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Designing a School Mascot

The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is known for its rigorous academic curriculum, but it also emphasizes the development of key learner attributes that extend beyond the classroom. Recently, the fifth-grade students at GIS school demonstrated their research and presentation skills by creating proposals for a school mascot, something GIS has been needing for some time!

After an initial brainstorming session with Frau Duggan, during which students worked in groups of two to three, a dozen mascots were presented along with a list of characteristics of each animal that students felt would make them a good option to represent our school. This first round of mascots was reviewed by leadership and four finalists were chosen: the crow, the fox, the golden eagle, and the giraffe.The students were divided into four groups, and each group researched and developed a presentation about one of the mascots.

In their research, the students not only looked at the physical characteristics and symbolism of each animal, but more importantly, considered how it would represent the values of our school community. For example, the group that presented the crow highlighted its intelligence and resourcefulness, which align with the school's emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving.The giraffe group exclaimed, “Just like us, giraffes are all unique!” The students’ creative genius really shone through in each presentation!

During the presentations, the students demonstrated excellent public speaking skills as they confidently and enthusiastically shared their proposals and made their pitch to our school’s business team. They also showed their creativity by incorporating artwork, props, and even a skit into their presentations.

In addition to the IB program's emphasis on communication and research skills, the students also displayed other learner attributes such as empathy, open-mindedness, and reflective thinking. During the brainstorming process, the students listened to each other's ideas with respect and were open to suggestions from their peers. They also reflected on their strengths and challenges as a group and adjusted their plans accordingly.

After the presentations, the administration chose the fox as the school's new mascot. The decision was based on the animal's adaptability, cleverness, and energetic nature, which reflect the school's values of resilience, innovation, and teamwork. Another great feature of the fox that the student group highlighted throughout their presentation is that its color is perfectly on brand for GIS!

Now that the fox has been chosen as the school’ s mascot, students from the fox group will continue to work with a designer to advise in the creation and artistic design of a logo. They will be looking at elements such as typography, color, movement, symbolism, and perspective in order to ensure that the design of our new fox logo will best reflect the characteristics we see every day in our amazing students.

Throughout this exciting endeavor, the fifth-grade students demonstrated their ability to apply their academic skills and IB learner attributes to a real-world project. By researching and presenting their proposals for a school mascot, they showed their creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking skills, which will serve them well in their future academic and professional endeavors.

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Beaverton, OR 97005

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