Heritage Elementary School resembled a scene from the “Night at the Museum” movie series recently when exhibits in a student-created museum came to life. Showcasing each of the original 13 colonies, fifth-grade students created a living history museum filled with unique games, puppet shows and more to teach an interactive history lesson for their first-grade buddies.
“We explained to them that they needed to make their exhibit informative, engaging, entertaining and easily understood by their first-grade friends,” HES fifth-grade teacher Melinda Bolles said.
For the project, fifth-grade students divided into small groups and were assigned a colony. Together, they worked to create an exhibit that portrayed the economy, government, geography and significant contributions of historical figures in their colony.
“We gave them the information that had to be covered in their lessons, but how it was covered was entirely up to them,” said Lynn Sovereign, another HES fifth-grade teacher.
In addition to the library, students used iPads, Netbooks and MacBooks to help them research their colony. By using these resources, students took virtual field trips and developed design ideas on for their exhibit. Working beyond the history book enhanced their learning and improved their exhibits.
According to Sovereign, the learning that took place was on full display.
“Some students may not have produced the best looking exhibit, but when you talk to them they know the material, which is the most important thing,” Sovereign said.
The success of this activity exemplifies the LEAD 2021 strategic plan in action in GCISD. The concept of students working collaboratively from a learner-centered platform as opposed to a teacher-centered platform plays a critical part of the district’s drive to create future-ready learners. This is just one example of many different ways GCISD is fulfilling its mission to be the BEST by Building Excellent Schools Together.