A Stand--No More Bullies!
Through the hands-on use of puppets as a vehicle for role-playing, students will recognize bullying as an aggressive and intentional behavior. Ventriloquism will be used to capture the attention of the children. Students will learn to use peer pressure and other coping mechanisms to defeat bullying.
Cindy Levin, Teri Okita
Science / Mathematics / Technology
The Amazing Edible Garden
Everett will be moving forward in our efforts to be
Darien Parker
Performing Arts - Music, Dance & Drama
Discovery in the Woods
Students will experience intrigue, discoveries and adventures to draw them deeper Into the Woods, a musical, through an integration of Fine & Performing Arts with Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Science.
Rebecca Christie, Barbara Peck
Language Arts
Reading with Autism
Students with autism will experience a specialized reading program created by Ms. Beukema to meet their unique needs. Through picture books that have an audio CD included, students who are non-verbal are able to learn reading skills that parallel the general population.
Christine Beukema
Franklin Fine Arts
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Dance of the Decades
Students will learn and perform various dance styles from different decades in history. Dancers will expand the types of movements and choreography they perform in ballet, jazz, tap, modern, Latin and ballroom dance. Reading, writing and social studies will be integrated.
Amanda Olson, Anne Gray, Alisa DelCampo
Franklin Fine Arts
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Green and Growing
Students will embellish benches with cement art to develop learning gardens behind our school. These benches expand the work done to reclaim learning space in the front of the school. The common design element reminds our community that our school values green space and conservation.
Margaret Koreman
Performing Arts - Music, Dance & Drama
African Folk Tales On Stage
Three classrooms of fifth graders will collaborate on developing dramatic presentations of three African American folk tales. Students will read a variety of literary resources and interpret them through dramatic presentations to be shared school wide.
Dorothy Pandel, Sara Needham, Sara DeMaria
Performing Arts - Music, Dance & Drama
Orff Ensemble
Students will develop skills for playing xylophones and learn to read traditional music notation. They will develop the ability to creatively express themselves through melodic and rhythmic improvisation.
Mary Lee Aherne
Social Studies / History
The Village Project
Students will build a scale model of a village with people, houses and cars. They will learn life skills as they interact with other miniatures in a controlled environment. They will decide on what type of government to use and may discuss current issues such as gun control in the village.
Quan Le, Katherine Nielsen, Kevet Davis
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Gunsaulus School Murals
Gunsaulus Art Club students will create murals around the school in order to promote a passion for learning. Mural topics will include knowledge of Chicago, love for reading, character education, all school subjects and art appreciation.
Patrick Waldron
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
I Spy With An Artistic Eye
The artistic eye is about having students focus in on observations using a new tool to educate: a jeweler's loupe. Everyday objects and simple questions help develop higher order thinking skills, creativity and scientific literacy. Art and science merge with a wall-mural fashioned after Georgia O'Keefe.
Lillian Degand, Heidi Keller, Vivian Suen, Ken Klopack
Peace by Piece
Special Education and General Education students will collaborate to add two permanent features to our school community gardens -- a mosaic stone bench and a Square Foot Garden. Students will design, construct and develop the 4 x 4 beds in which classrooms will cultivate food crops.
Rita Leary, Nicole Trostel, Lisa Rozelle
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Mex-Masks Four Regions
Hundreds of students will study traditional masks from four regions in Mexico. Students will learn to use durable materials to produce artifacts.
Jequeline Salinas, Jessica Guzman, Brian Cerda, Laura Mota
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Art With Diego and Kahlo
Special Education students will study famous artists and their paintings while creating their own styles of painting. Art is an area in which many Special Education students excel.
Kathleen Magno
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
WOW: What's up on the Westside?
Students, their families and I, guided by our teacher artist, will create a Pop-Up Big Book. We will focus on the changes taking place in our surroundings due to regentrification.
Jesl Xena Rae Cruz
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Yarn Crafting for a Cause
In a weekly after school club, intermediate grade students will learn various yarn crafts including crochet, latch hook, needlepoint and weaving. They will create hats, scarves, lap blankets and bookmarks. Students will take part in creating a group afghan to be donated to charity.
Stephanie Gross, Amy Ramon, Rebecca Whitfield
Hughes, L.
Science / Mathematics / Technology
Saving The Galapagos Species
Students will study the Galapagos Islands in both Japanese and English. They will be introduced to new species and Greenhouse experiments. They will create pollution-free devices, games and a public awareness campaign to save the Galapagos species.
Sundy SaTsu
Jackson, A.
Science / Mathematics / Technology
Garden Boxes 4 X 4
Students from grades 4-8 will design and build a square foot garden for our school.
Randi McManus, Amy Koonce, Mary Empfield
Language Arts
Our Student Anthology
My students will produce a multi-media anthology of our writings. We will publish our stories in print with illustrations and create DVD's so that we can also become the "story tellers."
Cynthia Newton
Science / Mathematics / Technology
Circle of Friends
Through literacy, teenage girls will have the opportunity to participate in The Circle of Friends which will help them become clearer and more positive about their developing identities as young women. The program emphasizes development of strength, confidence and communication skills.
Zijada Cobovic
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
The Environmental Detectives
Students will investigate environmental issues in their neighborhood, act as detectives to seek out environmental problems in their area, study water quality issues of Lake Michigan, create a field guide and help to promote change.
Sondra Gunn, Robert Loudin, Shara Fata, Zarina Qadir
Science / Mathematics / Technology
Blast Off with Space Science
Students will explore the wonders of space science through reading, the Internet, experiments and talking with NASA astronaut Ken Hamm. They will document their information in science journals and will work together to develop an informational and creative writing booklet on space science.
Shara Fata, Zijada Cobovic
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Celebrate with Art!
Students K - 8 are being rewarded for positive behavior as part of a school-wide monthly celebration. They will be able to attend an art class once a month where they will be offered a different and engaging project each month.
Suzanne Drake
Life Skills
The LaSalle Way
We want to improve the school climate and to develop positive behavior models focusing on respect, citizenship, responsibility and work ethics.
Nancy Broecker, Vita Cale, Deborah Cohen, Megan Whitaker, Jill Driscoll, Mary Fister, Cassandra Barnes, June Andalcio, Elisabeth Heutefeu
Science / Mathematics / Technology
Room 202 is a Zoo!
Third grade students will explore the concepts of energy transfer, life cycle and physical/behavioral adaptations as they develop their own experiments with plants and animals. Students will practice scientific inquiry through the use of living organisms in the classroom.
Amy Andrews
Science / Mathematics / Technology
Wright On!
Third grade students will evolve into architects and writers who explore Frank Lloyd Wright's "organic architecture" concepts to create written, two-dimensional and three-dimensional inspired masterpieces.
Daniela Veljkovic, Carmen Reyes, Clariza Dominicci
Performing Arts - Music, Dance & Drama
Swinging with the Seniors
Members of the James Russell Lowell Elementary Band & Cultural Chorus will share their talents by performing choral and instrumental music at two Senior Citizen Homes. The Band & Choir will engage the seniors in singing and playing.
Carmen Rivera Kurban
Performing Arts - Music, Dance & Drama
Art of the Trickster Tale
Using folk tales from Latin American and African cultures, students will compare trickster characters and themes. They will create art works using various media that reflect the culture of the folk tales. Students will create and perform plays with costumes and backdrops based on their choice of two tales.
Amanda Patterson
Social Studies / History
Accurate African Knowledge
Special Education students will actively engage in activities utilizing multiple intelligences within a unit that focuses on the impact Africans made on the U.S.
Tasha McShan, Alicia Jones
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Personal Prose & the Principal
Students will analyze traditional narrative story arcs found in various biographies and documentaries while engaging in the Friday Book Club with the Principal. They will develop and publish their personal histories including elements of biography and create personal documentary films.
Luis Soria
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Creators and Curators
Students demonstrate their understanding of ancient cultures by creating art and artifacts in this cross curricular project. They will become curators and docents as they create a Museum of Ancient Civilizations and lead others through the exhibit.
Julie Toole, Lynn Riefenberg
Science / Mathematics / Technology
Runway Flight
Fifth grade students will research airplane designs in an effort to engineer aerodynamic wooden airplanes that they will fly.
Michael Palos
Science / Mathematics / Technology
Let's Fly a Kite
Students will learn to design, construct and launch kites as they participate in Adventure Club. Students will focus on different artistic, scientific and mathematical aspects that make kites so unique.
Lisa Schwartz, Roberto Grau
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Sounds Great
Students will learn about painting techniques, color, design and content as they create eight fabric banners that will hang in our auditorium to provide sound absorption.
Sandy Lucas
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Our View of the World
Students in 6-8 grades will discover their place in the world by engaging in inquiry-based research about ecology, foreign affairs and civil rights. Based on their research, students will use a variety of media to create artwork that will be showcased in a student-curated art exhibit.
Our View of the World
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
The Beauty of Our Past
During Black History Month, students will study and embrace the influential artists and activists who took charge and defined the era known as the Harlem Renaissance. Students will create and display personalized art work that is inspired by the unique era.
Sarah Banting
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Painted Mexican Cuisine!
Students will create an explosion of colors with paintings in mixed media on canvas and black and white linoleum prints. They will capture the visual rhythms, patterns, colors and textures of the ancient Mexican Cuisine, from the table cloth, cooking utensils, hot spices, fruits and vegetables.
Francisco G. Mendoza
Fine Arts
Art Becomes Me II
Students will use art and their knowledge of artists to create original sculptures, murals and pictures that convey the importance of taking care of our planet.
Susan Buchanan, Julia Vazquez
Performing Arts - Music, Dance & Drama
Dig It! The Musical
Students will learn and perform in a musical which traces the history of several ancient cultures.
Brooke Thompson
Pershing East
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Kindergartners are SMART!
Students will learn about art appreciation at the Smart Museum of University of Chicago. Students will visit the museum's sculpture collection and create an outdoor sculpture garden at school. The wooden sculptures will be in the style of Louise Nevelson and will enhance our schoolyard.
Catherine Tanner, Melissa Auer, Kimberly Davis
Pershing West
Social Studies / History
A Street in Bronzeville
Students will learn about the history of the neighborhood in which they live and create an exposition. Students will learn research skills and community involvement. They will take various walking field trips around the neighborhood and engage in a photo, poetry and documentary experience.
Monica Sims, Eve Ewing
Butterfly Garden
Students will expand our existing garden with the addition of a butterfly garden. Planting this garden will enable us to help strengthen the monarch butterfly
Patricia Morin
Social Studies
An Exchange of Cultures
Our students will connect with an elementary and middle school in Hong Kong for an inter-cultural study.
Karen Bryden, Ryan McCarty, Dana Fitzpatrick, Ebonee Green, Cortez Wash, Andrea Hetzke
Life Skills
Selected students will participate in the school
Margaret Corey, Chiquita Agusto
Science / Mathematics / Technology
BG's (Buddy Games Bridge Gaps)
Middle school students will play everyday math games with students in kindergarten through 4th grades in both Spanish and English. Games will develop mathematical skills, language development and leadership skills for the older students.
Lorianne Zaimi, Karen Cherco
Social Studies / History
My Kind of Town ... Chicago Is
Students will develop stories based on family history and their journey to the Chicago area. Students will work creatively with family support so that the past can be understood by the present. Chicago will be studied to enhance the students understanding of home.
Susan Echeverria
Service Learning
Empty Bowls Fill Character
Third and sixth grade students will work collaboratively to create and decorate ceramic bowls that will be auctioned off at an Empty Bowls Fundraiser. Proceeds will go to the Growing Connection, a foundation that provides Grow Boxes for students of Third World countries.
Gerard Kovach, Jamie Downhower
Science / Mathematics / Technology
Life Cycle of Frogs and Chicks
First graders will work interactively on life cycles which will concentrate on the life cycle of frogs and chicks.
Nancy Pena, Maria Ayala, Miriam Ortuzar, Carmen DeArcos
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Beading Beauties
Girls will learn the jewelry business through a new jewelry club. The girls will bead necklaces, bracelets and earrings. They will market the jewelry locally and on a web site. They will take part in a mini-marketing workshop and visit the Field Museum for a historical jewelry trip.
Anna Waywood, Michelle Bailey, Kayla Vigil, Doris Hansbrough
Performing Arts - Music, Dance & Drama
So, You Think You Can Play?
Students in our guitar group will record a CD of their own by using a digital recording studio. The students will design the CD and choose the songs to record. They will have a grand opening for the release of the CD for their parents and the school.
Mary Ann Fischer, Anna Waywood
Performing Arts - Music, Dance & Drama
Stone Academy Presents
Students will explore issues of tolerance, prejudice and acceptance while presenting a production of
William Marsland, Jamie Perry
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Wild Stone Prairie
Students will learn about green life cycles, germinate seeds and roots, study their growth and plant in the Spring. They will create a 50-state flower mosaic for an indoor fountain and install a reclamation garden outdoors using trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, ferns and flowers found on the prairie.
Mark Nelson, Marla Goldberg-Katz, Gina Ribaudo, Rita Federman, Kristie Holowatyji
Performing Arts - Music, Dance & Drama
The Sun Will Come Out at Swift
Students will mount a Broadway Junior production of
Kelsey McLachlan, Samantha Gamble, Angela Maniaci
Talcott Fine Arts
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Art Across America
Fourth grade students will study the four main regions of the United States by using paintings found in the Art Institute of Chicago as their lens. Students will then create their own works of art representing each region.
Susan Bohman, Ivellisse Munoz, Sally Havlis
Eating Botany in the City
Students will be involved in working on undeveloped land around the school which will be the site of a greenspace garden where they will grow edible plants.
Shaker Cohlmia, Lori Stenger
Language Arts
Tarkington Press
Tarkington will publish its first literary magazine, spearheaded by an editing team of 12 students from grades 4-6. The magazine will feature student work of various genres facilitated by the school's writing workshop.
Susanna Lang, Kate Mitchell, Natasha Schaefer, Katie Schneider
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Building Neighborhood Habitats
Students will create artistic birdhouses for birds with community habitats. They will develop literacy and creativity while learning to use tools to build birdhouses. The unit will culminate with a birdhouse exhibition along the parkway outside of school.
Jorge Mojarro, William Estrada, Jennifer Klonsky
Fine Arts - Photography / Film / Murals
Shrinking Our Carbon Footprint
Students will design and create claymation films to act as public service announcements to promote green technologies, discuss renewable energy sources and teach others how to reduce our carbon footprint in the 21st century.
Amy Vecchioni, Susan Termini, Nadine Zelle, Margaret Ballasch