By Sharon Brockell, Fifth and Sixth Grade English Teacher
Making learning come alive and have meaning for the typical fifth and sixth grader is a challenge in our fast-paced world of the information age! How can education empower students to be engaged and motivated with so much digital distraction? Research supports that project-based learning using an interdisciplinary approach has many benefits for student achievement, especially when role-playing and technology is utilized. Providing students with an opportunity to experience relevant and purposeful projects to share with others reinforces learning even more! Confidence and student achievement soar when educators introduce memorable projects that correlate various subjects and skills.
The Holy Trinity Lower School showcases learning with the gifted approach! One excellent example of relevant writing shared with an audience is the sixth grade English “Museum Curator” research project. Sixth graders selected a historical topic of their own choice to research, eventually transforming their information into an actual exhibit for third and fourth graders. Inspiration was unleashed when students took virtual tours of actual museums to analyze and collect data. Creative and critical thinking were enhanced once students planned visual relics, models, and more. Some of our future engineers even used the 3-D printer for their artifact visual aid. Students weren’t just producing a typed report to present to the teacher or classmates, they discovered how to use technology and writing in a useful and meaningful way as an actual curator. “Thinglink” computer images created on their Chromebooks highlight how to take ordinary information and produce it in a clever way. The grand finale was sharing all their creative thinking on February 10 as expert museum curators!
The fifth graders also experience creative thinking with the gifted approach to celebrate the U.S.A.! Students have been studying about American history and reading about hero traits in various novels. Our budding writers produced scripts about Valley Forge in English class to make into flip video movies that we will be shared on Grandparents Day. Making props, costumes, and retelling the story of the brave U.S. patriots demonstrate our future leadership!
Twenty-first century skills are constantly evolving. Giving students the edge on the future with high interest topics to share with others opens the door to future endeavors. Engaged learning is around every corner at Holy Trinity! Start here and go anywhere your imagination will take you!