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Learning and Fun Intertwined

Students learn about island building and erosion.

Motivated students researched using the internet, encyclopedias, books, magazines, and samples in the classroom. After gleaning a lot of information, they grouped it under headings such as: “psychical adaptations, behavioral adaptations, habitats,” and “fun facts”. Students then filled colorful cards with the information, added didactic pictures, drawn illustrations, and diagrams to complete their investigations.

Creative juices and problem-solving skills then flowed as students created 3D models of their topics. When attached to our bulletin board, the effect was spectacular!

Invitations were hastily created and sent to parents. Amazingly, many intrepid parents filled the room on the day of monsoon-like rain and winds. Our fifth grade experts stood before the bulletin board, read their investigations, and answered questions. Everyone in the audience learned a lot that day!

Armed with new understandings of life on the coast, we went to Seabrook Island south of Charleston, South Carolina. For three days classes about maritime forests, tides, pond succession, crabs, salt marshes, sea and pond life, and many more kept everyone learning and having fun with the hands-on activities.

A favorite class for many was the long hike through the shallow water of a salt marsh to a mud pit made from rotting material (detritus) which stunk like rotten eggs. We got globs of the mud and covered ourselves!

Other activities like playing in the intertidal waters, hearing interactive stories around a campfire, and dancing to the Virginia reel provided fun and bonding experiences.

Students also learned responsibility by having to clean their cabins, set tables, serve food, clear and clean tables, and not waste food. Everything combined provided a most memorable experience that intertwined learning and fun.

Written by: Lisa Foster, AIG teacher, Union Elementary
Posted: Oct 03, 2012 by Cathy NeSmith

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