This week the first-grade students celebrated the completion of their final phonics unit, beginning with a review of the vowel teams studied during the last month. The next part of the celebration was to create a map of a Vowel Town. Work for this culminating project began with a brainstorm of things and places that might be found in a town. The tricky part was to think of things that included a vowel team, such as ee, au, ea, ai, ue, oo, ay, ew, igh, etc.. After a list was created together, each child was given a large piece of paper to begin the planning of their own community. A blueprint was drawn by each child that included roads, highways, and train tracks. Next, the students added places of business, houses, and community structures to their town collages. Some of the most popular places and things added were schools, playgrounds, houses, restaurants, subway, traffic lights, and food stores. Each item in a town was given a label, giving students an opportunity to reinforce their learning by reading and writing words with a specific focus.