Mrs.Bromley 3-SS


BUILDING Excitement for Learning
Onekama Third Grade Students Recreate Michigan Landmarks

 

The Onekama School Media Center looks somewhat like a museum these days. On one windowsill rests a four-foot wooden model of the Mackinac Bridge. One bookshelf sports a sculpture of a lighthouse – with working lights! – while another holds a model of the Detroit Windsor Tunnel.

 

The artwork on display is part of an assignment given by third grade Social Studies teacher Jennifer Bromley. Third grade students have recently completed a unit on the human characteristics of Michigan.

 

Human characteristics include bridges, tunnels, cities, roads, lighthouses, and other features of an area that were made by humans.  Students learned the difference between human characteristics and natural characteristics of an area.

 

“Human characteristics were built by people, like our school building. Natural characteristics comes from nature and were not made by people, like Lake Michigan and Portage Lake,” explains third grade student Ashlyn Blackmore, with confidence.

 

Each student was assigned a particular human characteristic (man-made structure) that is unique to our state. First, students worked to create flipbooks that detailed information about the structure: what it is, where it is located, when it was built, and unique features of the structure.

 

Students were then given the option to create models of the structures to be put on display in the Media Center. The results are beyond impressive. Students created replicas of the Mackinac Bridge, the Ambassador Bridge, the International Bridge, the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, Point Betsie Lighthouse, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, Holland Harbor Lighthouse, and many others.

 

They also had the opportunity to present their projects to their classmates and practice their public speaking skills while teaching others.

 

For Bromley, another positive result of the assignment was seeing parents and students working together to extend the child’s learning beyond the school day.

 

“The best part was getting to work with my dad and having him let me use his tools,” said student Libby McCarthy. “We built the Mackinac Bridge together, and it turned out great.”

 

Their teacher was as pleased as her students with the results.

 

“I continue to be impressed with my students and their natural excitement for learning,” says Bromley. “Social Studies provides many great opportunities for hands-on learning, and this assignment demonstrates how important it is to give those opportunities to our students as often as possible to help make learning meaningful.”



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